Action Alert: Climate Change is Affecting Health Now
Global Warming of 1.5 °C
On October 8, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report detailing the impact of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It finds that impacts are already occurring and that 2°C is no longer a safe goal to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We can avoid much, but not all, of the loss and risk of climate change by limiting warming to 1.5°C. But without a radical transformation of energy, transportation and agriculture systems, the world will blow past the 1.5°C target. Here is some background info on the report:
Please, in the next few days, consider writing a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper highlighting the report’s findings and the urgent need for action to avoid the most severe impacts and health consequences from climate change.
Here are some possible talking points, including some that highlight how the current administration is going in the exact opposite direction needed. Feel free to pick and choose the points that work for you. Put them in your own words (that’s essential) and tell the story as it affects your community. Highlighting local solutions is always a good option as well.
LTE Talking Points
- On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a comprehensive report that found we must take immediate action on climate to avoid the most deadly and disastrous effects of climate change. Their conclusion is based on more than 6,000 scientific papers, input from 91 authors, and editors from 40 countries. (Cite a specific article that appeared in the paper.)
- Without a radical transformation of our energy, transportation and agriculture systems, the world will blow past the 1.5 degree Celsius target in the coming decades. We are facing a climate emergency!
- The report estimates that if global temperatures warm just 1.5 degrees Celsius, hundreds of millions more people could be exposed to life-threatening flooding, heat waves, and water shortages by 2050.
- We’re already seeing the effects of climate inaction with extreme weather events ranging from wildfires out West to Hurricanes Florence and Maria that pummeled the East Coast. And most recently Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane ever recorded making landfall on Florida’s Panhandle. The devastating impacts of these storms will only increase in the coming years according to the IPCC’s report.
- The ecological disruption induced by climate change has already had an observable impact on human health. More episodes of extreme heat, increased frequency of natural disasters, and changing patterns of infectious disease are only some of the known interactions between climate change and human health.
- Despite these dire warnings, the EPA continues to move forward on their rollback of some of the strongest tools we have to fight climate change.
- The EPA is attempting to roll back America’s clean car standards, which would force consumers to drive less efficient cars, polluting our air and costing us more money at the pump.
- EPA has also announced their plans to weaken methane pollution standards, which are safeguards that protect the health of American communities by aiming to eliminate dangerous toxic pollution leaks from oil and gas infrastructure.
- And despite the overwhelming public support for the Clean Power Plan, EPA is moving to eliminate the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and stall the development of cleaner energy – a move that could cost thousands of lives per year based on the EPA’s own estimates.
Climate and clean energy solutions are happening in the cities and states around the country. Here in [Your State/City] we are… We can do this! (Mention any positive local/state-based climate/clean energy policies)
Remember the A-B-C’s of a good LTE: About something in the newspaper (refer to and respond to a specific article in your local paper); Brief (see if your paper has a word limit), Concise (make one basic point, then stop). More how-to information is attached.
Thank you for educating your community and building support for a healthier, safer future.