Oct 30: 350.org Challenges Fossil Fuel Industry to Help Pay for Hurricane Sandy Clean Up
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2012
350.org Challenges Fossil Fuel Industry to Help Pay for Hurricane Sandy Clean Up
Brooklyn, NY -- Today, the global climate campaign 350.org sent an email to its US supporters, asking for donations to the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and to urge the fossil fuel industry to divert the millions of dollars they are spending to influence the election towards vital recovery efforts.
350.org founder Bill McKibben said: "Our 350.org office was flooded out last night, so we have some tiny sense of what millions of people along the eastern seaboard are feeling--in fact, meteorologist Jeff Masters said today that extreme weather from the storm touched 100 million Americans. We've set up a system to let 350.org members in 189 countries join in relief efforts, just the way we've tried to help out in floods in Pakistan, droughts in Africa, and massive storms in Central America. But we're not just sad. We're angry too.”
Thousands of people signed onto the petition within an hour of it going public.(1) 350.org is now laying plans to deliver the message directly to different fossil fuel corporations and push for a response.
According to the New York Times, the fossil fuel industry has spent over $150 million to influence the presidential election. Just last week, Chevron donated $2.5 million to a GOP Super-PAC, the largest single corporate donation since the Supreme Court cleared the way for such influence-buying. (2)
The industry efforts have paid off. The words “climate change” were not mentioned once during the presidential debates for the first time since 1984; Congress is still handing out over $4 billion a year in tax breaks to Big Oil; and few national politicians are openly calling for solutions to the climate crisis.
Scientists have long warned that climate change would load the dice for extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy. Climate change can affect a storm like Hurricane Sandy in a number of ways:
• By heating the average temperature of the planet, global warming puts more energy into storms.
• Since warm air holds more water than cold, the atmosphere is about 4% wetter than it was in 1970, leading to heavier rain falls that make flooding more likely.
• Storm surges now ride on sea levels that have risen over the last century due to global warming, amplifying flooding losses where the surge strikes. In the Northeast United States, sea levels are rising up to four times faster than the global average, making this area more vulnerable to storm surge and flooding.
• Right now, sea surface temperatures along the Northeast U.S. coast are about 5°F above average, which is likely to help keep the storm powered up and load moisture into the storm, fueling heavy rain. September had the second highest global ocean temperatures on record.
Hurricane Sandy comes at the end of a long string over extreme weather events, from the Colorado wildfires to the terrible heat wave and drought that affected much of United States. The weather is clearly increasing public concern over climate change.
This fall, McKibben and the campaign are organizing a 21-city tour called “Do The Math” that will connect the dots between extreme weather, climate change, and the fossil fuel industry. More information is at math.350.org.
CONTACT: Daniel Kessler, 350.org, email@example.com, 510-501-1779