Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle - Center for ...

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Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle - Center for ...

ConclusionHurricane Sandy is the exclamation point on the warnings about climate change,after deadly and expensive extreme weather events repeatedly struck the UnitedStates in 2011 and 2012. Such disasters are becoming part of the “new normal”—the heat waves, droughts, severe storms, and floods that will grow in severityand/or frequency in the coming years due to unchecked climate change. Duringthe massive heat wave in July 2012, Seth Borenstein, science reporter for theAssociated Press, wrote, “If you want a glimpse of some of the worst of globalwarming, scientists suggest taking a look at U.S. weather in recent weeks.” 197The most damaging extreme weather events alone over the past 22 months tookmore than 1,000 lives and caused at least $126 billion worth of damage. Ouranalysis found that most of these types of events disproportionately harmedmiddle- and lower-income Americans. These households have fewer resources toprepare for and recover from such disasters. Federal and state disaster-relief policiesmust help cushion the human and economic losses to those people with fewerresources to recover from severe weather disasters.The American people understand that climate change is linked to the tragicextreme weather events of recent years, and support carbon pollution reductionsto attack the problem. A post-election poll by Zogby Analytics for the NationalWildlife Federation found that:• Two-thirds of voters (65 percent) say elected officials should take stepsnow to reduce the impact of climate change on future generations, whilejust 27 percent say we should wait for more evidence• A strong majority (57 percent) says climate change is adding to theseverity of recent extreme weather such as Superstorm Sandy and thesummer droughts35 Center for American Progress | Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle- and Lower-Income Americans

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