Nearly one-third of all Americans live in a county hit by an extreme weather disaster in the past three months, with far more living in places that have endured a multiday heatwave, a Washington Post analysis revealed. Climate change, caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, is supercharging heatwaves, hurricanes, wildfires fueled by drought, and extreme precipitation that causes flooding. Those phenomena have killed at least 388 people in the U.S. since June.
(Most) Dems Call For Climate Action
The unprecedented summer of climate-fueled tragedy has hit people who previously considered themselves immune to climate risk and has overwhelmed seasoned survivors of such disasters who say this is the worst summer they’ve experienced — it also comes as Democrats in Washington work to enact legislation that would address its root causes. The political window for such action, however, is closing. With the midterms looming, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, linchpin vote connected with multiple coal firms, called for a “strategic pause” on that legislation last week. Meanwhile, the rest of the party barnstorms the country to raise support for the bill.
“It sounds like a lot of money … but it is what we spend in five years fighting forest fires,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), hardly a liberal firebrand himself, told constituents in Clear Creek. Bernie Sanders is also traveling the country, and the White House is driving the message on the need to invest in infrastructure that can handle extreme weather, with senior advisor and former Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond promoting action on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday and President Biden directly tying the devastation wrought by Ida to climate change and the need to take decisive action.
“Super storms are going to come and they’re going to come more ferociously,” Biden said while visiting Louisiana Friday. “This isn’t about being a Democrat or a Republican. We’re Americans and we’ll get through this together.” (One-in-three: Washington Post $, The Hill, Axios; Opportunity for action: New York Times $, AP; Closing window: Axios; Manchin: The Intercept; Bennet: New York Times $; Sanders: New York Times $; Richmond: Politico; Biden: Reuters; Climate Signals background; Extreme heat and heatwaves, 2021 Atlantic hurricane Season, 2021 Western wildfire season, Extreme precipitation increase, Flooding, Drought)