Sen. Bernie Sanders called on American to heed the warning of Hurricane Sandy, and start working to reverse global warming.
In a statement Sen. Sanders said,
First and foremost, our thoughts are with the families of those who died during this massive storm, and with the millions of people who remain without electricity and whose homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Just as the people of Vermont needed support to recover from Hurricane Irene last year, our message to those suffering from the damage from Hurricane Sandy is that the people of the United States will be there to support you as you recover.
At the same time, we must be very clear. Hurricane Sandy is a wake-up call for all Americans that we must act to reverse global warming. While scientists do not attribute this storm or any single weather disturbance to global warming, it is increasingly clear that global warming is fueling more extreme weather disturbances. Scientists have already documented how rising sea levels and warmer ocean surface temperatures in the Northeast increased rainfall, flooding and storm surges from Hurricane Sandy.
If we do not reverse global warming, the science is very clear. We can expect more damaging extreme weather in the future, and a strong likelihood of it being more and more severe. As a member of both the energy and environment committees, I am going to do everything I can to support the strongest possible legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions and end our reliance on fossil fuels while making major improvements in energy efficiency and transforming our energy system to sustainable energy. Not only would passing strong legislation position America to lead the global effort to cut emissions, it would help our country create millions of good-paying jobs as we transform our energy system.
Hurricane Sandy was a reminder that no part of the United States is immune to the extreme storms and weather that is being exacerbated by global warming. Sandy got more attention because the storm struck in the center of the American media, but message being sent to us all should not be ignored. A record 14 weather disasters that each caused over a billion dollars worth of damage struck the United States in 2011. Republicans and anti-science conservatives would have you believe that what has been occurring is a natural part of the planet’s climate cycle. It isn’t.
Global warming is more than devastating weather events. There are human and economic components to the issue that Republicans refuse to take seriously and address. The Republican Party is happy to take oil company money, and push the myth that our nation can drill our way to energy independence as a viable policy option, but in just five days voters will be presented with a choice. They can choose to either continue polluting the planet, and facing the increasingly deadly weather consequences, or they can select a path of jobs, energy independence, and a healthier planet with less extreme weather.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will not only cater to the polluters of our planet, but when disaster strikes a part of our nation again, they don’t believe in providing federal resources and relief.
Sen. Sanders was correct. Sandy is a wake up call to every voter. At stake in this election is nothing less than health of the planet and the safety from extreme weather and its of consequences of every American who lives on it.