The Tea Party may have turned climate denial into a political sport, but the millions of Americans cleaning up after months of severe weather know climate change is all too real.
From the flooding that ravaged the Mississippi River basin to the drought that sparked fires in Arizona and Texas to the heat wave that gripped most of the nation, this has been a season of extremes. Here in the Northeast, residents are still recovering from the extensive flooding caused by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.
Each one of these events—storms, floods, droughts, heat waves—happens every year, but the intensity of these familiar weather patterns are hallmarks of a changing climate.
These are the facts on the ground, versus the spin from the campaign bus, and it’s time they played a bigger role in our national conversation.
That’s why I welcome Al Gore’s latest drive to turn up the volume.
Today, Gore’s group the Climate Reality Project is launching an event called 24 Hours of Reality. This is a worldwide effort to bring the truth about the climate crisis to everyone with access to the Internet.
In a new multimedia presentation narrated by Gore that will air every hour for 24 hours, people around the globe will share their stories of living on the frontlines of climate change. From the Alaskan coastline to the Solomon Islands, from Jakarta’s streets to London’s office towers, residents will connect the dots between the extreme weather events they are battling and the greenhouse gas emissions filling our atmosphere.
These are the truths that often get obscured by public relations efforts funded by major polluters: Oil and gas companies alone spent $145,932,543 lobbying Congress in 2010. But Gore believes we have a potent weapon against dirty polluters. In the video clip below introducing the 24 Hours of Reality, he says:
“Fossil fuel interests have money, influence, and control. But together we have something they don’t: Reality.”
Yesterday I met with Minister Xie, China's top climate negotiator. China doesn't deny the reality of global warming. Instead, it has passed a host of national policies to reduce its emissions. It has a long way to go, as do we, but action is what is required.
The evidence is on the side of those who want to take climate action, not on the side of polluters and science deniers. Gore’s project shines a spotlight on what climate change is doing to communities around the globe and inspires us to make change right here in America.