Providence, RI – Young adults in Rhode Island are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than their predecessors did in the 1970’s, according to a new report by Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center.
“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Travis Madsen, State Global Warming Campaign Director for Environment Rhode Island. “We’re are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.”
Intense storms such as Hurricanes Sandy or Irene are examples of the 11 percent increase in the amount of precipitation dropped by the most extreme storms according to the analysis, Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing Down to America’s Young. The report also shows that temperatures have risen 2.3 degrees over the last five generations, contributing to a variety of negative impacts, including accelerated sea level rise.
“As parents, we want our children to grow up with the opportunity to be more successful than we are,” said Madsen, “but global warming is increasingly making the world more dangerous. Heavy storms are just one example. We need action now to protect our kids’ future.”
“Young people can make the world better for the next generation by demanding cuts in carbon pollution and accelerating our switch to 100 percent clean energy.”
The report found similar increases in temperatures and extreme weather across the country. In every state, young adults are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation.
According to the report, If the United States and the world continue to emit more carbon pollution, by the end of the century, when today’s children will be reaching retirement age, the temperature will have risen 5-10 °F.
To avoid further warming and the dangerous weather scientists predict will come with it, Environment Rhode Island is calling for dramatic cuts in carbon pollution, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires an 30 percent reduction in power plant emissions by 2030; and through Rhode Island’s state global warming laws.
“We need leaders like Governor Raimondo to continue to support cleaning up power plants through programs like the Clean Power Plan and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,” said Madsen, “in addition to implementing last year’s Resilient Rhode Island Act (which calls for a 45 percent cut below 1990 levels in carbon pollution from all sources by 2035, and an 80 percent cut by 2050).”
“Rhode Island alone may be small, but we can play a mighty role in showing the rest of the country and the world what is possible,” concluded Madsen. “We need dramatic cuts in pollution so that we don’t pass down a more dangerous climate to the next generation.”
Environment Rhode Island Research & Policy Center is a statewide advocacy organization bringing people together for a cleaner, greener, healthier future. www.EnvironmentRhodeIslandCenter.org