I'm on my way to Republican campaign events in South Carolina. With the 'first in the south' just a few days away, this is our best chance to ask them tough questions about climate change up close and personal. -- Can you back me up by signing this petition to show them climate change is too important for any candidate to deny?
Last fall, South Carolina was hit by a 'once in a millennium' flood.1 While communities across the state were devastated, scientists tell us that climate change made this storm worse and will cause more extreme weather.2
That storm hit me personally. I live in Columbia, SC, and was trapped away from home for days when they closed all the roads between my neighborhood and the local airport. It's not just South Carolina either, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that climate change caused more than 10 extreme weather events last year like the South Carolina floods -- and those disasters resulted in more than $10 billion in damages and 155 deaths.3
And yet, even as NOAA and NASA tell us that climate change is killing Americans and causing billions in damages, GOP candidates are in South Carolina this week attempting to burnish their conservative credentials by denying climate change as a real, urgent problem. Earlier this month, our friends at Climate Truth were able to get some big commitments from climate-denying candidates by asking them tough questions about climate change's real impacts face-to-face.4 I want to do the same in South Carolina, where I live. Will you back me up?
Click here to sign our petition and I'll deliver your signature in person before the South Carolina Primary. The petition reads:
Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our nation and our planet right now. I am concerned about some of your remarks indicating that human induced climate change is not real or urgent despite all of the evidence to the contrary. I urge you to rethink your stance on this very real threat as you seek your party's nomination for the presidency.
The climate change debate is over. Fifteen of the last 16 years have been the hottest ever recorded. Climate change is real, it is caused by humans, and it is a clear and present danger to the U.S. In the last two years alone, the U.S. experienced 25 climate-fueled disasters that claimed over 1,100 lives and dealt $175 billion in damages to our economy.3
Some Republican candidates, like Sen. Ted Cruz, who questioned climate science during a hearing he chaired late last year, are eager to reject the mainstream consensus.5 But other GOP candidates have mostly ignored the issue, which is easy to do since debate moderators have ignored the climate crisis so far in GOP debates, despite repeated encouragement from thousands of us to #AskOnClimate.6
If we're going to get a straight answer from Republican candidates about climate change, it's up to us to hold the candidates accountable by demanding they produce real, detailed and clear plans. You can help by clicking here to sign our petition to the GOP Candidates demanding they take climate change seriously.
Drew and the South Carolina Crew at Environmental Action
1 - Daniel Manzo & David Chiu, Catastrophic Flooding Throughout South Carolina, ABC News October 5, 2015
2 - Amanda Holpuch, Climate Change Intensified South Carolina Floods, The Guardian, October 6th, 2015
3 - Andrew Restuccia, U.S. posts second hottest year on record, NOAA says, Politico, January 7, 2016
4 - Climate Truth press page
5 - Emily Atkin, Ted Cruz Challenged Science At His Climate Change Hearing. Science Won, Think Progress, December 10, 2015
6 - Denise Robbins & Andrew Seifter, Presidential Debate Moderators Obsess Over Political Horserace, Rarely Ask About Climate Change, Media Matters For America, January 11, 2016