Norfolk, VA – Young adults in Virginia are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than their predecessors did in the 1970’s, according to a new report by Environment Virginia Research & Policy Center.
“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Sarah Bucci, campaign director with Environment Virginia. “We’re are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.”
More frequent and severe rainstorms have led to the ten percent increase in precipitation Virginians have experienced over the last 40 years, according to the analysis, Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing Down to America’s Young.
“As parents, we want our children to grow up in a world better than ours, but they’re already growing up in a world more dangerous. We need action now to protect our kids’ future,” said Alden Cleanthes, a Supermom with Moms Clean Air Force from Chesapeake.
“As a Norfolk resident for 35 years, living in Lafayette-Winona, downtown and Ghent, I've seen first-hand the devastating impact that rising seas have on our communities. Its only gotten worse in recent years and is a wake-up call that we take action to reduce carbon emissions,” said John Deuel, an independent sustainability contractor and conservation chair with the Chesapeake Bay Group of the Sierra Club.
Researchers found similar increases in temperatures and extreme weather across the country. In every state, young adults today are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation. The biggest rain and snowstorms produce 10 percent more rainfall in 2011 than they did in 1948.
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 increasing average temperature and the dangerous weather scientists predict will come with it, Environment Virginia advocates dramatic cuts in carbon pollution, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires a 36% reduction in Virginia's power plant emissions by 2030. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine's support of that plan is critical, advocates said today. Additionally, Governor McAuliffe is tasked to develop a strong state plan that maximizes the potential to unleash clean energy jobs in Virginia.
“We need our leaders, like Governor McAuliffe and Senators Kaine and Warner, to back dramatic cuts in pollution, starting with the Clean Power Plan, so that we don’t pass down a more dangerous climate to the next generation,” concluded Bucci.