Sep 14, 2018

What We Do and Don’t Know About Florence

----- Forwarded message ----
From: RL Miller <>
Date: Fri, Sep 14, 2018, 9:13 AM
Subject: What We Do and Don't Know About Florence

Climate Hawks Vote

Hurricane Florence has made landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina. The storm looks like it will stay hovering off the coast of North Carolina, or possibly veer southward along the South Carolina coast, before dissipating. It'll take a few days for the waters to subside enough to assess damage. In the meantime, here are some things that we do and don't know about this hurricane:
  1. We do know that fossil-fueled pollution has made it worse. In the first instance of pre-attribution, scientists have determined that climate change has magnified Florence. Rainfall will be 50 percent greater than without climate change, and the diameter of the storm will be 80 km (about 50 miles) larger than otherwise.
  2. We don't know how bad the cleanup will get. The Carolinas are home to thousands of hog farms. Coal ash isn't well regulated. The area has hundreds of Superfund sites. We won't know until the floodwaters subside just how toxic the waters got.
  3. We do know that while American media is fixated on Florence, on the other side of the world, Typhoon Mangkhut has wreaked havoc on the island of Guam and the breadbasket of the Philippine Islands, Luzon. This part of the Pacific is no stranger to big typhoons but Mangkhut is particularly intense.
  4. We don't know how many more storms the Gulf and Atlantic will face. Already brewing in the Atlantic, with unknown paths, are Isaac, Helene, and Joyce. (Gordon dissipated before causing much damage.)
  5. We do know — we're absolutely sure — that we're going to keep fighting against the fossil fuel billionaires whose casual byproducts create storms on steroids. Now is the time for courage. Next week, after the floodwaters recede and damage is assessed, we'll work with you and frontline groups in the Carolinas to steer donations where most needed.
Your fellow climate hawk,

RL Miller
"Here's How Climate Change Put Florence on Steroids," Buzzfeed
"Super Typhoon Mangkhut Is the Strongest Storm on Earth This Year," Earther
"The Atlantic Ocean is Packed With Storms. What's Going On?" Mashable
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