The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,

Ithaca, N.Y., Joins Dozens of Cities Urging Climate Change Action

In Frankenstorm Sandy's Wake, City Backs Use of Clean Air Act Against Greenhouse Gas Pollution


In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Ithaca, N.Y., became the 41st city to officially urge use of the Clean Air Act to cut greenhouse gas pollution that is raising the risk of extreme weather events and worsening climate change. The Ithaca City Council passed a resolution Wednesday, joining cities such as Pittsburgh, Chicago and Detroit as part of the Center for Biological Diversity's national Clean Air Cities campaign.

"Hurricanes Irene and Sandy devastated our state, and the severity of these extreme weather events in our own backyard make it clear that we need to move fast to cut carbon emissions," said James Underberg, one of the Center's volunteer clean air advocates and founder of the Roosevelt Institute at Cornell University, which spearheaded the resolution's passage in Ithaca. "I'm proud to live in a city that recognizes both the urgency of the climate crisis and the solution that exists in the Clean Air Act, if we use it ambitiously and without delay."

Hurricane Sandy, dubbed the "Frankenstorm," has drawn renewed attention to extreme weather concerns. Global warming loads storms with more energy and more rainfall, scientists say; a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that Katrina-magnitude Atlantic hurricanes have been twice as likely in warm years as in cold years. Global ocean temperatures hit their second-highest level on record in September, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"As President Obama moves into his second term, he needs to follow the lead of the 40-plus cities that have passed Clean Air Cities resolutions and embrace the fierce urgency of fighting climate change and extreme weather," said Rose Braz, the Center's climate campaign director. "We know that global warming is making storms stronger. The threat will keep growing until we start taking effective action against greenhouse gas pollution. To avert a climate catastrophe, we need to make full use, as soon as possible, of the Clean Air Act."

The Center's Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Albany, N.Y.; Berkeley, Santa Monica, Culver City, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Keene, N.H.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Cambridge and Northampton, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa and Gulfport, Fl.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; and Detroit, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind., and Woodbridge, N.J. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center's Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

(520) 623-5252