For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Dani Heffernan, dani@350action.org, +1 (305) 992-1544

350 Action on Hurricane Florence: “We Must Vote Climate Denial Out of Public Office”

San Francisco, CA - As elected officials from around the world convene for a global summit on climate action in San Francisco, communities on the east coast of the United States are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Florence. The changing climate, from warmer air and oceans to sea level rise, creates perfect conditions for hurricanes like Florence to become bigger, unleash more rainfall, and be more destructive. Florence is shaping up to be the largest hurricane to hit the coast north of Florida in recorded history, and could impact people from Virginia all the way south to Georgia.

The storm is expected to make landfall in North Carolina -- where legislators have spent the last several years disregarding findings from climate scientists indicating the state’s vulnerability to sea-level rise, storm surge, and other deadly impacts of climate change. Florence is likely to hit eastern shores as a destructive category 4 or 5 hurricane and has already forced at least 1.5 million people to evacuate. It is expected that the hurricane will bring a life-threatening storm surge and more than 3 feet of rainfall in North and South Carolina. Some of the same industries contributing to climate change now may pose major risks to health and the environment in the storm’s wake: the influx of water threatens long-term damage from overflowing coal ash pits and hog waste lagoons across the region.

Florence is one of several severe storms currently brewing in the tropics. As the hurricane barrels in, it was reported today that the Trump Administration transferred over $10 million dollars away from disaster response and towards the deportation of immigrants through ICE.

“The danger of worsening storms like Hurricane Florence is why we must vote climate denial out of public office,” said 350 Action Executive Director May Boeve. “Our warming planet is creating the conditions for ever more destructive storms, and there’s no question that Big Oil is to blame. The hardest hit by these disasters are always those who’ve done the least to contribute to this crisis -- low income people and people of color end up paying with their lives and well-being while corporations benefit. Yet the Trump administration, instead of preparing for disaster recovery, is diverting federal emergency funds toward its ongoing brutality against immigrants and communities of color. A preposterous and blatant attack on the most vulnerable of communities.

“It’s appalling enough that fossil fuel executives spout lies about our climate while putting profits before our safety, but elected officials must do better. We can’t stop hurricanes from happening, but we can elect candidates who will stand up to the industry driving us deeper into climate crisis and its devastating impacts. We need leaders who are willing to stand up to fossil fuel cronies, phase out oil and gas extraction, and move us toward a just transition for a 100% renewable energy economy centering racial and economic justice. This is the only necessary and viable plan to protect our communities in the long run.”

350 Action is empowering voters across the country to make a direct impact in the most important climate races in the nation. The organization has endorsed progressive candidates who support a moratorium on new fossil fuel extraction, will work to transition from oil & gas to a 100% renewable energy economy, and are refusing to take money from Big Oil. 350 Action is also launching a massive climate voter pledge, mobilizing voters to help replace climate deniers with progressive champions for real climate action. See candidates' responses to 350 Action’s questionnaires here.

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350 Action is the independent political action arm of the non-profit, non-partisan climate justice group 350.org.

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