For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

What They Are Saying: Record Number Of Storms, The Climate Crisis, And Hurricane Delta

WASHINGTON - As the Atlantic ocean saw its 25th named storm of the year, the second-highest since 2005, Hurricane Delta made landfall this weekend on the Gulf Coast. This marked the 10th tropical storm or hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland this year, and it was the sixth major storm that had Louisiana in its path.

Americans continue to feel the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis, and they are demanding bold action from the presidential candidates to address climate change. Still, President Trump continues to deny the effects of climate change while Joe Biden promises to “take urgent action to tackle the undeniable, accelerating cost of climate change.”
 
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:

  • Vice President Joe Biden: “When it made landfall last night, Hurricane Delta became the tenth named storm to strike the continental United States in 2020 — the largest number in a single year since we began keeping records. The rise in the water temperature of the Gulf of Mexico has caused destructive storms’ intensity to dramatically accelerate as they get closer to our shores. As with the unprecedented sweep of fires along our Pacific Coast and the scourge of floods and droughts afflicting the Midwest, these horrors are not a matter of coincidence. The wrath of climate change is here, now, in America.” [JoeBiden.com, 10/8/2020]
  • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards: “This was a very serious and a very large storm that produced significant amounts of damage. We already know that there will be damage in southwest Louisiana that will be very difficult to differentiate between what was caused by Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta… About 680,000 people in the state were left without power, more than were affected by Hurricane Laura.” [Bloomberg, 10/10/2020]
  • Pete Buttigieg: “Science can develop a vaccine, but we have to have enough trust in the process to get it. And by the way, I’d be the first in line to get a safe and effective vaccine for covid-19. And what is true for the pandemic is also true for things like climate change and even just coming together to invest in better infrastructure and education and health and the things that we'll need as a country.” [MSNBC, AM Joy, 10/11/2020]
  • Frm. Vice President Al Gore: “It gives us obvious evidence that when the leading scientists, in this case, virologists and epidemiologists, start warning of impending danger, we best listen to them and prepare. In the same way, climate scientists have been warning, and in even more dire terms about the danger we are facing with the climate crisis.” [CNN, Fareed Zakaria GPD, 10/11/2020] 
  • Dan Rather: “Make no mistake, I think climate change is a very important component of that because climate change ties into unemployment, our national security, how we deal with future pandemics, and is on the ballot this time. So one of the things that unites us at the moment is the determination to defeat the coronavirus, and to do so by maintaining the leadership in science despite the effort of national leadership to be anti-science.” [CNN, Reliable Sources, 10/11/2020]
  • Tom Steyer: “The Biden campaign and Joe Biden personally have a very strong climate plan. It directly addresses our climate crisis, and in doing so, it creates $4 trillion of federal spending -- excuse me -- $2 trillion over four years that will create the millions of good-paying union jobs that senator Harris was referring to. It also specifically addresses environmental justice: Cleaning up the air pollution, water pollution toxins in underserved black and brown communities. This plan is aggressive. It is necessary.” 

EXPERTS AGREE: 

  • Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University, Michael Mann: “We've had so many storms that we've exhausted the alphabet and were onto Greek letters. So, there is a clear increase in the number of these storms. We know that's caused by climate change, but we also know that the intensity of these storms’ intensity is growing because of climate change; that’s the real issue, the flooding. You have warmer oceans and more moisture in the atmosphere. So you get more flooding rains and you get compound flooding where you've got the storm surge because of those strong winds.” [MSNBC, 10/9/2020]
  • Meteorologist Michelle Grossman: “You have to look at the fact that science is inherently based in fact, so we have some facts that we can give you. 2020 will be the hottest year on record for our planet. The last five years will be the hottest on record for our planet. We have sea waters that are at record levels. We have the West with dramatic and damaging and destructive wildfires because of a record drought and record warmth. You put that together and you're going to see destruction and that's what we're seeing with this [hurricane].” [MSNBC,The Week with Joshua Johnson, 10/11/2020] 
  • NOAA Climatologist Adam Smith: “This is the sixth year in a row we’ve had 10 or more separate billion-dollar disasters. Extremes have always happened, but climate change is making some of these extremes certainly more frequent and more intense.” [Yahoo Finance, 10/8/2020]
  • NOAA Climate and Hurricane Scientist Jim Kossin: “We’ve certainly been seeing a lot of that in the last few years, It’s more likely that a storm will rapidly intensify now than it did in the 1980s ... A lot of that has to do with human-caused climate change.” [AP, 10/8/2020] 
  • MIT hurricane scientist Kerry Emanuel: “This is not only happening more often; it is more dangerous. If you go to bed and there’s a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and you wake up the next morning with a Category 4 about to make landfall, there’s no time to evacuate. It’s a very worrying trend.” [AP, 10/8/2020]

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ADDITIONAL REPORTING:

Bloomberg News : Delta Caused Major Damage; Thousands Without Power: Storm Update
 
“It’s the record 10th tropical storm or hurricane to hit the nation this year, the latest in a string of natural disasters in the U.S. as climate change fuels extreme weather more frequently. In California, wildfires have burned an unprecedented 4 million acres (1.62 million hectares). Democratic nominee Joe Biden said he’d take “urgent action” to tackle the cost of climate change if he becomes president…The Atlantic, meanwhile, has spawned 25 storms this year, the second most after 2005. So many have formed that the hurricane center used up all the names on its official list in September, and has resorted to the Greek alphabet to designate new storms.”
 
New York Times: In the Path of Six Major Storms Since June, Louisiana Braces for Delta
 
“Louisiana has been in the path of six major storms since June, and along with the wildfires in the West, they have brought fresh attention to the effects of climate change, which has likely contributed to the intensity of the storms and the persistence and size of the fires.
 
“On Thursday, Suzana J. Camargo, a research professor in the division of ocean and climate physics at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said that judging hurricane seasons by the mere number of storms misses the point. Besides the fact that the actual number of storms could not be precisely tallied before the satellite era, “just talking about numbers is a little naïve,” she said, because of the issues of storm intensity, rainfall and surge.”
 
Fortune: The next President must tackle the intertwined crises of racial injustice and climate change
 
“This election season climate change and environmental justice have become a flashpoint of debate, as storms and wildfires have raged across the country leaving orange skies and destroyed communities in their wake. While Donald Trump continues to waffle on whether he believes the science of the climate crisis, Joe Biden’s climate policy proposals include a commitment to pollution monitoring and investments in frontline communities. He has come out in support of ending fossil fuel subsidies, yet he also has stated his opposition to a ban on fracking.”
 
New York Times: Hurricane Delta Brings Floods and Destruction to an Already Battered Louisiana
 
“Delta, the 10th named storm to make landfall in the United States this year, arrived in the final weeks of an Atlantic hurricane season so busy that forecasters ran through an alphabet of names and moved on to calling storms by Greek letters. It had been 15 years since a season, which runs from June to November, has been this active.”

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Climate Power 2020 is putting the Trump administration on defense every single day for ignoring experts, refusing to believe in science, surrendering our government to big oil executives, and gutting public health protections, all at the expense of future generations. The 2020 presidential election is the defining moment for how our nation addresses the climate crisis—our leaders must be emboldened to take immediate action on climate change and to build a just and equitable economy. The time to act is now. Learn more: climatepower2020.org

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