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Sierra Club
Why We are Partnering with

I write this from India while I am spending the day hearing about, and trying to feel, what “extreme” weather really does, and what global warming will really mean.

My heart goes out to the victims of Katrina and their families. In a
prelude to what will happen more and more often as we destabilize the climate, 80% of New Orleans, in two days, was covered in water. I cannot even fathom what it would have been like to experience, having your home, your possessions – your city – disappear. For many people, it was, literally, the end of their world. Whole neighborhoods were washed away as if on a river bank. We still don’t know exactly how many people are missing, hurt, or dead.

As the planet warms, the World Metrological Organization says, we can expect more violent and extreme weather, like Hurricane Katrina. We know that global warming is occurring, and that humans are playing a major role by releasing pollution that creates a heat trapping blanket around the globe. The cynics in the oil industry and the reactionaries in the Bush Administration and Congress tell us, “it would be better to let this happen and then adjust to the new climate.” Well precisely how do you adjust to losing a city in just two days?

The answer to curbing global warming is simple – reduce our use of oil that, when burned, emits global warming pollution. Making our cars, SUVs and other light trucks average 40 miles per gallon would save more oil than we currently import from the Persian Gulf or could ever get from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – combined. Taking this step would significantly cut America’s oil dependence, and go a long way to curbing the heat-trapping pollution that causes global warming. Would having cars and trucks that accelerated a little less fast, and go farther, really be a price too high to pay to avoid such disasters?

This is why Sierra Club is marching to stop global warming.

Carl Pope
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