Ohio has suffered four disaster declarations since 2011, including a "derecho" wind storm in the summer of 2012 that was the state's third-most expensive natural disaster in 38 years. The storm killed 13 people, left a more than 700-mile-wide band of damage, and cut power to millions.
"Ohioans are seeing climate disruption happen before their eyes with these devastating extreme weather events," said Rashay Layman of the Ohio Sierra Club.
As the dirty fuels industry continues to dump carbon pollution into our air, climate disruption is going to continue -- and we can expect more disasters like the derecho, the wildfires out west, and the drought facing many states.
That's why the Sierra Club applauds last week's announcement of carbon pollution safeguards from the Environmental Protection Agency. We're holding climate action events nationwide to raise awareness and show the huge outpouring of support for these historic protections.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Sierra Club joined a coalition of groups to hold a climate disruption roundtable with local health and emergency-preparedness experts. They discussed the new carbon-pollution safeguards as well as the threats that climate disruption poses to the Buckeye State.
"Climate change presents unmistakable challenges to our residents. Collaboration is critical as we work together to develop policies and programs and put systems in place to protect the health and improve the lives of our residents," said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Teresa Long at the roundtable.
Sierra Club Michigan held a similar roundtable in Ann Arbor earlier this week. "The audience was a great mix of University of Michigan students, staff, and local residents," said Sierra Club Michigan Organizer Brad van Guilder. "They were all eager to see the coordinated climate action plans of the city of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan bolstered by President Obama's climate action with a strong and equitable carbon rule for new and existing sources as its centerpiece."
I'm excited to see thousands of Americans speak up nationwide at events like the roundtable in Ohio. Just yesterday, the Sierra Club (with the help of some exiled polar bears) delivered more than 500,000 comments to the White House calling for no oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. In New Jersey, activists will gather in Liberty State Park to reflect on the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy. Out in Colorado, Boulder residents will rally in the wake of severe flooding to call for climate solutions.
We know our planet faces a serious problem, and we want solutions. We cannot continue to power our homes and businesses with dirty fuels that speed climate disruption. On Thursday, the U.S. State Department released its 2014 Climate Action Report, and today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest climate science report. The findings show the urgent need to take significant steps to stop climate disruption.
Join us in supporting the EPA's carbon pollution safeguards. Everyone's voice is critical, especially those on the front lines who are seeing the effects of climate disruption firsthand.
My colleague Rashay said it best: "We need community leaders on the front lines of the fight against climate change."