Catastrophic Climate: Storms Kill 292 In States Represented By Climate Pollution Deniers

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"Catastrophic Climate: Storms Kill 292 In States Represented By Climate Pollution Deniers"


The Associated Press and the Agence France Presse are tallying reports of deaths from the most devastating storm system in the United States in decades:

Tornadoes and thunderstorms carved a trail of destruction across the southern United States, killing over 220 people in one of the country’s worst weather disasters in years, officials said Thursday. The severe weather killed 131 people in the state of Alabama alone on Wednesday, authorities said, and President Barack Obama said Washington would be rushing assistance to the battered southeastern state. States of emergency were declared in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma, and governors called out the National Guard to help with rescue and cleanup operations. In all, state officials reported at least 227 people dead, but as the residents and emergency workers began to mop up and assess the damage the toll was likely to rise.

Damage from the storms in Alabama “surpassed what was seen after hurricanes Dennis or Frederick and could exceed what the area saw after hurricanes Katrina or Ivan.”

The Congressional delegations of these states overwhelmingly voted (HR 910 and McConnell Amendment 183) to reject the science that polluting the climate is dangerous:

ALABAMA: All nine members of the Alabama congressional delegation voted in April to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding for greenhouse pollution.

MISSISSIPPI: Five out of six members of the Mississippi congressional delegation, including both senators, voted in April to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding for greenhouse pollution.

TENNESSEE: Nine out of 11 members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, including both senators, voted in April to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding for greenhouse pollution.

GEORGIA: 13 out of 15 members of the Georgia congressional delegation, including both senators, voted in April to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding for greenhouse pollution.

KENTUCKY: Six out of eight members of the Kentucky congressional delegation, including both senators, voted in April to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding for greenhouse pollution.

VIRGINIA: Eight out of 13 members of the Virginia congressional delegation voted in April to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding for greenhouse pollution. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) voted to suspend greenhouse pollution rules for two years.

“Given that global warming is unequivocal,” climate scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the American Meteorological Society in January of this year, “the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming.’”

The GOP-controlled Congress eliminated $1 billion in funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in its continuing resolution budget, “delaying the launch of the first satellite in the $12 billion Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) from 2016 to 2018.” Without the satellite data, NOAA’s forecasts for the southern United States lose as much as 50 percent of their accuracy.

To find out if loved ones are okay, use safeandwell.org.

Update

CNN reports:

The death toll from severe weather in Alabama has reached 162, Alabama Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Yasamie August said Thursday. The overall death toll is as many as 247 people in six states.


Update

,@weatherchannel:

Death toll has now reached 249. AL-162, TN-33, GA-14, MS-32, VA-8. This is the 3rd deadliest outbreak post 1930s.


Update

,@weatherchannel:

Death toll continues to rise. Now stands at 267. Alabama accounts for 180 of these. #severe


Update

,ABC World News:

The death toll has now risen to 292 from the tornadoes and thunderstorms that tore through the South Wednesday night and early today. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, estimated there were 173 tornadoes Wednesday, a new record for a single storm system in modern times. The twisters rampaged through cities like Tuscaloosa, Alabama, forced a pair of nuclear plants to go off line, left thousands homeless and more than a million people without power.


Update

,In an email interview with ThinkProgress, Dr. Kevin Trenberth, one of the world’s top climate scientists, who has been exploring for years how greenhouse pollution influences extreme weather, said he believes that it is “irresponsible not to mention climate change” in the context of these extreme tornadoes.

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