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Senator Whitehouse: 9 Reasons I Care About Climate Change – And You Should Too

As carbon pollution continues to drive global climate change and wreak havoc on our environment, the Obama Administration recently proposed limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. Here are 9 reasons why I care about climate change and why I support President Obama’s plan to address it.

1. Because I believe in science.

95 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that human actions are part of the cause.

No, really, 95%! For example, just in the peer-reviewed scientific articles:

Some people choose to believe the long shot. I’m not one of them.

2. Because I care about people’s health.

Higher temperatures → Ozone forms more quickly → Influences “bad air days” → Children with asthma and others with breathing difficulties have to stay indoors and miss school or work.

3. Because I’d rather see America’s coastal cities (especially Providence) stay above water.

Sea Level Rise Analysis by Climate Central / Via sealevel.climatecentral.org

Warmer air leads to warmer water and melting ice. As the seas warm, they expand, so sea levels rise; melting ice on land fills the oceans with more water. That’s bad news for the millions of families, homes, and businesses along the coasts.

4. Because oysters, crabs, and lobster are delicious.

Do you enjoy seafood? Me too. Unfortunately, our warming oceans have also absorbed hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide over the past 200 years, causing them to become 30 percent more acidic. What does that mean? I’ll spare you the science lesson (pH levels and saturation of calcium carbonate are involved), but suffice it to say that it’s hurting a lot of marine species that we like to eat.

5. Because extreme weather events will become more severe and more common. I don’t feel lucky enough to keep taking chances, do you?

We can’t connect any single storm to climate change, but scientists say that climate change “loads the dice” so extreme weather events are more frequent and more severe.

6. Because wildfires are getting wilder.

Climate change causes hotter, drier weather. Hotter, drier weather means less winter. Less winter means less snowpack and a longer wildfire season.

7. Because you’d probably miss wine and coffee.

Changes in weather patterns, like severe precipitation events in New England and record-breaking drought in other regions, and the general trend of warmer weather are changing the nature of what we can grow and where. Think about what that means for wine makers and coffee growers!

8. Because South Florida could be under water someday.

Rising Seas Swallow 8 Cities in These Climate Change GIFs / Via mashable.com

Seriously.

9. Because we can stop it.

In all seriousness, climate change is already affecting us, and it’s projected to get worse. Thankfully, we can do something about it. Man-made carbon emissions are a major contributor to climate change. Reducing carbon pollution can slow the rate at which climate change occurs and even start to reverse some of its effects.

I know sometimes it feels like Congress’s willingness to talk about climate change is kind of like this…

NBC Parks and Rec Exclusives / Via nbc.com

But the only way to change that is to let your lawmakers know that you want action on carbon pollution and climate change.

Tell them that you care about climate change and they should too. Tell the EPA that you support their proposed standard to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. And share this article with your friends and tell them it’s time to wake up!

Give your friends and lawmakers the chance to avoid this moment:

Parks and Recreation GIFS / Via parksandrecgifs.tumblr.com

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