Thursday September 7, 2017
Statement by Stand.earth on Hurricane Irma.
Our hearts go out to all of those who have lost loved ones, to the families reeling from these events, to those whose homes, businesses and communities were destroyed by Hurricane Irma.
Irma - one of the strongest storms ever measured in the Atlantic - made landfall in the Caribbean on September 6th, just a week after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and surrounding areas. At the same time, a third hurricane, Jose, is now a category 3 and could hit communities already devastated by Irma a second time.
At the same time, there are a record numbers of fires burning in the Pacific Northwest and western US and Canada. For the first time in living memory the sun has been blotted out for days by the smoke and ash is coating Seattle, Vancouver and other cities on the West Coast. A million acres has burned in Montana alone. Climate change is here now and these horrific events are likely to keep increasing in severity and frequency.
The burden of climate change is and will continue to fall most heavily on lower income people, people of color and Indigenous communities. These communities, as we saw over the last decade and a half in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, are hit first and suffer the worst.
Climate change is not a future concern. It is here today, and it is not a mystery where it came from. Just 90 large companies are responsible for two-thirds of human-caused carbon emissions. These corporations need to be held accountable, as do governments that are failing to take decisive action to slow future climate-related disasters and protect the most vulnerable.
In the wake of this tragedy, we're even more determined than ever to fight for accountability, climate action and justice for impacted communities.
Todd Paglia, Executive Director, and the whole Stand.earth team