A few weeks ago, in Southeast Michigan, a severe hailstorm hit out of nowhere. I stared out the window as the mini chunks of ice and rain hit the ground at an alarming rate. Because of the storm, the air felt much cooler than normal for this time of year. I couldn’t help but think about other alarming effects of climate change impacts happening around the world each day.
Despite those who deny climate change, we’re already paying the costs right here in Michigan. In cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and even here in Detroit, families are sharing their personal stories on how they are facing the difficulties of severe storms and outdated infrastructure.
The severity of this hailstorm in Michigan, caused trees to uproot, triggered tornado warnings and even knocked out power to more than 200,000 residents across the state.
Every day, climate change is affecting more than just our pocketbooks, as our quality of life and health are challenged. Recently, the White House released a new report that says the US could face billions of dollars in added economic costs if we continue to delay in curbing the greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. The report also states that each decade of delay will make it 40 percent more expensive to target our identified global climate target.
A handful of storms, like the one in Michigan, flood homes and destroy communities. According to the EPA, these storms will contribute to 40 percent of our region’s annual rainfall. If predictions come true, the Midwest’s heaviest downpours will more than double over the next hundred years. That means more intense flooding, more disaster-related costs, and more clean-up costs for families.
Everyday I see our environment changing right before my eyes. I envision a better future for the generations after me. I believe our children deserve a cleaner planet than the one we will leave behind. So unless we begin to clean it up now, we face an unstable future. The EPA’s Clean Power Plan leads us on a path to slow global warming by cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. This is done by placing new rules on carbon pollution from power plants. We need to support those limits now because hard-hitting hailstorms in August in Southeast Michigan are just the beginning of more severe weather.
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