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Idea of the Day: To Prevent Hurricanes Like Sandy, We Need to Prevent Further Climate Change

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Hurricane Sandy’s devastating winds, rains, and ocean surges caused a huge swath of destruction in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States before dumping vast quantities of snow in the Midwest. Sandy is responsible for at least 74 fatalities, and preliminary estimates indicate that it could cause $20 billion in property damage with only one-quarter to one-half covered by insurance. It may be one of the costliest U.S. hurricanes ever.

Unfortunately, Sandy is only the latest in a line of recent extreme weather events that have severely afflicted Americans in the past two years. Other disasters include the most destructive wildfire in Colorado historyrecord-breaking temperatures across the nation, and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across the Midwest. Farmers in the Midwest are expecting to harvest just a fraction of their corn and other crops this year, leading to record federal crop insurance payments due to the worst drought in 50 years that plagued two-thirds of the nation. Vicious heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, and severe storms left hundreds of people dead and injured. These are the extreme weather events that scientists predict will become more frequent and/or severe if the industrial carbon pollution responsible for climate change remains unchecked.

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