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Idea of the Day: Climate Destruction Hurts Middle- and Lower-Income Americans

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The devastating and tragic Hurricane Sandy and its connected storms caused a huge swath of destruction in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States on October 29, before then dumping vast quantities of snow in the Midwest. The storm is responsible for at least 110 fatalities in the United States and preliminary estimates indicate that it caused $30 billion in damages, with only one-quarter to one-half covered by insurance. It may be one of the costliest U.S. hurricanes in history.

Unfortunately, Sandy is only the latest in a line of extreme weather events that severely afflicted Americans over the past two years. This includes destructive wildfires in Colorado, record-breaking temperatures across the nation, and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across the Midwest. Farmers in the Great Plains are expecting to harvest just a fraction of their corn and other crops this year as the worst drought in 50 years plagues nearly two-thirds of the nation. Vicious heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, and severe storms left more than 1,000 people dead. 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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