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Anne Butterfield

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Be Heard on Keystone XL Pipeline Today

Posted: 08/01/2012 2:47 pm

It's beyond clear to us now that the world is warming in increasingly dangerous ways. Just two of many examples: just after the huge "derecho" storm pillaged a path from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic and the Colorado wildfires were at their destructive apex, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a study indicating the scientifically based view that extreme weather events can be attributed in great part to man made climate change.

So it should come as no surprise that now 70 percent of Americans have come to believe that the climate is warming, up 18 points from the winter of 2010.

Yet, oddly, the State Department's environmental review process of the Keystone XL pipeline, carrying bitumen products from one of the planet's greatest bastions of climate wrecking carbon, does not include a consideration of climate impacts. And 350.org has created a portal so you can comment on that, here, until July 30.

Americans have been feeling impacts from climate change right at home. Be it the threat to home and health of the unprecedentedly hot wildfires in Colorado, or the drought that has been parching 29 states of the nation, or the power outages and damage to homes from Illinois to Washington, D.C., due to the monster "derecho" thunder storm in early summer, or the health impacts of trying to sleep in air that stays unrelentingly hot across the Midwest. Add to that your air conditioning bill has probably been showing a powerful cost of climate change, and very soon your food bill will be showing the effect, not to mention railways, utilities and tarmacs have been needing repair and adjustments due to special heat impacts.

So please tell your thoughts about climate change to the State Department here with a reminder that if the Keystone tar sands oil products are used as intended, it would be "game over" for the climate according to Dr. James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Here are more grim facts about soaring temperatures that the State Department needs to consider:

* 2012 is the hottest year ever recorded since 1895 according to NOAA.
* Satellite images show that ice melt across Greenland shot up from 40 percent on July 8 to 97 percent four days later.
* The earth is warming faster than previous climate models had predicted.
* "During June [2012], there were at least 3,282 daily record high temperatures broken or tied, and at least 1,955 records for warmest overnight low temperature."
* "Through July 18, there have been 3,369 record daily highs broken or tied, and 2,456 record warm overnight low temperature records set or tied."
* "In a long-term trend that demonstrates the effects of a warming climate, daily record-high temperatures have recently been outpacing daily record lows by an average of 2-to-1... According to a 2009 study, if the climate were not warming, this ratio would be expected to be even."

Please take a moment to assert the importance of climate change in the State Department's environmental review process.

 
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