Energy

‘Climate Change Is Here’: Environmentalists Fundraise Off Deadly Heat Wave

(Shutterstock/Tom Wang)

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

Environmentalists are fundraising off a deadly heat wave that hit the southeastern U.S. region last week, which activists of course say was caused by man-made global warming.

“Climate change is here and it’s putting our communities at risk,” reads a fundraising email from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) sent to supporters Wednesday.

Somehow, EDF claims donating to them will help “stop extreme weather,” according to their email. Donating to the environmental advocacy group, their email claims, will help ensure a “safer climate future.”

EDF supports policies to phase out fossil fuels and boost green energy. But even with no man-made CO2 emissions, there would still be extreme weather.

Ryan Maue, a meteorologist and Cato Institute scholar, said claims about stopping extreme weather, like heat waves, are “fraud.”

“The heatwave claimed the lives of five people, including a father and son on a hiking trip, an elderly man and woman, and a father of nine who collapsed after running a 5K in a park,” EDF wrote in their email asking for donations as part of a campaign to raise $250,000.

“P.S. Climate change is creating conditions that make events like these more frequent and more powerful. In 2016, the U.S. suffered 15 extreme weather events that caused 138 fatalities and $46.0 billion in damages,” reads the email.

Climate scientists predict droughts will become more frequent and severe as global temperatures rise, but so far, it’s not clear heat waves have gotten worse on a global scale. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says it’s “likely” heat waves have become more frequent in parts of Europe, Asia and Australia.

The IPCC also puts “medium confidence” that heat waves increased in the U.S. but notes the “1930s dominates longer term trends” — in other words, the “Dust Bowl” had way worse droughts than today.

Southwestern states were hit with a severe heat wave in mid-June and temperatures soared to record or near-record levels in some parts of the region.

The 119 degree Fahrenheit weather in Phoenix grounded dozens of flights, which some media outlets were quick to blame on man-made warming.

Heat waves can be dangerous, but they are nothing new. The severe heat hitting the southwest this month has happened in the past. Las Vegas, for example, saw nine consecutive days of 110 degree Fahrenheit weather. Had it seen one more, it would have tied the record set in 1961.

Phoenix’s 119 degree, plane-grounding weather was only the fourth-highest on record. At 116 degrees Fahrenheit, Tucson was one degree short of the all-time record high.

Still, it was really hot.

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