Rescued Flood Victims, Iowa
“Climate change is no longer just a future concern, we are experiencing it now.”
Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan professor and National Climate Assessment co-author, began EESI’s recent briefing on how climate change is affecting the Midwest with this powerful statement.
You helped make that happen, with your gift to EESI. Bierbaum explained that heavy precipitation events are becoming more frequent and flood damage is increasing by as much as 18 percent per decade in the Midwest.
The message was clear: climate change is happening, and you are helping to advance Congressional and public understanding about what can be done about it--thanks to your gift through Global Giving.
This briefing was part of a series of briefings that you have supported. It’s clear that we need to educate Congress on how the nation can prepare itself for climate change and become more resilient.
You’ve been helping EESI gather experts with practical, on-the-ground experience in preparedness and resilience for its numerous Congressional briefings. They made it clear that climate impacts are apparent in health, water, agriculture, and energy. Many options exist to curb climate change and advance clean energy. That’s why it is important to share solutions.
At the briefing on Midwest climate impacts, James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana, and member of the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, presented. He explained how he focuses on making Carmel’s neighborhoods more walkable, cutting down on the need to use a car.
By replacing traditional intersections with over 80 roundabouts, the city reduced injury accidents by 78 percent. Residents now annually burn an estimated 24,000 gallons less of gas per roundabout. This solution is not only safer and more cost-effective, but it is fuel efficient!
Another speaker at the briefing on the Midwest, Larry Falkin, Director of the Office of Environment and Sustainability for the City of Cincinnati, shared how it is possible for his city to save money, reduce greenhouse gasses, create jobs, and improve public health.
The key is to be prepared and more resilient—which you are helping us do! As Larry Falkin said, “The future won’t look like the past. If we plan for the future by looking at the past, we won’t be ready.” The Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience comprises mayors from across the country and includes both political parties. We can take action. A myriad of efforts are already being made in communities on a nonpartisan level--they must be encouraged and amplified. You can help make their voices heard!
With your support, we know that together, we are having an impact. We are regularly asked to do much more. For example, Dr. Karen Wayland, Deputy Director for State and Local Cooperation at the Department of Energy said during one of EESI’s briefing: “EESI, over my many years of Washington work on energy policy, has really been one of the amazing organizations to bring current issues right to the Hill and to the public. You always set up these great discussions that really touch on current issues of the day.” Thank you again.
Rosina Bierbaum, University of Michigan Professor
Roudabout in Carmel, Indiana
Carmel, Indiana, now more walkable
Flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Karen Wayland, Department of Energy