At times I’m afraid all the fancy schmancy guest speakers we have are wasted on me…. President of the Institute of Global Environment and Society Jagadish Shukla….President of Green Strategies Roger Ballentine…. Director of the District Department of the Environment Christophe A.G. Tulou… and then there was Kathy Jacobs, assistant director of climate adaptation and assessment for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (yes, you heard me….the WHITE HOUSE).
These are the rock stars of sustainability and not only did I have the chance to get their autographs, but I also had the chance to participate in discussions with them. While they are all remarkable people, the thing that resonated with me the most was something Kathy Jacobs said, “This has been the most extreme weather year so far.”
After hearing this statistic I was dazzled—What a great fact to focus on for the Dazzle Me a Statistic piece! After doing some research I came across an article online from The Christian Post. The headline reads “Record Year for Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters”….not exactly a record I would want to break.
According to the article, there have been 10 separate natural disasters with economic losses of $1 billion or more, the most since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration began tracking the cost of weather disasters in 1980. In total, there have already been over $40 billion of losses this year…and the year isn’t even ¾ of the way over yet!
While the trial for the culprit continues, global warmer is a top suspect. Jeff Masters, co-founder and director of meteorology for Weather Underground, explains that, “warmer atmosphere has more energy to power storms.”
So what’s the big deal? Hurricanes like Irene only happen every once in a while, right?
According to Masters, “Years like 2011 may become the new normal in the United Sates in coming decades.” yikes.
-By: Natalie Kornicks