Friday, May 4, 2012

The World “Connects the Dots” Between Extreme Weather & Climate Change

Powerful photos and videos are already streaming in from across the globe for “Climate Impacts Day. People from at over 1,000 events in more than 100 countries are “connecting the dots” between climate change and extreme weather. The events are part of a global effort called “Climate Impacts Day” organized by the international climate campaign The events are powerful evidence of how the string of weather disasters over the last year is increasing public concern about global warming. Photos and videos that have already come in include:

  •   In New Mexico, firefighters standing in the remains of the Santa Fe Forest, which was burned last summer during the state’s worst wildfire in history.
  • In Pakistan, a group of women holding dots in front of the makeshift shelter that became their home after the devastating floods in 2010 that displaced over 20 million people.
  • In Lebanon, over 1,000 students making their dots the wheels of a giant bicycle to protest air pollution and request more bike-lanes to combat the problem.
  • In Vermont, citizens unfurling a “dot” banner at the site of a covered bridge that was swept away in the devastating flooding brought on by Hurricane Irene last August.
  • Over the next 24 hours, climbers will unveil giant dots on melting glaciers, divers will carry dots underwater to bleached coral reefs, and more hi-res photos and videos will stream into the website that is serving as a virtual hub for Climate Impacts Day.
“We just celebrated Earth Day. May 5 is more like Broken Earth Day, a worldwide witness to the destruction global warming is already causing,” said Bill McKibben, the founder of, the global climate campaign that is coordinating the events. “People everywhere are saying the same thing: our tragedy is not some isolated trauma, it’s part of a pattern.” Seven in ten Americans now believe that “global warming is affecting the weather,” according to a recent poll conducted by Yale University.

Over 80% of Americans have personally experienced an extreme weather or natural disaster in the last year. “Most people in the country are looking at everything that’s happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another,” Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University, one of the researchers who commissioned the new poll, told the New York Times. “People are starting to connect the dots.”

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