Portland, OR – Young adults in Oregon are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than their predecessors did in the 1970’s, according to a new report by Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center.
“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Charlie Fisher, clean energy advocate with Environment Oregon. “We’re are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.”
With more intense and frequent wildfires, the costs of fighting wildfires in the American West nearly quadrupled between 1985 and 2013, according to the analysis, Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing Down to America’s Young. Since Millennials began entering adulthood in 2000, the United States has spent in excess of $1 billion every year to fight fires.
Additionally, the report shows that temperatures have risen 1.1 degrees F in Oregon over the last five generations.
Researchers found similar increases in temperatures and extreme weather across the country. In every state, young adults are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation. The biggest rain and snowstorms produce 10 percent more rainfall in 2011 than they did in 1948.
According to the report, if the United States and the world continue to emit more carbon pollution, by the end of the century, when today’s children will be reaching retirement age, the temperature will have risen 5-10 °F.
To avoid increasing average temperature and the dangerous weather scientists predict will come with it, Environment Oregon advocates dramatic cuts in carbon pollution, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and state level policies to promote clean energy like wind and solar.
“We need state leaders to back dramatic cuts in pollution, starting with the Clean Power Plan, so that we don’t pass down a more dangerous climate to the next generation,” concluded Fisher.
Environment Oregon is a citizen-funded environmental advocacy organization representing 30,000 Oregonians. Our mission is to protect clean air, clean water, and open space. Our professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to win real results for Oregon’s environment. Environment Oregon draws on 30 years of success in tackling our state's top environmental problems.