Published August 21, 2007
Washington, DC (August 21) – "As so many grapple with Hurricane Dean's landfall in Mexico, our thoughts and prayers are with those in harm's way.
"The big picture is that global warming is putting hurricanes on steroids. Global warming is happening now. Our dependency on fossil fuels like oil and coal is causing the problem, and humans and wildlife are feeling the heat.
"Although no single weather event can be attributed to global warming, it's critical to understand that a warming climate is supplying the very conditions that fuel the strongest storms.
"Many American coastal communities may face more intense storms as the oceans continue to warm in the decades ahead. We can and must do better, to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.
"And, we must restore the wetlands that provide natural buffers to storms. For example, about half of the wetlands around New Orleans have been lost in recent years. Because scientists estimate that every three miles of healthy wetlands could trim about one foot off a storm surge, we must restore these wetlands.
"Scientists are also telling us that we must start reducing global warming pollution immediately to limit further warming. Only by acting now can we prevent catastrophic environmental and economic damage that our children will otherwise face. America can do this if we set our mind to it.
"America must choose between a fundamentally different planet or a fundamentally different energy future that breaks our oil addiction and aggressively opens the path to clean, safe alternative and renewable sources of fuel.
"To limit global warming, we must start now and put ourselves on track to reduce pollution by two percent each and every year, ultimately cutting pollution by 80 percent by mid-century. We can do that.
"We have a moral responsibility to do everything we can to reduce global warming pollution."
Statement by Amanda Staudt, Ph.D.
Global Warming Scientist, National Wildlife Federation President
On Hurricane Dean, Global Warming and Restoring America's Wetlands