Sandy’s real name

boat washed up on a street

Boat washed up on a street in South Norwalk, CT. Photo: That Hartford Guy.

The following letter from climate activist Bill McKibben was sent out today by 350.org. — Ed.

Dear friends,

We woke up this morning with a deep sense of sadness. Hurricane Sandy has brought serious hardship to many of the people we love and places we treasure. Large parts of the Northeast are underwater, millions are still without power, and tens of thousands have been evacuated from their homes. Last night the floodwaters were swirling around the bottom floor of our Brooklyn offices.

Right now, the most important thing we can do is come together as a community and support the relief efforts that are already underway. Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll also try and share more ways to get involved in relief efforts in your community. Please stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter account for updates as community based efforts come together.

But we’re not going to simply mourn our losses. The images coming out of the Atlantic seaboard, and from the refugee camps in Haiti, made us not just sad but angry. This was a literally unprecedented storm. It had lower barometric pressure, higher storm surge, and greater size than the region had ever seen before. It’s as out of kilter as the melting Arctic or the acidifying ocean. And if there was any poetic justice, it would be named Hurricane Chevron or Hurricane Exxon, not Hurricane Sandy.

These fossil fuel corporations are driving the climate crisis and spending millions to block solutions. Instead of buying climate silence, the fossil fuel industry should be funding climate relief.

We’ve set up a page where you can donate to relief efforts, as well as call on Big Oil, Coal and Gas to take the money they’re spending on political campaigning this election and put it toward disaster relief instead:

www.350.org/sandy

At the same time as we recover, we also have another important task to do: connecting the dots between Hurricane Sandy, climate change, and the fossil fuel industry that is helping cause this crisis.

Our web team set up a site where you can share photos and stories of Hurricane Sandy’s impact in your area — click here to see what’s already come in: connect.climatedots.org

The best photos are something like what we all put together during Climate Impacts Day in May: you, or a group of folks from your community, gathered near an example of Sandy’s impacts, with a big dot or a simple sign that explains what happened. Once you submit them, we’ll do everything we can to get the word out to our social networks and friends in the media. The sooner you can get us a photo the better. Click here to submit your photo and your story.

Sandy is what happens when the temperature goes up one degree. The scientists who predicted this kind of megastorm have issued another stark warning: if we stay on our current path, our children will live on a super-heated planet that’s four or five degrees warmer than it is right now. We can’t let that happen, so let’s get to work.

Many thanks,

Bill McKibben and the entire 350.org team

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