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We must face the new climate reality.

Take a look:

[News Headline] New Study: Today's children will live through three times more climate disasters than their grandparents

In 2020 alone, we saw a record 22 climate-related disasters.

For example, this summer's heat dome in the Pacific Northwest brought temperatures up near 120°F, which destroyed trees and crops of all kinds and ruined nearly half of the region's raspberry and blackberry crops. That's not just agricultural products; it's a devastating loss of income for family farms across Oregon.

I got on the phone with affected producers to see how I could help – and I learned that they were being excluded from a critical Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) program that helps people recover from other kinds of disasters and weather events.

So we got to work to change that. And last month, we claimed victory: Congress has now set aside an extra $10 billion for disaster relief funds to cover crop losses specifically caused by extreme heat.

This is a big win. But we have a lot more work ahead of us to protect our lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change. Ultimately, our fight against this crisis demands that we are both proactive–enacting bold steps to reduce our carbon footprint and transition to clean energy sources–as well as reactive, by facing and planning for the more frequent climate disasters we are already experiencing.

I'm developing a legislative gameplan to make sure our country is prepared to move resources to recover from climate-driven tragedies efficiently and effectively. In the coming weeks, I'll fill you in on more details of that plan and let you know what you can do to help.



Posted on October 19, 2021.