Write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor

Hurricane Harvey and other extreme weather events around the globe are made worse by climate change.

We urge you to keep sending letters to your local media explaining how hurricanes like Harvey (and now Irma) are not isolated incidents and are directly connected to climate change. Send a letter to the editor or an op-ed to help connect the dots between Harvey, climate change, and the critical need for climate action.

The path of destruction that Hurricane Harvey left last week will take years and billions of dollars to recover from. Over six million people are affected by the severe flooding, have damaged homes, or live in communities where toxic fumes from damaged refineries and factories make it dangerous to inhale.

Yet the public remains largely unaware of the health risks and impacts of climate change. This storm is a warning for us all, and an opportunity to have a public discussion about the root causes of these escalating weather events and their complex impacts on vulnerable communities.

A letter to the editor (150-200 words) is a simple way for you to take action and spark a critical public discussion.  Op-eds (600-800 words) are not much harder and get more attention.  If possible, to refer to a personal or local angle; the appeal for the local paper will be greater.  If you would like our help getting in touch with media outlets or help with writing your letter, please feel free to contact us with your op-ed or letter outline at info@ms2ch.org

TALKING POINTS:

Climate Change and Hurricane Harvey:

  • Hurricane Harvey is still ravaging Texas and Louisiana, and communities need our help – both with recovery and to prevent this devastation from happening again. Climate change is making extreme weather like hurricanes more frequent and more severe, and we must stop the fossil fuel industry’s expansion and cut carbon pollution to keep it from getting worse.
  • Climate change is causing sea-level rise, which worsens storm surges. Increased air temperatures lead to greater rainfall.  Higher water temperatures boost the energy contained in storms and make storms more severe. The Gulf of Mexico is currently up to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average, which allowed Harvey to jump to a Category 4 hurricane very quickly just hours before making landfall – an unprecedented event in decades of record keeping.
  • The flooding is expected to get worse, more people are in need of shelter and services, damaged oil refineries are spewing toxic fumes into communities, and public health is at risk.

SAMPLE Op-Ed by a physician


Full Climate Change Communications Guide for Health Professionals