New Report: Millennials Experiencing Record Heat

Media Contacts

Environment California Research & Policy Center

Los Angeles, CA – Young adults in California and across the country are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than their predecessors did in the 1970’s, according to a new report by Environment California Research & Policy Center.

“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California. “We’re are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.”

The report shows that in every state, young adults in the Millennial generation and Generation Z are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation, leading to drought, crop failure, wildfires and bigger extreme storms, according to the analysis, Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing Down to America’s Young.

“As parents, we want to protect our kids from the climate impacts, from droughts to wildfires to superstorms, already harming our communities—and getting worse by the year,” said Lisa Hoyos, director and co-founder of Climate Parents. “Parents and families are mobilizing to stop dirty energy and to expand ‘kid safe, climate safe’ clean energy instead.”

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.

“The injustice of climate change is something that has drastic impacts on all citizens and we Millennials will do what is right—stand up and fight for our communities and the environment,” said Camilla Getz, a sophomore at Occidental College in Los Angeles. “We demand that action is taken to address the problems created over generations of unsustainable consumption. Whereas many of these issues are not reversible, progress can be made in numerous areas such as investing in clean energy and green technology.  This is what we are working towards and it is a goal we can achieve with the right support.” 

To avoid increasing average temperature and the dangerous weather scientists predict will come with it, Environment California advocates dramatic cuts in carbon pollution, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires a 30 percent reduction in power plant emissions nationwide by 2030. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein’s continued support of that plan is critical, advocates said today. For over 30 years, California has led the nation and the world in showing that achieving these reductions is possible. As the world gets ready to go to Paris for the UN Climate Change negotiations this December, leaders should look at the work being done in California.

“Coming from a low income area, I see the harmful effects that climate change causes firsthand,” said Khalil Johnson, a sophomore at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. “It is paramount that Millennials take the reins of our nation’s environmental policy and steer it in the direction of green energy.”  

To protect our children and grandchildren, spur local clean energy development in our communities and prevent the worst impacts of global warming, California leaders should go above and beyond the minimum targets set by the Clean Power Plan. Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins have put forth aggressive targets to obtain 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources, decrease California’s use of petroleum in vehicles by 50 percent, and increase energy efficiency in buildings 50 percent, all by the year 2030.

“As an advocate and as a parent, I am counting on our leaders at the national and state levels to take urgent action to reduce the pollution that is driving global warming,” said Kinman. “If we do not act now, children born today will experience further dramatic and dangerous shifts in climate over their lifetimes.”