Report: Millennials experiencing record heat, danger to public safety

Environment Colorado Research and Policy Center

DENVER, CO – Young adults in Colorado are experiencing hotter temperatures and more intense storms than their predecessors did in the 1970’s, according to a new report by Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center.

“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Anna McDevitt, campaign organizer with Environment Colorado. “We’re are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.”

Average temperatures in Colorado have risen 1.9 degrees over the last five generations according to the analysis, Dangerous Inheritance: The Hotter, More Extreme Climate We’re Passing Down to America’s Young, leading to extreme weather events such as drought, severe wildfires, and floods.

“As parents, we want our children to grow up in a world better than ours, but they’re already growing up in a world more dangerous,” said Joy Sousa, a concerned mother representing Climate Parents. “The historic flooding we experienced in Colorado last year is just one example. We need action now to protect our kids’ future.”

Researchers found similar increases in temperatures and extreme weather across the country. In every state, young adults are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation. The biggest rain and snowstorms produce 10 percent more rainfall in 2011 than they did in 1948.

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.

“In Colorado, one of the most important and likely impacts of climate change and temperature rise involves changes in the magnitude and seasonal timing of water availability,” said Mark Eiswerth, Professor of Economics at the University of Northern Colorado. “Uncertainties surrounding water availability have major implications for the economy and public health and wellbeing, making climate change an important issue to address for the sake of current and future generations.”

To avoid increasing average temperature and the dangerous weather scientists predict will come with it, Environment Colorado advocates dramatic cuts in carbon pollution, starting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which requires a 30% reduction in power plant emissions by 2030. Senator Bennet’s continued support of that plan is critical, advocates said today.

“Climate change is quickly becoming my generation’s largest struggle as droughts and floods place people in danger,” said P.D. Gantert, student member of Fossil Free CU at the University of Colorado-Boulder. “Now is the time to act on our values and visions to build the future we want to live in. And supporting efforts to cut carbon and boost renewable energy is an important step toward that future.”

“We need leaders like Senator Bennet to continue to champion dramatic cuts in pollution, starting with the Clean Power Plan, so that we don’t pass down a more dangerous climate to the next generation,” concluded McDevitt.



Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center is a statewide advocacy organization bringing people together for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.