CHICAGO REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI URGES FEMA TO ACCOUNT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE WHILE PROJECTING FLOOD AND DISASTER RISK
CHICAGO (Diya TV) — Indian-American Congress member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) is urging FEMA to issue a report on steps the agency is doing to help communities address the increasing likelihood of climate change impact on severe weather, including flood maps.
“The scientific evidence of climate change is undeniable and so too is its potential to destabilize weather patterns and increase the likelihood of extreme weather events,” said Krishnamoorthi. “As our country recovers from the devastating human and material costs of the recent string of one-hundred-year floods and hurricanes, it is vital that government agencies, communities, and businesses have the best available risk assessments for future storms. To guarantee the quality of our weather projections, the impacts of climate change must be taken into account.”
Addressing FEMA leader Brock Long and citing recent natural disasters as some some of the underlying reasons he believes FEMA needs to tackle the impact of climate change, he stated: “The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s responsibility to protect the United States from natural and man-made disasters is one of the most important functions of the federal government. The increased dangers posed by climate change and the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey along with the incredible ferocity of Hurricane Irma underscore the stakes of adequate preparation. One-hundred year floods and hurricanes are happening too regularly; forest fires are raging with an intensity and frequency not seen until now; and other severe weather events are occurring that outdated weather models and maps are not properly accounting for. If we do not properly prepare for these events, our citizens and taxpayers will continue to foot the bill for inadequate preparation.”
The first-year 44-year-old Congressman referred to the House of Representatives’ July recognition of the national security implications of failing to address climate change. Referencing the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which acknowledged that climate change is a direct threat to national security and required the Department of Defense to take climate change into account when assessing threats, use of resources, and readiness, he says “It is long past time for civilians to have the same level of preparation. When planning for storms, communities need to have the most up-to-date information about the threats and dangers posed by severe weather. Engineers need to know the true likelihood of encountering hurricane-force winds, severe floods, and other extreme weather.”
“The human and economic cost of climate change is no longer academic, and our failure to take this into account will only increase the toll of future storms,” concluded Krishnamoorthi’s letter.
Krishnamoorthi says he is a “progressive advocate for protecting Social Security and Medicare, making higher education more affordable, and bolstering small businesses.”
Among his key platform issues include advocating for working families and women’s reproductive freedom.
After clerking for a federal judge in Chicago, he served as issues director for Barack Obama’s successful 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate. Later, he was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General.
Krishnamoorthi served as president of Sivananthan Labs and Episolar, Inc., small businesses in the Chicago suburbs. He is a co-founder of InSPIRE, a non-profit organization that provides training in solar technology to inner-city students and veterans. He was Vice-Chairman of the Illinois Innovation Council.