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Future Forum Convenes Urgent Briefing on Record-Breaking Year for Extreme Climate Events

September 21, 2020
Press Release
Members were briefed by The Weather Channel’s Dr. Greg Postel on the increasing billion-dollar costs of disaster events associated with climate change

WASHINGTONFuture Forum invited hurricane and storm expert Dr. Greg Postel to brief Members on the increasing cost of climate change and extreme weather events to communities across the United States. Members convened the briefing in response to alarming trends in severe weather events, including an extremely active hurricane season, the recent derecho that tore through Iowa, a brutal heat wave in California, and wildfires blazing through the western coast. Members in attendance included Future Forum Chair Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Chair Emeritus Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Vice Chair Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.), and Ben McAdams (D-Utah). 


“This briefing was a startling reminder that global warming is not just a forecast; it’s already in progress and taking a devastating toll on human lives and livelihoods,” said Chairwoman Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.). “Climate and disaster records are being shattered one by one, and the economic and emotional burden on our communities will only grow unless we take urgent action to combat climate change.  Future Forum members are committed to doing so and will continue to fight for commonsense policies that meaningfully focus on this climate emergency.” 


"It was an honor to share some of the most notable climate change data with Members of Congress at Future Forum. Reliance on science and facts is more critical now than ever, especially with the changing climate and the weather it hosts, already exerting a costly toll on life, property, and our economy," said Dr. Greg Postel, Hurricane and Storm Expert, The Weather Channel. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, disaster events in 2019 were estimated to cost the United States approximately $400 billion. In 2020, disaster event costs are on track to surpass 2019 records and have amounted to approximately $275 billion thus far. Caucus members were provided with data confirming that the current warming of the atmosphere and ocean system is associated with the observed increase in extreme weather events around the world including droughts, floods, intense hurricanes, heatwaves, and cold outbreaks.  


Future Forum is a caucus of 50 young Democratic Members of Congress who advocate for issues and opportunities important to younger Americans. Since its inception, Future Forum has visited more than 50 cities in an effort to engage with millennial and Gen Z Americans where they live, work, and go to school on issues such as climate change, student loan debt, and employment opportunities.