PA groups launch climate action plan

Earlier today, a coalition of environmental, scientific and religious groups in Pennsylvania launched a 100-day blitz, aimed at boosting — or forcing — efforts to address climate change.

The effort, which they’re calling “100 days of climate action,” will target federal, state and local decision and “will give ordinary citizens the tools and information to break the logjam and shatter our nation's and state's inaction on global warming,” according to information on the campaign.

The launch follows the release Friday of a draft report by a federal advisory committee assessing climate change impacts.

An executive summary in the report, which is more than 1,000 pages long, concluded that the impacts of climate change are far-reaching and already having a significant affect on Americans’ lives and health.

Gretchen Alfonso, Policy Analyst for the Clean Air Council, said at a launch event that the campaign would run through Earth Day and would involve meetings, town halls and other forms of community engagement.

In essence, the campaign seems to be taking the “squeaky wheel” approach — letting officials know that citizens care about climate change and want to see action to mitigate it.

Rev. Mitch Hescox, president and CEO of The Evangelical Environmental Network, who also spoke at the event, said that climate change has been viewed as an issue that is of most concern to the far left. So one goal of the campaign would be to reframe climate change as an American issue.

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, days before the draft report was released, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its 2012 climate summary, showing that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous U.S.

The Natural Resources Defense Council has followed that by unveiling an “extreme weather mapping tool.”

It’s a clickable map of the U.S., showing where new records were set for excessive heat, rainfall, snowfall and wildfires.

Of which there were as lot. Overall, the nation broke 3,527 monthly records, the Council found.

“2012's unparalleled record-setting heat demonstrates what climate change looks like,” said Kim Knowlton, NRDC senior scientist, in a press release. She said that the extreme weather has awakened communities across the country “to the need for preparedness and protection.”

Breaking it down by state, Pennsylvania experienced record-breaking heat in 12 counties, record-breaking rainfall in 21 counties, record-breaking snow in five counties and five large wildfires, the group said.

New Jersey broke records for heat in two counties, for snow in two counties and for precipitation in seven counties. There were four large wildfires.