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Hope You Can Swim: Denial Won’t Stop Sea-level Rise



It’s big. It’s blue. And it’s closer than you think.

Call it “sea-level rise.” Call it “climate change.” Or just call it a whole bunch of water coming into your living room.

Rising oceans and global warming are already increasing dangers from floods and Hurricane Sandy-style storm surges.

Worse is on the way. We’ll suffer up to 4 feet of sea-level rise by century’s end as temperatures rise, scientists warn — with much higher levels to come.

That could submerge much of suburban Miami, threaten airports, power plants and coastal neighborhoods around the country and bring water to the foot of some of D.C.’s monuments.

It also spells trouble for more than 200 endangered species, like loggerhead sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals, which could lose some of their last remaining habitat.

But our political leaders don’t get it. If they don’t take real action soon, snorkels and surfboards may one day be Americans’ best bet for surviving rising seas.

“Hope You Can Swim” — our new public service announcement parody from the Ocean Overflow Protection Service — throws a spotlight on our national leaders’ absurd denial of the mounting danger.

Politicians like Marco Rubio and Rand Paul want to ignore this threat. They shrug off the mountain of science showing that global warming is set to redraw America’s coastlines.

Others continue to drag their heels or back weak half-measures. Even President Obama, while acknowledging the problem, is not taking strong enough action.

The president’s plan for cutting power plant emissions, for example, falls far short of what scientists say is needed to avert climate catastrophe, while his “all of the above” energy policy and support of fracking encourage continued reliance on dirty fossil fuels.

They’re not actually handing out snorkels — but at least that would be honest.

We can do better. To fight sea-level rise and other global warming risk, we need ambitious cuts to the carbon pollution spewing out of our smokestacks and tailpipes.

To fight for real action before it’s too late, join our campaign today. Tell President Obama to do everything he can to stop our seas from rising.

Photo by Scott Frier, USFWS