Council members support president's climate plan

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 3:22 PM

AUSTIN -- Austin is bracing for another triple-digit day. As the temperature continues to climb, City leaders are throwing their support behind a push for climate solutions.

"This is one of the greatest challenges of our time," said Councilman Chris Riley.

Wednesday morning Riley stood alongside fellow council member Mike Martinez and a group called Environment Texas outside City Hall to show support for President Obama's Climate Protection Plan.

The plan limits carbon pollutants, invests in energy efficiency and builds on renewable energy.

“It also furthers the City Council’s goals and initiatives as it relates to the green jobs plan that we have here in Austin. For every dollar that you invest in climate protection, the economic return is between $4 and $8. Why wouldn't we do that?” questioned Councilman Martinez.

Martinez says weather extremes in recent years are proof that change is needed. In 2011, Texas broke 327 heat records, 46 rainfall records and 18 snowfall records.

Central Texas recorded 90 days of triple-digit heat that year. According to the National Weather Service, Austin averages just 12 triple-digit days a year. The last time we had less than 12 was back in 2007.

There are many who argue the changes Environment Texas are pushing for won't solve the climate troubles. Some say it's a matter of natural causes, and that our rising temperatures are a cyclical pattern.

The United Kingdom's Meteorological Office references data that stretches back to the 1990s. The agency says global temperatures leveled off over the past 15 years even as carbon emissions went up.

For a fact sheet about the climate plan from the White House go here.

For our Texas Drought section full of information, tips, burn bans and water restrictions in your area, go here.

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