Fast Facts

WEA Menu Sources

Our Climate is in crisis

fast facts to keep in mind while oil & gas accelerates the climate crisis around the world

Carl De Souza/Afp/Getty Images

(1) Due to climate change, nearly 5.4 million acres of the Amazon rainforest burned in 2020

In recent weeks, nine major fires have been burning in the Brazilian Amazon, heralding an unsettling start to another fire season—which experts say could be a bad one after a particularly dry year. The first major fire of the year occurred on May 19, near the border of Serra Ricardo Franco State Park in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, where all of the nine major fires have occurred averaging around 200 hectares (494 acres) each. Read more

(2) if current greenhouse gas emissions trajectories continue, global warming is projected cause the extinction of over one-third of the Earth’s animal and plant species by 2050

Global warming is projected to commit over one-third of the Earth’s animal and plant species to extinction by 2050 if current greenhouse gas emissions trajectories continue — a catastrophic loss that would irreversibly reduce biodiversity and alter both ecosystems and human societies across the globe. In fact, more than a million species may be at risk of future extinction due to global warming, and we’re already seeing the first extinctions. Read more

(3) 58,950 wildfires burned 10.1 million acres in 2020. That is the second-most acreage impacted in a year

From 2011 to 2020, there were an average of 62,805 wildfires annually and an average of 7.5 million acres impacted annually. In 2020, 58,950 wildfires burned 10.1 million acres , the second-most acreage impacted in a year since 1960; nearly 40% of these acres were in California. Nearly half of the acres impacted were on NFS lands. These official figures from NICC reflect downward revisions from earlier reported data for 2020. Read more

Smoke Stack From a Coal Power Plant

84 percent of the American West is now in drought

(5) More than 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and caused by human activity.

The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our generation. Scientists are clear about the reality of climate change and we should be too. And with devastating storms, dangerous floods, melting glaciers, and rising seas becoming increasingly regular facts of life, it’s more critical than ever that we face reality and get working on solutions together. Read more

(4) 84 percent of the American West is now in drought. 47 percent which is rated as “severe”or“extreme.”

Heat and shifting weather patterns have intensified wildfires and sharply reduced water supplies across the Southwest, the Pacific Coast and North Dakota. Read more

(6) A Congressional investigation found that between 2005 and 2009 oil and gas companies used 29 different chemicals in their fracking fluid known to cause cancer or other health risks

In order to frack, an enormous amount of water is mixed with various toxic chemical compounds to create frack fluid. This frack fluid is further contaminated by the heavy metals and radioactive elements that exist naturally in the shale. A significant portion of the frack fluid returns to the surface, where it can spill or be dumped into rivers and streams. Underground water supplies can also be contaminated by fracking, through migration of gas and frack fluid underground. Read more

Let's make the transition to renewable energy.