FEMA And The Frankenstorm
Campaign spin can't hide Romney's plan to devastate FEMA and disaster aid.
Connect: As America takes stock of Frankenstorm Sandy's devastation, our first responders are taking action.
Define: Disaster coordination is one of the most vital functions of our federal government, but Mitt Romney would privatize it and guarantee less funding for disaster response by turning it all over to cash-strapped states.
Expose: Romney says we can't afford FEMA and the first responders who keep us safe during disasters and help us recover, but that we can afford $5 trillion in tax cuts favoring the wealthy.
Illustrate: He would privatize FEMA, slash funding for the scientists and weather forecasters who sound the alarm bells, and lay off the emergency crews who rescue us from the floodwaters.
Discredit: Romney's "I've got mine, you're on your own" priorities and his determination to repeat Bush's mistakes are the last things we need during a hurricane.
Q & A ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Question: What does Frankenstorm Sandy tell us about climate change?
- Hurricane Sandy shows us we need to be worried about climate disruption, just like we should've been worried before Sandy and we should be after. Of course climate change is changing the weather. We see it with our own eyes.
- Scientists are being extra careful about the climate causing any given weather event. But what we do know has experts very worried that climate change made the storm worse and more destructive.
- Here's how: Climate change is warming our oceans. When storms travel over warmer waters, they pick up extra moisture to dump out as rain. Climate change has also already caused sea levels to rise, making storm surges and flooding worse -- which come into play with any type of coastal storms, including hurricanes.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Last year, Republicans in Congress proposed cutting FEMA's budget by nearly $90 million; in 2012, they proposed over $180 million more in cuts. In fact, Republicans even threatened to shut down the entire government last year if funding for disaster relief wasn't offset by spending cuts elsewhere.
- The Romney-Ryan budget, which Romney proudly calls "an excellent piece of work" and "marvelous," would deeply cut FEMA and disaster relief.
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Romney's allies are trying to shift the blame to President Obama for Congressional Republicans' $900 million sequester cuts to FEMA.
- Climate change is accepted science -- with a consensus among scientists, as well as strong support from less obvious groups like undecided voters, business leaders, the insurance & risk management industry, Republicans retired from Congress, and evangelicals, all of whom are urging our leaders in Washington to take action.
- Three-fourths of Americans say global warming is affecting weather in the United States and the majority understand that global warming is caused mostly by human activities.
- Seeing is understanding -- we see extreme weather events amplified by global warming all the time, like wildfires, record-breaking heat extremes, droughts, and coastal flooding.
- We can do something about climate change and the overwhelming majority of voters agree we should start with the energy technologies that we already have to run our economy cleanly and affordably. Here's a messaging toolkit on how to talk about it.
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.
Posted in - Energy - Budget - Taxes - Economy - Environment - 2012 Elections