Stop Catastrophic Flooding by Reducing Carbon Emissions

Target: Bill Lee, Governor of Tennessee

Goal: Promote clean energy and other environmental measures in wake of floods fueled by climate crisis.

A flash flood in Tennessee devastated a local community, leaving death and destruction behind. At last count, 21 individuals were confirmed dead with dozens more still missing.  A local sheriff said of the disaster: “we’re not talking about people getting just their houses flooded…we’re talking about houses removed from the foundation, houses that people can’t get into because the floors are gone. We’re talking to people who are coming out and going back to their homes and their cars are gone. It’s just gone.” One victim posted a video on Facebook Live as her home became submerged in water. She drowned shortly thereafter. Some of her last words were “this is scary.” Unfortunately, this haunting sentiment may be echoed many more times in the months and years to come.

The amount of warming experienced in the past century globally means roughly ten percent more moisture is contained in the atmosphere. The inevitable result is the onslaught of rain and torrent of floods seen in Tennessee and other parts of America and the world. Since the 1950s, rainfall amounts have increased by one-third in the southeastern United States alone. Despite the ongoing threats, Tennessee and many other southern states are still largely resistant to climate crisis mitigation efforts. For example, Tennessee has still yet to support the Clean Power Plan, which could reduce poisonous carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent.

Sign the petition below to demand leaders in this battered state lead the way in crafting a more responsible and robust environmental policy that could save lives.


Dear Governor Lee,

In a one-year span, Tennessee has witnessed three major flooding events. The earlier flooding led to six deaths and millions of dollars in damage to homes and properties. The toll of the recent Humphreys County flooding disaster may take much longer to measure. We do know that nearly two dozen community members have been lost. Flood prevention measures, drainage systems, and dam alterations could not ultimately prevent this tragedy.

What could make a difference? …a new outlook and a sincere commitment to the real underlying issue. Governor, treating the symptoms will no longer fix the problem. Addressing or even talking about climate change may not be the most politically expedient move for you, but you have to know with every passing day that your responsibilities and your oath demand this action. Recent studies out of Germany found the devastating floods afflicting that country were made as much as ten times worse by climate change. The same realities will likely be found in Tennessee, where rainfall amounts continue to far surpass their normal ranges.

The historic is no longer historic. Floods are just the beginning. Natural disasters combined with heat waves, droughts, and pollutant health threats will lead to loss of economic productivity, loss of crops, loss of habitats for wildlife, loss of communities, and ultimately loss of life across the spectrum. These not-so-hidden costs will far outweigh any perceived losses due to a shift towards more responsible environmental policy. For too long, Tennessee and its leaders have worked against these policies. The state will not support the Clean Power Plan. Its implementation of the Clean Water Act is filled with loopholes that enable the release of dangerous pollutants.

Politicians talk but true leaders lead by example. Please reshape Tennessee’s future by reshaping its approach toward the most urgent crisis our world has ever faced.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hardin County Fire Department


  1. Talk to God, Tiff, because the U.S. government can’t even protect their own weapons from a bunch of goat lovers!

  2. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    When will you take meaningful action on GLOBAL WARMING, Governor? When the floods come to the Governor’s mansion? How much more proof do you need? How many more lives are you willing to sacrifice?

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