Hot Take: Irma And Harvey Lay Cost Of Hotcoldwetdry Denial At Trump’s Door

My first question would be: “well, Obama had eight years to do something. Why is this not his fault?”

Irma and Harvey lay the costs of climate change denial at Trump’s door
The president’s dismissal of scientific research is doing nothing to protect the livelihoods of ordinary Americans

As the US comes to terms with its second major weather disaster within a month, an important question is whether the devastation caused by hurricanes Harveyand Irma will convince Donald Trump and his administration of the reality of climate change.

The president’s luxurious Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida may escape Irma’s wrath, but with the deaths of so many Americans, and billions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses, the costs of climate change denial are beginning to pile up at the door of the White House.

Just days before Harvey formed in the Atlantic last month, Trump signed an executive order to overturn a policy, introduced by his predecessor Barack Obama, to help American communities and businesses become more resilient against the risks of flooding, which are rising because of climate change.

And that’s the only mention of Obama, who initiated that executive order late in 2016. Why didn’t he do this back in the early days of 2009?

But this season has already been remarkable in one respect because two major hurricanes, with sustained winds of more than 110mph, have hit the US mainland, after a period of 12 years when none of the strongest storms made American landfall.

Got that? 12 hurricane seasons (wait, there’s actually a term for this?) is meaningless, 1 season means anthropogenic climate change doom.

Also uncertain is how natural climate variability affects hurricanes. Numbers have increased markedly in the North Atlantic since the 1990s, but this seems to be due, at least partly, to large-scale changes in ocean circulation that occur over many years or decades.

However, it is clear that the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans will be at risk if Trump and his administration continue to deny the existence of climate change and its impact on the threat posed by hurricanes.

So, natural variability is huge, but, hey, Trump!

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