28 Agosto 2017 12:36
It's hard to ignore the question of climate change...It would be a mistake to overstate how much climate change played a role in the devastating hurricane Harvey, but it would also be foolish to ignore it. As the category four hurricane rolled over the Gulf of Mexico to Texas, US, and its surrounding areas, the catastrophic scenes of chaos, flooding and rescue attempts were hard to reckon with. People have been reported dead and hundreds are trapped in their homes, unable to escape the apocalyptic floods that have engulfed the southern state. And, while residents are literally drowning, US President Donald Trump has been tweeting about meaningless drivel, such as plugging his friend’s new book and the Mexico wall, before offering some sort of a position on the events of hurricane Harvey. 12 hours ago at the time of writing, he tweeted: ‘HISTORIC rainfall in Houston, and all over Texas. Floods are unprecedented, and more rain coming. Spirit of the people is incredible. Thanks!’
Well, claiming the hurricane is unprecedented doesn’t offer the whole picture, even if The Donald still won’t acknowledge that climate change is real. As the world’s oceans heat up due to rising greenhouse gas emissions and uncontrollable use of fossil fuels, the weather systems that create and affect events like this change too. Atmospheric moisture makes the risk of rainfall more extreme and prevalent in storms, because warmer climate storms typically produce more wet weather. Additionally, Texan sea levels are higher than they were 100 years ago, which is the result of climate change, as well as other factors like the subsidence of land. As Chris Mooney points out in the Washington Post, rapid intensification of storms is a risk associated with climate change. Major changes in strength and direction of a hurricane make it harder to predict and more difficult for people to prepare and evacuate. Hurricane Harvey quickly went from a tropical storm on Thursday to a severe hurricane on Friday, leaving little time for authorities to adequately deal with the situation. So, while climate change may not be the direct cause of events such as hurricane Harvey, the conditions it creates are likely to make these storms more powerful and frequent than in previous decades. And how does Trump fit into all of this? Well, he isn’t doing a damn thing. Stripping away Obama-era policies, denying global warming and pouring investments into fossil fuel companies is all that he has done. The tangerine-tinted former reality TV star also signed an executive order earlier this month that will revoke a law that aims to protect buildings and infrastructure from flooding. The irony of hurricane Harvey arriving on American soil just a couple of weeks after will not be lost on many. In conclusion, the link between hurricane Harvey cannot be accurately determined, but it still needs to be discussed. And, in any case, the president of the US should take climate change seriously, because events like hurricane Harvey could become more frequent.
HISTORIC rainfall in Houston, and all over Texas. Floods are unprecedented, and more rain coming. Spirit of the people is incredible.Thanks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2017