We have suffered brutal direct hits. Over half of the state of Florida is without power, in the dark. It is too soon to know what the losses are. Houston, America’s fourth largest city, suffered the most extreme rain event in U.S. history. Casualties are mounting; damages are estimated at a staggering $125 billion.
Ash from wildfires in the West is blanketing Seattle; every county in Washington is under state of an emergency. The smoke is felt in the air all the way to the East Coast. Last year was the hottest on record, exceeding the record set the year before that which exceeded the record set the year before that.
Extreme weather is becoming more frequent and more extreme. For climate scientists, this is predictable and predicted. As the Earth warms, the ice caps melt, the oceans grow warmer; more moisture is absorbed in the clouds, the rains become worse and the severe storms more severe.
The Trump administration denies climate science, even seeks to suppress it. Trump’s political appointees are doing their best to ban the very term “climate change” from government reports. They are dismantling agencies that study and report on the changing climate. Ironically, among their biggest allies were Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who banned the phrase “climate change” from state reports, and the Texas Republican Party devoted to pumping every drop of oil that can be found.
Bad storms, record heat and record wildfires won’t alter their denials. But the catastrophes are real. When they occur, even rock-headed reactionaries turn to government for help. The same Texan legislators who voted against aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the Mid-Atlantic coast in 2012, lined up to demand aid for their constituents after Harvey. Those who say the government is broke appropriate billions.
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