As Texas and Louisiana reel from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, Florida prepares for the incoming category 4 Hurricane Irma, reported to be the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic. Farther out at sea, Hurricane Jose continues to grow stronger. The nation is being assaulted by an unprecedented wave of natural disasters with no immediate end in sight.
The fact that Harvey is purported to be a 1-in-1000 year storm, and Irma is a record-shatterer should cause any rational individual to pause and consider the implications. Could perhaps something be causing these monstrous hurricanes? Could it, perhaps, have something to do with climate change? 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are adversely affecting the planet, fundamentally changing the way the Earth functions naturally.
According to Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt though, now is not the time to talk about climate change, CNN reports.,
“Here’s the issue. To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced,” Pruitt said to CNN. Why he thinks it’s impossible to do both simultaneously is anyone’s guess.
“What we need to focus on is access to clean water, addressing these areas of superfund activities that may cause an attack on water, these issues of access to fuel. … Those are things so important to citizens of Florida right now, and to discuss the cause and effect of these storms, there’s the… place (and time) to do that, it’s not now,” Pruitt continued.
Pruitt’s comments seem like nothing more than a transparent attempt to please his climate-change-denying boss, who in the past erroneously claimed that climate change is a “Chinese hoax.”
The time to discuss the effects of climate change is now. The country can prepare for the incoming storms, and give relief to those hurt, while still having a national conversation about how human-created climate change is affecting the planet. Failing to do so ensures that we are never preventing disasters, but simply reacting to them as they happen. It’s a terribly myopic approach to a very serious problem.
Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.