As Hurricane Irma bears down on the Florida coast and threatens unprecedented devastation, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado issued a stern message to the President.
“This is the time to talk about climate change,” Regalado said. “This is the time that the president and the EPA and whoever makes decisions needs to talk about climate change. This is a truly, truly poster child for what is to come.”
Regalado’s remarks come on the heels of both tacit and outright denials of the existence of climate change by Trump. From pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement to declaring that the phenomenon was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” the President has shown an alarming unwillingness to accept the science behind climate change.
“If this isn’t climate change,” he said, “I don’t know what is.”
“I don’t want to be political, but the fact of the matter is that this is a lesson that we need protection from nature. So, I think this is a lesson for the people to say you know what? We have to be prepared,” he added.
Regalado’s comments come amid unprecedented and unrelenting storm surges in the Atlantic. Only days after Hurricane Harvey decimated Texas – in what FEMA Director William “Brock” Long has called the “worst disaster in Texas history” – Hurricane Irma prompted calls for the evacuation of over 6.3 million Floridians, the largest evacuation in American history. Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia has made landfall in Mexico and Hurricane Jose, another Category 4 storm, is fast approaching the United States.
Whether these misguided politicians truly deny the science behind climate change or are simply shilling for the fossil fuel companies who finance their campaigns, their selfish actions are putting millions of Americans’ lives at risk.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.