Home Energy conservation Hurricane Ian and climate change: the link is undeniable

Hurricane Ian and climate change: the link is undeniable

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The terrible devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian on the southwest coast of Florida – among the most powerful hurricanes to hit Florida in a century – was heartbreaking to watch even from afar: so many lives lost, homes shattered and livelihoods swept away by storm surge, winds up to 150 miles per hour and torrential rains. The only solace was seeing Floridians rise to the challenge by working around the clock, united and determined to make things better for their neighbors.

In a disaster as terrible as this, an obvious question arises: what can be done to prevent such disastrous consequences of storms in the future? Officials in Florida and other states affected by Ian and the Atlantic hurricane season, including South Carolina, have begun taking stock of how evacuation orders have been handled and measures security taken. But one essential element is missing from these discussions: climate change.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed men and women to help the state adapt to rising sea levels, protect its coasts and prepare for storms, but he and many Other Republicans in the state actively oppose efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, often criticizing such talk. as left-wing fanaticism. They acknowledge that rising tides and deteriorating weather are real, but express no interest in reducing the man-made circumstances that scientists recognize as having made such events more powerful and more frequent.

Storms like Ian are intensified by warming oceans. It’s just a scientific fact. And the burning of fossil fuels has increased the levels of carbon and other harmful gases in the atmosphere so much that the greenhouse effect has worsened. It is also undeniable. So at what point does refusing to advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cease to be a political double step for a man who wants to be the next president of the United States and, instead, becomes there some kind of suicidal pact? While it is certainly not in Florida’s power to reduce global carbon emissions, it is easily in the power of the state’s elected leaders and anyone else who cares about its residents to call for those reductions. at local, state, national and international levels. . Floridians facing a disaster should care enough to push for energy conservation or similar measures.

The timing stinks, of course. With the midterm elections fast approaching, it is difficult to get politicians to speak out on difficult topics in anything other than political party talking points. And it’s not even necessarily in the interest of Democrats to pressure a Republican-leaning state when needed. How does this translate to television – as compassion and wisdom or tight-rope politics? There is nothing wrong with focusing on the immediate needs of survivors. But if that’s all we do, what will it cost?

If events like this don’t rally Americans to the cause of fighting climate change, preventing future disasters, we will lose far more lives than there were in Florida last week. as the effects of runaway climate change continue.

Warning signs are everywhere. Floridians trusted the science of weather forecasting and it saved lives. To ignore the science of climate change now would be to give credence to the claim that it’s all about politics, not facts. And the resulting evil extends far beyond the Florida shores.

— The Baltimore Sun