Fort Lauderdale, Florida, experiences the effects of Hurricane Irma, after it raked across the north coast of Cuba and made landfall in the Florida Keys. PHOTO CREDITS: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via Rolling Stone
These past two weeks, we have seen monstrous, apocalyptic sized hurricanes ravage the southern U.S. Economists have estimated that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will have caused as much as $200 billion in damages in the United States alone. After Harvey hit Texas, scientists helped explain how the hurricane was intensified by global warming and climate change. Now after Irma, it is even more abundantly clear.
“Climate change means more than melting glaciers and creeping centimeters of sea-level rise. Climate change also means unpredictable bursts – nasty life-threatening and economy-shaking surprises.” ~ Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
The mega hurricane, Irma, has become the most extreme storm ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean, sustaining winds of 185 mph. While hurricanes are naturally occurring phenomenon, climate change amplifies their strength and intensity. Even Pope Francis is criticizing climate change deniers and telling them to open up their eyes and listen to the scientists.
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) September 11, 2017
“Evacuating millions is not an 'effective or sustainable' response to hurricane threats,” as suggested by a CNBC editorial. We need to start talking about climate change more seriously, advancing the dialogue and taking action. As Stanford University’s global change professor, Stephen Schneider, says, "Slowing it down matters."