Hot on the heels of Hurricane Harvey was Hurricane Irma. These brutal weather events have decimated cities across the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean over the last week, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
Seeing the photos and footage of these hurricanes, and watching as walls of water crashed into city buildings and destroyed people’s homes, is awe-inspiring and truly devastating.
Florida, one of the states hardest hit by Irma, is governed by Rick Scott, who supported Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the global Paris Agreement on climate change a few months back. At the time, he focused on the President’s commitment to American jobs, saying: “You cannot invest in your environment without a good economy.”
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What a dangerous time to take such a view. Entire towns have been wiped out in these hurricanes, and the reason they have such brutal strength behind them is because, in part, warm water is fuel for hurricanes.
Irma is over water that is 1 degree Celsius warmer than normal, reports the ABC.
As I’ve browsed the web and absorbed the true impact and horror of these events, I couldn’t help but wonder… What do climate change deniers think about this?
These are some of the fastest, most dangerous hurricanes on record, with winds approaching 300km per hour. The size of Hurricane Irma at its peak was roughly the same size as Tasmania. A hurricane the size of a state!
And scientists have confirmed that Hurricane Harvey was a more powerful storm, thanks to climate change.
Yet, there are still “deniers” out there who say that climate is a bunch of nonsense.
One of the most well known and prolific is Trump – the man who once tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”.
Unsurprisingly, his response to this catastrophe has been exactly what we would predict. He started off well, describing the United States Coast Guard as deserving “tremendous credit”. Then he added, “When you go in there, you don’t know if you’re going to come out. They are really – if you talk about branding, no brand has improved more than the United States Coast Guard.”
So that’s what the biggest climate change denier on earth is thinking about, right as his constituents suffer through two consecutive weather catastrophes: Branding.
Troubled waters, indeed.