Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency criticized a group of climate scientists Tuesday for trying to link Hurricane Harvey to the effects of global warming. The agency accused the academics of trying to “politicize” the natural disaster.
If the Trump administration continues to deny the reality of climate change they’ll find themselves powerless in preventing other similar tragedies from occurring. Over the last week, climate scientists argued that climate change, while not the cause of the tropical storm, has indeed made it worse.
Earlier this week, the EPA rejected this hypothesis altogether. A spokesperson for the agency argued that the EPA is focused on helping the hurricane’s victims not on “attempts to politicize an ongoing tragedy.”
There is a scientific consensus that global warming is directly linked to rising sea levels worldwide. The extra water gets swept into tropical storms which sometimes make a landfall on coastal areas flooding local communities.
It’s ‘Solid Physics’
Climate scientist Kerry Emanuel said that the link is “solid physics.” What’s more, scientists agree that global warming can make superstorms worse. So, dismissing scientific findings as propaganda leaves us exposed to the elements.
A week before Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, Trump rolled back an Obama-era regulation that required developers building in coastal floodplains that solicit federal funding to account for the effects of the rising sea waters.
We cannot make Houston more resilient in the face of other Sandys or Harveys if the nation’s Commander in Chief encourages real estate developments in high-risk coastal areas without considering the risks of a sea level rise.
Ironically, the Trump administration has just politicized an ongoing tragedy, which is global warming. They politicize it by dismissing scientific consensus and withdrawing the country from the Paris climate accord.