The New Yorker, September 11th issue.
Elizabeth Kolbert: Hurricane Harvey and the Storms to Come. Subtitle: “In the leadup to the historic flood, Texas Republicans abetted Trump’s climate-change delusions.”
Print title: “Coming Storms”
Elizabeth Kolbert, author of one of the best science books of the 21st century, The Sixth Extinction (my review), spells out the current situation.
She discusses Katrina, in 2005;
As misguided as the Bush Administration was about climate change, Donald Trump has taken willful ignorance to a whole new level. The President has called climate change an “expensive hoax” dreamed up by the Chinese. After much posturing, he announced in June that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. With less fanfare, he has rolled back Obama Administration regulations limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from both old and new power plants and from oil and gas wells. (Regarding the wells, a federal appeals court recently ruled against the White House, saying that it could not simply suspend the regulations.) Trump also revoked a 2013 executive order directing federal agencies to prepare for the impacts of warming and tossed out a plan, issued the same year, that outlined steps that the U.S. would take to combat climate change.
In the place of spending cuts, they should demand that Texas lawmakers and the President face up to the facts. The earth is warming, fossil-fuel emissions are the major cause, and the results are going to be far from “beneficial.” The U.S. needs to radically reduce its carbon emissions and, at the same time, prepare for a future in which storms like Harvey, Sandy, and Katrina increasingly become the norm.