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CNNPolitics: Trump admin doesn't want to talk about climate change

17 September 2017, 06:53 | Winston Chapman

EDITORIAL: The timing couldn't be better to press for climate change action

COLUMN: Tropical storm Harvey ignites the climate change debate

When the topic involves climate change, it's more than a hot subject; it's an explosive one, and getting a decision hard.

"Since everything that mankind does depends on energy, forcing expensive energy on people - which is what these people want - is going to create more poverty", Spencer said.

Disasters often unite warring factions, but it is not quite so in the U.S. Two hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, that wreaked havoc on Texas and Florida, have also twisted the climate change debate into further deformity.

Millions struggled to survive the hurricanes, or watched them in horror.

No rational US administration would look at the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and seek to deny climate change.

True, Harvey and Irma, like Katrina, were enormously destructive storms.

Q: Might climate change make these storms more severe?

He said that providing access to clean water, containing toxic spills and providing fuel "are things so important to citizens of Florida right now, and to discuss the cause and effect of these storms, there's the place to do that, [but] it's not now".

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When, if not now, is the time to talk about global warming and what to do about it? Warm water more easily saturates the atmosphere, which loosens it in a rage.

The impact of global warming on the intensity and scope of hurricanes is an ever-evolving field of study, and the evidence thus far paints a unsafe picture.

This country should lead the world in addressing climate change while building fortified, sustainable communities that can withstand the furious weather it causes.

But legislative leaders in North Carolina have taken a different tack. A recent study showed internal variations of hurricane intensity could be as large as 10-18 miles per hour, which is larger than what would be induced by climate change. Hurricane Jose has been on the nation's radar, but is unlikely to cause the same damage as Irma and Harvey, according to USA Today and AccuWeather meteorologist Evan Duffey. This is because these extremes are signals of climate changes that can be distinguished from day-to-day variations. These intense hurricanes leave everyone drained, but there is more.

We have the misguided tendency to use hurricanes and other natural disasters as a sort of litmus test for government leadership, either producing a "pass" or "fail" result.

This is absolutely the time to be talking about climate change because it's a moment when people can see how a warmer world just might impact lives in very challenging and real ways.

Notorious, longtime climate misinformer Roy Spencer made that claim after alleging that those who link climate change with the increased frequency and severity of storms like Harvey and Irma are "missing the point".

While research on hurricanes gives us a good sense of how hurricanes would change in a warmer climate, measuring this change and, in particular, tying a unique feature of one specific hurricane to climate change are beyond the current level of confidence. Better understanding of hurricane-climate relation is needed, as ultimately that knowledge can help serve society.



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