It’s easy to forget about things that seem out of our control, especially when there are so many other issues that seem like they can be controlled. Gun violence, immigration and healthcare are all hot button topics that shouldn’t be forgotten. However, it’s important to remember that natural disasters are called disasters for a reason. What’s the best way to make a change? Believing in climate change is a great way to start.
I don’t remember when natural disasters started to feel natural. California’s most destructive wildfire just happened and I barely knew about it until I saw the death toll. I’m sure that I heard about it — the fires did last almost 20 days — but it was likely just a comment on how California was on fire, again.
Hurricanes Harvey and Maria feel like eons ago. Houston is mostly rebuilt at this point, but the poorest residents are still struggling to get their homes fixed. Most of Puerto Rico is still living under tarped roofs and I’d be willing to bet that the average American has no idea that almost 3,000 people died during the storm. That would place Hurricane Maria’s death toll at about 1,000 more than that of Hurricane Katrina. Natural disasters seem to be happening more and more frequently, and they are becoming more severe.
Those who deny climate change can, and will, continue to go on refusing to believe. I hope that anyone reading this who doesn’t believe in climate change takes a legitimate look at the data collected by scientists. Truthfully, even if you do believe in climate change I hope that you continue to look at data collected by scientists, because its relevance will continue to increase. The world is getting warmer, the winds are getting stronger and the polar caps are still melting. These events will continue to happen, making their effects even more prominent.
The Fourth National Climate Assessment, a report on the climate by various American government agencies, found that the weather will continue to get more extreme, leading to further infrastructure and ecosystem damages. Natural disasters are expected to completely destroy certain areas of the economy, like fisheries and tourism.
The findings of this report should be on national headlines, or they should at least be something that more Americans know about. Yet, this becomes another piece of important news that gets swept under the rug. President Trump has said that he doesn’t believe this report, and allowing him to brush off climate change truly reflects the indifference of Americans. Holding our leaders accountable is a great place to start in resistance against climate change. Our country’s behavior needs to reflect a desire to help. We don’t want to be the country that forgets about destruction. I know I don’t.