06 Sep Are Hurricanes Harvey & Irma The New Normal
Photo Credit: Nasa
Are Hurricanes Harvey & Irma The New Normal
Are Hurricanes Harvey & Irma The New Normal? David Helvarg, the executive director of Blue Frontier, an ocean conservation organization, in an interview with Amy Goodman from “Democracy Now”, had this to say;
“As we see sea level rise in certain areas, like the Texas and Louisiana coast, South Florida, the tidelands of Virginia. You’re projecting now three to six feet or more of sea level rise in the century.
Maybe it has only been ten inches today. People are going to go, “Well, what’s ten inches?” But it could be the difference between floodwaters on your porch and in your living room. But it’s not just the tidal surge and sea level rise. It’s what we’re seeing—these rain events. With the warming ocean and atmosphere, you have more moisture in the atmosphere, which rains out more intensive pulses of rain. These rain events that we see massive flooding even disconnected with hurricanes and storms.
So last year, for example, Baton Rouge had massive rain pulses and storms. And when rain comes down so torrentially, the ground cannot absorb it. It backs up. And you had a flooding event right there in Houston last year that the Houston flood control district said was a one in 10,000-year rain event. Well, it’s a year later, and you’re having another one.
So clearly, what we’re seeing—I remember back in 2000, I was with—a scientist from the NASA Ames laboratory at Columbia was touring me through lower Manhattan with some folks from some island nations—Kiribati and the Marshalls—explaining the big 1993 nor’easter. And she said that yeah, one-in-a-century storms like that are now going to become decadal, happen every decade or more frequently. And since then, I was down at Katrina. We had Sandy. Now we have this hurricane. We are seeing the impacts.
Where back in the 1990s, there would be maybe four or five multibillion-dollar extreme weather events every year, NOAA is now recording 20 and 30 multimillion-dollar weather events happening in this country, and just this country alone. So that you’re seeing—luckily—with Katrina—the storms are different. The nature of the storms. Katrina, you had huge casualties. Over 1,800 killed. I think we will see luckily less casualties because of the slow and persistent rate of this storm. But probably much more damage.
This is going to be a $100 billion-plus storm. And not to—a lot of times you say, “Well, you’re taking advantage of people in distress by talking about the causes of why they are in distress.” The reality is, when you have two 10,000-year rain events in two years, this is the new normal. This is the new reality. And the challenge is how we address it. How rapidly we’re going to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.”
The storm in Texas is historic, with it’s 9 trillion gallons of water that fell on the state making it the worst flooding disaster in U.S. history. Just on the heels of Harvey, a “potentially catastrophic” Hurricane Irma, a category five and monster of a storm, nears the Eastern Caribbean Islands.
Despite what President Trump and his appointees say, the scientific evidence keeps pouring in that climate change is real, is really caused by humans, and will cause real impacts on our lives. There’s even evidence suggesting that many of the tiny proportion of studies that do undermine climate change research are deeply flawed.
What will it take for the president of the United States to believe that climate change is real and needs to be addressed. We ignore nature at our own peril and the planet is having it’s say. The president took the U.S. out of the Paris Accord on the basis that it was a job killer…but the current reality is how many jobs are lost now in Texas, what is the cost to the fourth largest state in the U.S. and it’s people. How much of the U.S. will need to be under water before people wake up and take the necessary action…I only hope that it won’t be too little too late.
Less than a week after Hurricane Harvey tore through Texas and Louisiana, causing at least 60 deaths and billions of dollars in damages, Hurricane Irma appears ready to make U.S. history. Irma on Tuesday grew into a Category 5 storm – with wind speeds exceeding 156 miles per hour – as it moved toward the Caribbean and southern Florida.
Pictures Reveal Hurricane Harvey’s Catastrophic Destruction
Hurricane Harvey roared to shore on August 25 as a Category 4 storm, with 130-mph winds by the time it hit Rockport, Texas. Heavy rainfall has caused catastrophic flooding in Houston and along the Texas Gulf Coast, displacing thousands and causing dozens of deaths.
If you want to read a book about what you can do to get involved and add your voice to the movement to save the planet read the book “We Rise”, just released today.