Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that it will require states seeking billions of dollars in U.S. preparedness funds to sign off on plans to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“The policy doesn’t affect federal money for relief after a hurricane, flood, or other disaster. Specifically, beginning in March 2016, states seeking preparedness money will have to assess how climate change threatens their communities. Governors will have to sign off on hazard mitigation plans.”
One of the governors who this will affect is Rick Scott of Florida, who not only denies there is man-made climate change but has barred officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection from using the phrases “climate change” and “global warming” “in any official communications, emails, or reports since shortly after he came into office in 2011.” At least one employee was ordered to get a medical evaluation for considering “climate change.”
Even though President Obama noted this month that climate change is hurting our health, I don’t see that anything substantial will happen on this front in the United States any time soon. The moment which crystallized that belief for me happened in February 2015, when Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, used a snowball as a prop on the Senate floor… “to show the recent spate of cold weather in the Northeast is a sign that human activity isn’t causing climate change.”
Yes, it snowed in Washington, DC, in February, and it was cold, too. However, the fact, is that this past winter was the warmest on record, and 2015 had the second warmest February on record, despite what happened in the eastern US.
Moreover, a majority of Americans don’t think climate change will affect them personally, even though it already is.
It may already be too late for Vanuatu, the Pacific island nation, which was devastated by the deadly typhoon Pam last month. Moreover, big shelves of Antarctic ice are melting faster than scientists thought.
Happy Earth Day.