Flood-displaced families take shelter in front of a shop in the Jakhalabandha area of Nagaon district in Assam, India, 25 August 2017. Photo: Anuwar Hazarika / Reuters

By Mark Lynas
31 August 2017

(CNN) – This is what climate change looks like. Entire metropolitan areas -- Houston in the United States and Mumbai in India -- submerged in catastrophic floods.

Record-breaking rainfall: Harvey's 50-plus inches of torrential deluge set a new national tropical cyclone rain record for the continental United States.

They used to make Hollywood disaster movies about this sort of thing. Now it's just the news.

Officials as senior as Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, have suggested that now -- during a natural disaster -- is not the time to raise the divisive and highly politicized issue of global warming. But if not now, when? After the waters subside, the news crews pack up, and the long task of rebuilding begins, the world's attention inevitably moves on.

    Watching Trump tour the flooded areas, I was reminded of his Rose Garden press conference less than three months ago announcing the US withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty. In that act of wanton international vandalism, Trump was helping condemn millions more people to the threat of intensified extreme events in future decades.

    It is not politically opportunistic to raise this issue now. Instead, we have a moral duty not to accept the attempted conspiracy of silence imposed by powerful political and business interests opposed to any reduction in the use of fossil fuels. We owe this to the people of Texas as much to those of Bangladesh and India, and Niger -- which was also struck by disastrous flooding this week. […]

    Somehow, we need to find a way to extend our capacity to empathize and support each other across political and social divides in the long term. If climate change remains as politically toxic as it is today in America, we will never be able to address it properly.

    We all have a duty to confront denial and speak out. If we fail, the Harveys, Katrinas, and Sandys of the future will be even worse than the storms we experience today. And in the future, as now, each subsequent climate disaster will just be "news." Surely we can do better than that. [more]

    Now we have a moral duty to talk about climate change


    1. robert bonacci said...

      I think it may be too late...  


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