David Z. Morris / Fortune & Public Citizen & Fareed Zakaria / CNN – 2017-09-21 00:09:29
It Might Be Too Late to Save
‘Our Greatest Cities’ From Climate Change
It Might Be ‘Too Late’ to Recover from Climate Change
David Z. Morris / Fortune
(September 18, 2017) — As a brutal hurricane season continues to batter the Caribbean and the United States, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks it might be too late to save coastal cities from the effects of climate change.
Speaking to Fareed Zakaria on CNN, deGrasse Tyson said the vulnerability of the global economy’s most important hubs could have devastating impacts.
“I worry that we might not be able to recover from this because all our greatest cities are on the oceans and water’s edges, historically for commerce and transportation,” deGrasse Tyson said.
This season’s storms have already caused damage and disruption to coastal cities. Hurricane Harvey is estimated to have caused as much as $180 billion in damage in and around Houston, whose economy hinges on its proximity to oil and gas processing, and to trading hubs along the Gulf of Mexico.
And while Hurricane Irma did not strike either Miami or Tampa Bay with its full force, millions of Florida residents and businesses remain without power a week after the storm. One estimate predicted that the two storms could reduce U.S. GDP growth by up to 1% for the current quarter.
While it is difficult to attribute individual storms to climate change, scientists widely agree that the warmer oceans caused by climate change make hurricanes stronger. DeGrasse Tyson said that storms and rising sea levels will make it harder to defend coastal cities.
“We don’t have a civilization with the capacity to pick up a city and move it inland 20 miles,” he said. “That’s — this is happening faster than our ability to respond. That could have huge economic consequences.”
ACTION ALERT: Why Does ABC
Remain Silent on Climate Change?
Allison Fisher / Public Citizen
“Fifty inches of rain in Houston! This is a shot across our bow!”
— Astronomer and author Neil deGrasse Tyson
(September 18, 2017) — What show was Neil deGrasse Tyson on last night explaining the connection between climate change and recent record-breaking storms? Hint: NOT ABC News.
In the face of back-to-back devastating hurricanes, Trumpâ€™s talking heads are refusing to discuss the connection between record-breaking storms and climate change. It is what weâ€™d expect from Polluting Pruitt and company — but the Trump administration is not alone.
ABC News stands out as the only national news outlet still failing to connect the dots between a warming planet and catastrophic weather events like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Tell ABC to break the climate silence.
Human-induced climate change supercharges storms in the same way that a basement full of gasoline cans exacerbates house fires.
We canâ€™t beat the climate crisis if we arenâ€™t even talking about it. Itâ€™s grossly irresponsible for a news agency to ignore the connection between climate change and extreme weather.
During the peak of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, ABCâ€™s ratings soared — reaching more than 800,000 viewers.
But those viewers were not told the whole story about Harvey, and those tuning in to ABC still are not getting the key fact: Climate change amplifies the harm of these catastrophic storms.
Climate change poses an existential threat to our planet, and itâ€™s much more urgent than people realize.
With climate deniers running our government, we need the media to do its job and give the issue the attention it deserves.
Thank you for taking action to break the storm of silence on climate change,
Allison Fisher is with Public Citizenâ€™s Climate and Energy Program
Neil deGrasse Tyson Says It Might Be
‘Too Late’ to Recover from Climate Change
Alexandra King / CNN
(September 18, 2017) — Scientist and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said Sunday that, in the wake of devastating floods and damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, climate change had become so severe that the country “might not be able to recover.”
In an interview on CNN’s “GPS,” Tyson got emotional when Fareed Zakaria asked what he made of Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert’s refusal to say whether climate change had been a factor in Hurricanes Harvey or Irma’s strength — despite scientific evidence pointing to the fact that it had made the storms more destructive.
“Fifty inches of rain in Houston!” Tyson exclaimed, adding, “This is a shot across our bow, a hurricane the width of Florida going up the center of Florida!”
“What will it take for people to recognize that a community of scientists are learning objective truths about the natural world and that you can benefit from knowing about it?” he said.
Tyson told Zakaria that he had no patience for those who, as he put it, “cherry pick” scientific studies according to their belief system.
“The press will sometimes find a single paper, and say, ‘Oh here’s a new truth, if this study holds it.’ But an emergent scientific truth, for it to become an objective truth, a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it, it requires more than one scientific paper,” he said.
“It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences,” he added. “That’s what we have with climate change, as induced by human conduct.”
Tyson said he was gravely concerned that by engaging in debates over the existence of climate change, as opposed to discussions on how best to tackle it, the country was wasting valuable time and resources.
“The day two politicians are arguing about whether science is true, it means nothing gets done. Nothing,” he said. “It’s the beginning of the end of an informed democracy, as I’ve said many times. What I’d rather happen is you recognize what is scientifically truth, then you have your political debate.”
Tyson told Zakaria that he believed that the longer the delay when it comes to responding to the ongoing threat of climate change, the bleaker the outcome. And perhaps, he hazarded, it was already even too late.
“I worry that we might not be able to recover from this because all our greatest cities are on the oceans and water’s edges, historically for commerce and transportation,” he said.
“And as storms kick in, as water levels rise, they are the first to go,” he said. “And we don’t have a system — we don’t have a civilization with the capacity to pick up a city and move it inland 20 miles. That’s — this is happening faster than our ability to respond. That could have huge economic consequences.”
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