The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Yes, you can blame President Trump for Hurricane Florence

(Tom Toles)

Disclaimer: No, President Trump did not create Hurricane Florence all by himself. With that out of the way, here’s the case for blaming him anyway:

• Hurricanes and other storms are intensified by additional atmospheric or ocean warmth, and guess what?

• Insufficiency of climate action has already contributed to the intensification of storms in the past, in the present and in the future with ever more and ever worse to come.

• Trump is not only failing to act in the face of this catastrophe, but is also actively and deliberately making the problem worse. Just this week, his administration is talking about new rules to allow more methane, a super-greenhouse gas, to flood into the atmosphere.

• Everybody has trouble connecting the dots between catastrophic climate-amplified storms (like Florence) and human actions (like Donald). This is an excellent time to connect them.

Here are more than 1.5 million people evacuating their homes. Here are forecasts of relentless, pounding rain measured in FEET, and the flooding that will come with that. To say nothing of the wind damage. Is this a bad enough forecast for you? Okay then, imagine this kind of thing becoming more and more the norm. Throw in ever-growing wildfires in the West, with ever-increasing breadth and destructive intensity. Add more and more-powerful tornadoes, and over an ever-growing area. Consider areas becoming so frequently hit by disasters or rising sea levels that they are functionally unsustainable for habitation. Now, for good measure, consider equivalent devastation of agriculture over vast swaths of farmlands, here and around the world. Now think about famine and uncountable refugees fleeing starvation and then overwhelming and destabilizing every country they attempt to get into. Had enough YET?

If not, then Trump is definitely the president for you. He is actively denying the science behind climate change, and by deliberate policy choices is making our climate future WORSE. People tend to postpone worrying about climate change, but this would be an excellent week to think about it, a lot. Visual aids will be provided. Then think about Trump. These two thoughts belong together.