Heat a pot of water on the stove. Watch as the warmer it gets, the more steam rises from it. Now you’re a scientist. Multiply that pot of water by trillions, and you understand why America’s coastal cities are in grave danger.
Yet the willfully ignorant still deny climate change.
Two weeks ago, it was Harvey. This week, it’s Irma. I’m not talking about your annoying relatives, but two once-in-a-century storms that have hit U.S. shores in less than a month.
It’s not a matter of more hurricanes, it’s a matter of severity, and scientists have established that this crisis is man-made, caused by trapped greenhouse gases heating up the planet.
The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are warmer than ever. The resulting increase in atmospheric moisture has brought living hell across the South. Houston is still bailing out from its nightmare, while Florida is just starting.
In 2015, Florida Gov. Rick Scott responded to the growing crisis by warning members of his state’s Department of Environmental Protection not to use the phrases “climate change,” “global warming” or “sea level rise,” according to Christopher Byrd, then an attorney with the state DEP. Does Gov. Clueless believe if you don’t say it, it doesn’t exist?
In 2012, Superstorm Sandy flooded NYC subway tracks and destroyed our shoreline communities. Will it happen again? Unfortunately, it’s just a matter of time. Meanwhile, members of Congress hold up snowballs in winter and chuckle, “Here’s your global warming.” They’re either too stupid, or bought off, to grasp the basics. Rush Limbaugh snarled that Hurricane Irma warnings were merely a conspiracy by climate change advocates — then evacuated Florida himself.
As astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said, no one doubted scientists when they predicted the solar eclipse. That’s because no one had money riding on it. The fossil fuel companies will fight to protect profits, brainwashing dupes with disinformation.
When asked about the recent eclipse, no member of Congress muttered, “I’m not a scientist.” Instead, they whipped out protective glasses — except, of course, our “climate change is a Chinese hoax”-spewing president, who stared into the sun.
Talk about blinded by ignorance.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.