The day after withdrawing from Paris, Trump declared a flooding disaster in Missouri

I was debating this article. Should I write about the news that just occurred, or the news that will occur soon? I chose the past event – flooding in Missouri, USA. I will save a soon-to-collapse portion of the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica for my next article.

It’s sad, but true, that there are mounting ironies around Trump’s scientific ignorance on climate change and his ditching of the Paris Accord to reduce global warming. Scientists know the Earth is warming and that humans are the cause. One consequence of the warming is that weather is becoming more extreme. This means we are getting more extreme storms, including rain and floods. As our nation and the world suffers from the extreme weather, we can reflect on how things could have been different had our politicians heeded the warnings.

While President Trump’s pulling from the Paris treaty was worldwide news, what was not covered as well was his declaration the very next day that the state of Missouri is a disaster area because of flooding.

Why is flooding a symptom of warming? As air warms, it holds more moisture - it’s more humid. As the Earth warms, it means that the atmosphere holds more moisture year round. That moisture falls during storms as rain. What’s interesting is that the result is more of the most severe rains. That is, when it rains, it’s raining harder. Consequently, more flooding occurs. And we are seeing that across our nation. If you look at the trends in the most severe downpours, they are increasing – everywhere.

One example are the recent floods in Missouri, which occurred during the month of May. On or around May 24th, 2017, the Missouri governor requested disaster aid for 45 counties in the state. The president granted the aid on June 2nd. The federal aid will help the state recover from approximately $28 million in residential losses and $58 million in municipal damage. Images from the flood have been widely available online for people to witness the disaster.

This flood isn’t a single event. There has been much recent reporting on other floods in Missouri and elsewhere throughout 2015 and 2016. For instance, here describes flooding in August 2016 and the infamous December flood in 2015, which killed at least 13 people. The kinds of extreme weather we are seeing now will continue to get worse and cause far more damage in the future. This is but the tip of the iceberg.

Fortunately, there is something we can do about it. The two most important steps are mitigation and adaptation. We should mitigate against future climate change by quickly reducing our carbon pollution. We can accomplish this by using our energy more wisely and by increasing our generation of power from clean, renewable, sources. Secondly, we should start to plan the infrastructure of the future to handle more extreme storms and weather. Flood control systems, sea walls, robust electrical grids, etc. These can go a long way reducing the damage when extreme weather occurs.

But, it isn’t clear we will have such foresight. Not only do we have a president who is on a warpath to destroy our mitigation and adaptation efforts, but he is aided by people within states like Missouri. For instance, Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is a well-known denier of human-caused climate change. He has stated:

There isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the Earth. 

Say what? Missouri Representative Jason Smith has claimed:

The EPA uses the Air, Climate, and Energy program to advance research and regulations that are geared toward a climate change agenda.

Huh? What is a climate change agenda? Missouri Representative Vicky Hartzler said:

Enjoying another beautiful global warming day in Missouri.

A remnant organization of the prior USA president, Organizing for Action, also lists some of the most well known deniers and climate impacts on their states. For Missouri, it isn’t just the most recent years of flooding; the disasters have piled up for a while. For instance, as reported:

Click here to read the rest

Posted by John Abraham on Tuesday, 6 June, 2017

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