“Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed levees and exploded the conventional wisdom about a shared American prosperity, exposing a group of people so poor they didn’t have $50 for a bus ticket out of town. If we want to learn something from this disaster, the lesson ought to be: America’s poor deserve better than this.” -Michael Eric Dyson
Hurricane Irma has, as of this morning, knocked out power to more than 6 million, caused the evacuation of millions more, and has caused flooding and extreme wind damage across hundreds of miles across Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. When Irma first made landfall in the Florida Keys, it set a new ‘first’ for 2017: two Category 4 (or stronger) hurricanes made landfall in the USA in the same year for the first time.
This is not simply a bad year or an unlucky coincidence, but is an effect of a planet that has been artificially warmed by human activity. This continues a pattern we’ve seen globally of more intense but fewer hurricanes in numbers, and 2017 is shaping up to be the most expensive hurricane season in US history. At the same time, wildfires are ravaging the western United States, and no, that’s not coincidence, either.