Statement from the College Democrats of New York on Hurricane Harvey and Irma
"At the time of writing this article there have been 107 confirmed deaths tied to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Harvey, a category 4 hurricane, devastated Texas, dumping over 11 trillion gallons of water in only a few days’ time, leading to widespread flooding. Some areas have recorded more than 50 inches of rain, and over 200 billion dollars of damage. Hurricane Irma was a category 5 hurricane that slammed into many Caribbean islands and caused catastrophic damage to infrastructure before hitting Florida. Irma’s rage is expected to cost approximately 100 billion dollars to all countries affected.
"The clean- up efforts are ongoing throughout the southern U.S in the wake of these two superstorms. CDNY stands with all who have been affected by the recent hurricanes, and we hope that no events of such magnitude ever happen again, but as oceans continue to warm due to global warming, storms such as these, unfortunately, are very likely to occur with increasing frequency and ferocity.
"Climatologists worldwide have observed, and agree that global warming is leading to climatic changes. This includes stronger storm surges, and more powerful storms overall which spells absolute disaster for the millions of Americans who reside in proximity to the coast. We know that global warming is occurring, and we know the devastating consequences it poses to our national security. For this reason, it is imperative for governmental officials, and concerned citizens to act as swiftly as possible to discuss, and address the problems at hand.
"However, our current administration repeatedly tries to shut down all discussions surrounding climate change. Our current president has called climate change a “hoax created by the Chinese”, and our head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, is a self-proclaimed “Defender of Fossil Fuels.” Several White House officials have been asked in the wake of the storms whether they believe that climate change, due to anthropogenic global warming, was a possibility for the severity of the recent Hurricanes. All refused to acknowledge any possibility, and Pruitt went one step further to call a reporter “insensitive” by bringing up the topic.
"In a world of rising seas and stronger storms we have no time to waste in fighting against the ignorance that drives us ever so closer to the edge of a global catastrophe––Hurricane Harvey and Irma are just a sign of what’s to come if we don’t act against climate change now. If you can, donate to organizations like the Red Cross which is helping hurricane victims right now. However, we must be proactive, not just reactive. Tell your elected official to publicly commit to fighting climate change, hold them accountable for spewing false information regarding global warming, and warn them that unmitigated climate change will only lead to more devastating and frequent disasters like Harvey and Irma." - Nicholas, Filannino, CDNY Environmental Caucus Chair