Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) declared that if we gave more effort to fight climate change, we could reduce the frequency of hurricanes.
Speaking from he Senate floor on Thursday, Schumer began his speech by extending “our thoughts and hearts” to the people affected by Hurricane Michael.
“This year has seen huge a number of powerful storms and hurricanes buffet the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf,” Schumer said.
The core of Schumer’s speech hit this theme:
“Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence, and now Michael have all wrought severe damages. According to NOAA, 2017 was the most expensive year on record for disasters in the U.S. At some point, we have to acknowledge the intensity of these storms that is much greater than in past years and is a symptom of changing climate.
Climate change is real, it is being driven by human activity, it is happening right now. These are facts; they are not in dispute. Our scientists know it, our businesses know it, the world knows it, and the American people know it. But, too many senators on the other side of the aisle just put their head in the sand.
It costs us more, and more, and more. We’re not going to leave these people high and dry, but if we would do more on climate change, we’d have fewer of these hurricanes and other types of storms. Everyone knows that, except a few. Why? Why won’t they admit the truth? Maybe there are two words that explain it: oil industry.”
The Senate Minority Leader focused on a U.N. report released this week that indicates that the world has just a little over a decade to “get a handle on carbon emissions.”
According to that U.N. report, there is “alarming evidence” that humanity has reached “important tipping points, leading to irreversible changes in major ecosystems and the planetary climate system.
“Ecosystems as diverse as the Amazon rainforest and the Arctic tundra may be approaching thresholds of dramatic change through warming and drying. Mountain glaciers are in alarming retreat and the downstream effects of reduced water supply in the driest months will have repercussions that transcend generations.”
Schumer then lashed out at the Trump administration saying it has done nothing but “move the issue backward.”
“Amazing — that we, the leading country, supposed to be the moral force, the economic, political, military leader, we are the ones that pull out of the Paris Climate Accords and the administration has been repealing environmental protection after protection,” Schumer said.
“So while we are thinking about the people of Florida and Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and everyone in Hurricane Michael’s path, let’s remember that we are running out of time to do something about climate change, and the kind of storms we are seeing now will only increase if this body continues to keep its head in the sand, ostrichlike, and ignore the scientific realities.”