Quantcast

Extreme Weather a Huge Threat, Trump’s Actions Make It Worse

Popular

By Joel Scata

Extreme weather, failure to adapt to climate impacts, and failure to combat climate change all top the World Economic Forum's list of Global Risks.


Yet, President Trump, who addressed the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland Friday, fails to recognize these risks and, in fact, has taken many actions that make the nation more vulnerable to them.

Global Risks Report 2018, World Economic Forum

Extreme Weather Equals Extreme Costs

The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2018 ranked extreme weather, natural disasters, and our collective failure to mitigate and adapt to a climate change as some of the greatest and most likely risks facing humanity in the next 10 years. And their warnings are not meritless. Climate change is already helping to fuel more extreme storms.

Such extreme weather events can be economically and socially devastating for many regions of the world. These events, such as catastrophic hurricanes, major floods and prolonged high temperatures and droughts, are expected to occur more frequently and at greater magnitude in the coming decades. These events will further stress many countries beset by poverty and instability, and could potentially result in water crises and large-scale migrations of refugees, inflaming regional tensions. According to the report, "76% of the 31.1 million people displaced during 2016 were forced from their homes as a result of weather-related events."

For the U.S., extreme weather events cause billions of dollars in disaster-related damages. In the 2017, sixteen weather-related disasters, each exceeding $1 billion in damage, occurred in the U.S. Hurricane Harvey, alone, has likely cost $125 billion in damages.

As this graphic demonstrates, the number of these events and their associated costs has steadily increased.

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2018).

This trend will likely continue to increase as climate change continues to load the dice when it comes to extreme events.

"America First" in Exposure to Impacts of Climate Change

However, the Trump administration appears hell-bent on taking the U.S. in reverse. The administration has strived to cast doubt on the existence of climate change and its role in fueling these disasters. Many of the Trump administration's actions, like revoking the federal flood protection standard, are inapposite to findings of the report, and have undermined the nation's ability to mitigate and adapt.

The Trump administration has taken a hatchet to numerous laws, regulations, and policies that, if left in place, would have made America stronger and safer in the face of climate change impacts. Instead, Trump's anti-environment agenda has left the U.S. exposed, threatening human health and safety, and the nation's long-term economic prosperity. Here is a list of just some of Trump's dangerous actions:

  • And the list goes on....

An Extreme Future for America

Climate change is not a matter of "if;" it is occurring and will continue to occur with worsening severity, unless action is taken to mitigate and adapt to its impacts. The Trump administration would be wise to heed the warnings of the report because its current actions set the U.S. up to fail. One only need to look to the past year to see the implications of a future of more extreme weather. And America is on a path to be vastly unprepared.

Related Articles Around the Web

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Residents wear masks for protection as smoke billows from stacks in a neighborhood next to a coal fired power plant on Nov. 26, 2015 in Shanxi, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

While most of the world is reducing its dependence on coal-fired power because of the enormous amount of greenhouse gases associated with it, China raised its coal fired capacity over 2018 and half of 2019, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Children run on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in California. Bureau of Land Management

By Matt Berger

It's not just kids in the United States.

Children worldwide aren't getting enough physical activity.

That's the main conclusion of a new World Health Organization (WHO) study released Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Tim Ruben Weimer

Tanja Diederen lives near Maastricht in the Netherlands. She has been suffering from Hidradenitis suppurativa for 30 years. Its a chronic skin disease in which the hair roots are inflamed under pain — often around the armpits and on the chest.

Read More Show Less
Biosolids are applied to fallow wheat fields to build healthy soils at Boulder Park, Washington. King County

By Sarah Wesseler

Talk of natural climate solutions typically conjures up images of lush forests or pristine wetlands. But in King County, Washington, one important natural solution comes from a less Instagram-worthy source: the toilets of Seattle.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less