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Thousands Sign Petition to Change Hurricane Irma's Name to Ivanka

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A Care2 petition that surfaced online Wednesday demanding the World Meteorological Association change the name of Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Ivanka is more than halfway towards its 10,000-signature goal.

According to the petition's letter, President Trump's eldest daughter, "who promised to try to influence her father on certain issues like climate change, has quietly accepted the administration's lack of action on this very serious issue."


The first daughter and White House senior advisor reportedly wanted climate change to be one of her "signature issues," but has been notably silent as her father continues to roll back critical environmental regulations. Just days before Hurricane Harvey struck, Trump killed an Obama-era rule that required new infrastructure to be built with climate resiliency in mind, specifically flood protection. Ivanka was also said to be in favor of the U.S. remaining in the Paris climate deal but was unable to persuade her father otherwise.

"Ivanka Trump can say what she wants about climate change but as long as she quietly stands back, she remains complicit in the destruction we all face at the hands of her father's administration," the letter continues.

"That's why we're petitioning the World Meteorological Association to rename Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Ivanka. We need to put pressure on members of Trump's administration to take real a stand for the health and safety of our world and generations to come."

So far, nearly 7,000 people from all over the world, from New York to the Netherlands, have added their electronic signatures to the form.

The volume of rainfall from Harvey, which devastated Texas last month, is likely linked to climate change, the World Meteorological Organization said.

Hurricane Irma—which has torn through the Caribbean, causing widespread devastation on Barbuda, Anguilla, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthelemy and Puerto Rico—was also made worse by climate change, scientists said.

Ivanka indeed appears to have moved on from environmental issues as of late. As Elite Daily wrote: "In the past week, she has tweeted twice about Hurricane Harvey—and three times about tax reform. Both of Trump's Hurricane Harvey tweets are largely indifferent to the suffering happening in Texas, only offering thoughts and prayers; one points her followers to the government website for natural disaster preparedness. But that's it. No offers to help, no tweets about where to donate or how to help."

Here are some tweets about Ivanka's lackluster hurricane response:

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"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.

The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.

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"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."

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Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.

That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.

Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.

If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.

"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."

To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.


"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."

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