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Democrats Discuss: Harvey, Irma must lead to amplified climate change discussion

I’m not writing this column to argue what the scientific community already has concluded about climate change and its impact on our planet. That debate has been settled. As communities in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean begin the long and costly recovery from Hurricane Harvey and Irma, our most serious national discussion yet on climate change must emerge.

Hurricanes have always happened and always will, there’s no preventing mother nature’s violence. But when two of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded hit our nation just days apart from each other, it’s clear that rising temperatures and sea levels contributed to the intensity of these storms. It’s no coincidence.

When terrorists breached our national security on Sept. 11, 2001, by executing a large scale attack on U.S. soil, it immediately changed our national discussion about security. As the nation healed from that tragedy, our government, to much success, developed plans (such as establishing the Department of Homeland Security, TSA, etc) to prevent future attacks. 

We know we can’t prevent all acts of terrorism, but that doesn’t stop us from striving to. Why can’t this be the narrative for reducing the impacts climate change has had, is having and will continue to have on our lives and economy?

This isn’t partisan either. Take it from Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, a Republican, who has called on the Trump administration to acknowledge climate change’s role in Irma. Something tells me that the Mayor of Miami has more credibility on this issue than an Environmental Protection Agency administrator who cares more about keeping his friendly ties to the fossil fuel industry than protecting the environment.

We’ve been warned about this danger for decades now. How many more natural disasters will it take for our leaders to say enough is enough?

Alex Jackson is a sophomore studying strategic communications at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. How has the climate affected you? Let Alex know by tweeting him @alexjackson716.

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