The city of Houston is nearly underwater, thanks to the relentless Hurricane Harvey, which Vice President Mike Pence referred to on Friday as “frustrating.” Harvey remains now where it has been for several days, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on an already inundated and devastated region. Twenty two lives have been lost, and authorities fear the worst is yet to come, in what is already the worst continental rainstorm in American history.
When President Trump released his proposed budget earlier this year, it included cuts across the board — including hundreds of millions from programs that help Americans cope with disasters like Hurricane Harvey.
Gigantic cuts are proposed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency charged with overseeing the government’s response to Hurricane Harvey, as well as other natural disasters. The National Weather Service and the government’s flood insurance programs are to be cut as well.
Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham noted Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” that FEMA administrator Brock Long is still without a deputy.
From looking at photos of flooded Houston, she said: “We can conclude that a federal government does need staff. We see it acutely in need of staff in a situation like this.”
But, mere moments later, Trump took to Twitter by way of a response, tweeting: “@foxandfriends We are not looking to fill all of those positions. Don’t need many of them – reduce size of government.”
It is a very good thing for the people of Houston, that Trump had not yet gotten around to reducing the people who’ve been saving them, the heroic holdovers from President Obama’s administration Kathleen Fox and David Grant.
Among them was a rule that would have required federally funded projects to account for flood risks
. Ten days later, Hurricane Harvey made its first landfall in Texas. This order revoked a whole set of Obama-era rules
and regulations that would have made federally-funded infrastructure less vulnerable to flooding. It would have required the federal government to factor in the risk of flooding and sea-level rise, as a result of climate change, when constructing new infrastructure and rebuilding after disasters. Would have been nice, except that Trump doesn’t believe in climate change.
Trump’s entire climate approach, activists say, belies a profound insincerity at his administration’s response to the catastrophic flooding in the region. His strategy is to rip up any and all regulations that interfere with the short-term gain of wealth. This is the same strategy that gave us the Dust Bowl,
which is another thing that could happen again if Trump policies in this area come to life. Cities like Houston, particularly the at-risk section of the people, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to future catastrophe.
“While Trump is speaking to people impacted by the storm, his policies themselves are going to make the lives of people in these storm-prone areas worse
,” said Thanu Yakupitiyage, the US communications manager for 350.org. Well said.
A guy like that isn’t someone you can even talk to. It would take Archie Bunker himself, to hold fast so tight to a belief that not only flies in the face of scientific evidence, but threatens the long-term health and safety of every living thing. And all for a little more money. Here is a picture of the Manhattan Skyline in 1973, compared to now.
There comes a time in every adult life when they’ve got to face reality. For example, if you don’t change the oil in your car, it will turn before long into a very, very big and huge paperweight. How much more so is this true, regarding the upkeep of an entire city, or country, or world? However, unpleasant as it is, the reality of our current situation is that our President will not accept this crucial concept. Donald Trump has been a climate-change denier
from the first.
“Democrats believe that climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures, and that Americans deserve the jobs and security that come from becoming the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.”
Democrats are aware that climate change is one of the most critical challenges that this nation has to face
. Hurricane Harvey is the latest addition to a long list of disastrous proofs. Properly addressing this urgent threat will ensure America’s place as the world’s clean energy superpower, and continue to assure us a role of global leadership in the ongoing process of finding solutions. Democrats will continue to fight to return us to the table of the Paris Agreement. Our goal is to protect both our nation and our planet, for this and future generations.