There are lots of reasons why climate change doesn’t get the attention it deserves: the power of the fossil fuel lobby, political weakness and laziness among the general population, for example.
But one thing you simply cannot ignore – especially when your house has been destroyed and your community torn apart – is the devastating power of natural disasters like hurricanes and floods.
19 people are dead after Hurricane Michael swept through Florida last week and Puerto Rico is still struggling to deal with the fallout from Hurricane Maria, when thousands are believed to have died.
In fact, climate change scientists agree that man-made climate change is making storms more deadly.
“This year has shown us that climate change is a present-day threat to the safety and livelihoods of communities across America,” Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, told the New York Times recently.
But one person who still is refusing to accept that climate change is a real and present danger – even in spite of the dire warnings from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that we have just 12 years years to curb the planet’s temperature from rising between 1.5°C and 2°C – is one of the world’s most powerful figures: President Donald Trump.
In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes, which aired on Sunday, Trump was asked about the role of climate change in extreme weather – and if he still believed it was nothing but a Chinese hoax, as he once tweeted.
“Look, I think something’s happening. Something’s changing, and it’ll change back again,” Trump said.
“I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference, but I don’t think it’s manmade.
“I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”
When pushed on the fact that officials in Trump’s own administration have warned about climate change, he still evaded responsibility.
“You’d have to show me the scientists, because they have a very big political agenda,” Trump said.
Time is running out to get a handle of climate change but the President of the United States, who pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement last year, doesn’t look like he’ll be worrying about it any time soon.