Hurricanes, like the one that just devastated the Bahamas and continues to creep toward the U.S. coast, can be devastating. In recent years, we’ve seen them become more powerful and deadly as the impacts of climate change are more widely felt.
The silver lining, of course, is that these disasters typically last a few days and then end.
But as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pointed out on Tuesday, Donald Trump is essentially a Category 5 disaster that just keeps wreaking havoc – with no end in sight.
“Increasingly, the basic question of the fitness of this president is exacerbated by the question of his fitness in the era of climate disaster,” the MSNBC host said. “And he has shown himself not up to the task.”
Hayes added, “He is moving us in literally the wrong direction at the moment when we most need climate leadership.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 4, 2019
Late last week the president canceled his trip to Poland to monitor the hurricane. That happenened on Thursday. On Monday as the hurricane basically destroyed parts of the Bahamas and threatened the U.S., he took a helicopter to his private golf course in Sterling, Vrginia. Over the weekend he tweeted over 100 times about everything from “The Apprentice” to actress Debra Messing, including telling the people of Alabama to prepare themselves for a hurricane. The storm was never going to hit Alabama. … But all that was probably better than when Trump actually talked about the hurricane. On Sunday, he went to visit FEMA’s national response coordination center and said that he was not sure he had, quote, ever even heard of a Category 5. There have, in fact, been several Category 5 storms since he has been president, including Hurricane Maria, a mega-disaster in which 3,000 American citizens died. And for that huge disaster, there has never to this day been a formal official U.S. government federal official inquiry or report about what exactly went wrong there and why. Increasingly, the basic question of the fitness of this president is exacerbated by the question of his fitness in the era of climate disaster. And he has shown himself not up to the task. In fact, he has been taking steps at every turn to accelerate said disaster, to roll back regulations that will reduce carbon emissions in the auto industry, power plants, opening up Alaska’s Tongass national forest, strangling the centers of science that are going to tell ush ow to deal with the problem. He is moving us in literally the wrong direction at the moment when we most need climate leadership. It is the sad and tragic state of affairs in American politics in the year 2019 that there are two political coalitions, and only one is debating what to do about the civilizational crises before us.
From tone to substance, Trump is a walking disaster
It’s easy to get caught up in Donald Trump’s rhetoric, particularly at a time of crisis for the country and the world. To watch the president of the United States spew nonsense on Twitter as a hurricane barrels toward the U.S. coast is stunning.
But the substance underneath Trump’s ignorance on climate change is much more disastrous, as Chris Hayes pointed out on Tuesday.
Because as Trump signals that he doesn’t care or even know much about climate change, the policies his administration keeps enacting are making the problem much worse – and it will have devastating consequences for decades to come.
Donald Trump’s refusal to act at this critical moment for the planet will only accelerate climate change. It will lead to stronger and more deadly natural disasters long after he leaves the White House.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.