Brooklyn, NY – Today, Donald Trump goes to Corpus Christi, Texas to inspect damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, a climate change-fueled storm. In a press conference on late Monday, the President claimed that “protecting the lives of our people” is his highest priority and promised to “come out bigger, better, stronger than before.”
As expected, his remarks made no mention of the root causes of the Hurricane, a storm worsened by warmer oceans and higher sea levels. Climate scientists have stated that climate change, exacerbated by fossil fuel use, leads to more catastrophic weather events, among other impacts.
In response, 350.org’s executive director May Boeve issued the following statement:
“While Donald Trump claims that “protecting lives” is his highest priority, it is his own policies that will make recovery from superstorms like Hurricane Harvey much worse. This is an unnatural disaster fueled by the reckless climate denial that is a hallmark of this administration. Just a week before the storm made landfall, Trump signed an executive order rolling back safety standards for flood protection. The Administration has prioritized fossil fuel projects, slashed environmental reviews, and rolled back critical climate protections. In early June, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, clearly siding with fossil fuel billionaires over the millions of Americans who want climate action.
“The situation unfolding on Texas’ Gulf Coast is unlike anything else in history, and it is the product of both a hotter planet and this Administration’s climate denial, racism and callousness. With over six million people affected by Hurricane Harvey, the recovery process will be long and arduous, with the people hit the hardest often poor, people of color, or otherwise vulnerable communities. The flooding is expected to get worse, more people are in need of shelter and services, damaged oil refineries are spewing toxic fumes into communities, and public health is at risk. While Trump assures swift rebuilding, we know that his short-sighted and destructive policies will ensure that if another extreme weather disaster occurs, coastal cities and towns like Houston and Corpus Christi will continue to suffer the consequences of the recklessness of fossil fuel billionaires and the politicians they employ.
“As Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak havoc, it is imperative the elected officials across the country stand up against climate denial and demand that the Administration and Congress commit to long term climate action. This is the only way to build a world where families can live free from the fear of climate chaos.”
Thanu Yakupitiyage, U.S Communications Manager, 350.org; email@example.com, 413-687-5160