This is a genius suggestion. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to post any good news regarding climate change, as lately it seems that the American culture has all but stopped caring. What’s worse is the staggering number of people that I speak to on a daily basis that still genuinely believe that climate change and/or global warming is a hoax.
Despite the super-storms in the Eastern coast, the massive and unyielding heat waves in the Southwest, and the annual parade of forest fires in the Midwest and the West coast, there is still a large enough portion of the population who believes that this is all a bunch of hogwash.
Thanks to a recent suggestion by the creators of 350.org, an environmental awareness and protection advocacy group, we might have a new cultural tool to use in an attempt to sway public opinion and attention back toward the issue at hand.
The idea is hilarious in its simplicity: name the hurricanes and tropical storms after the politicians who deny climate change is a real thing.
By naming the storms after the people who deny their existence, we will be attributing the fear, panic, damage, and economic repercussions squarely on the shoulders of the people who take this problem the least seriously. These are the people who are elected and expected to handle natural disasters, whether by securing the funding to fix the damage after the storm, or by placing the necessary protective infrastructure in their constituent’s areas before the storm even hits, such as levies, public tornado shelters, or disaster aid.
There are wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes every single year. Usually, there are multiple of these events every single year. After 237 years of being an established country in North America, you would think that at some point, our country could figure out how to build homes that can withstand the local dangers.
In the past 100 years, California has only suffered a small handful of major earthquakes. In that time, the building code for all of California has changed to pretty much require all new buildings to be able to withstand a 7.0 Magnitude earthquake. Buildings that were built before this requirement are actually forced to undergo retrofitting. Not only has California learned from its mistakes in the past, but not one California politician has taken a stance that climate change isn’t real. I’m not sure if it’s a local cultural phenomenon or not, but over here, we identify a problem, and then we take steps to solve it. We certainly don’t ignore the problem and pretend it goes away on its own.
So even if we ignored solving global warming (for the sake of argument), the concept of building homes that can withstand these disasters isn’t a difficult one to grasp, nor is it impossible to achieve…we just have people in charge who don’t see public safety as a priority.
With this name change idea, that lackadaisical attitude could change. It’s a lot more difficult to claim that there’s nothing wrong with the environment when there’s a storm out there named after you that just displaced ten thousand people from their homes. That’s the kind of delicious irony that sticks with people through an election cycle…perhaps for the rest of their lives.