We are aware of the impending climate change that is all set to descend on our planet due to global warming. But the extent of it is something that Americans had a taste of through Hurricane Ida. The western regions of the continent have already been facing infernal wildfires, and hurricane Ida has added a new dimension to the fury of an unsettled nature.
Hurricane Ida plummeted into the mainland at Louisiana Highway 1, a 2-lane winding highway that passes through New Orleans. It hit the region 1 year after Hurricane Laura which devastated Pelican State. It hit exactly 16 years after the most devastating of them all, Hurricane Katrina. It had destroyed the city of New Orleans and had stunned the nation with its ferocity.
Katrina had then virtually destroyed New Orleans, and we could witness a repeat of the humanitarian crisis that followed which had then shaken the world.
Experts have warned that the federal and state governments need to get their act together immediately. Otherwise, we could be in for a nightmare of hurricanes lashing the Atlantic coast in the coming years. It will also lead to devastating floods such as the one which this month tormented Tennessee. It will also lead to extreme droughts and wildfires in other regions.
Hurricane Ida Is One Of The Many ‘Hellscapes’ The Planet Will Endure
John Podesta, Former Chief of Staff at the White House has said that the US will be forced to endure what he called a ‘hellscape’ in the near future if no concrete steps are taken to lessen the impact of climate change. The succession of natural disasters is a mere preview of what could come soon.
Wildfires in the western state of Denver led to the worst quality of air on earth. Droughts are ravaging large parts of the Midwest and the Northwest. Water shortages are so severe that regulating measures had to be officially declared for the first time ever on the Colorado River.
Lake Powell and Lake Mead, the two largest water reservoirs in the US have sunk to record low levels ever since their construction decades back. But climate change has not affected all the regions with equal intensity.
Disasters Like Hurricane Ida Will Widen Socioeconomic And Racial Fissures
Complicating climate change is social issues such as racial disparity, which has become more widespread recently. Community activist Justin Onwenu said that only taking aggressive and immediate action can save us now.
Studies have highlighted how climate change could soon turn into a racial problem, and also a socio-economic justice issue. More than 300 experts at the 4th National Climate Assessment found that economic and environmental inequality would be aggravated due to climate change.
The only piece of good news coming of this is that time remained for us to act. All nations need to move immediately to stave off the most awful consequences caused by climate change.
The $3.5T budget blueprint being debated in Congress includes provisions to force companies to spend on clean sources of energy. There is also a proposal for a Civilian Climate Corps that would be deployed in their thousands to be at the forefront of the battle to halt climate change. Another $1T infrastructure bill will also include provisions to move towards clean energy measures such as electric vehicles.
Other mitigation steps that have been added to President Biden’s infrastructure package and the budget resolution are designed to minimize damages caused by natural disasters caused by climate change.
The floodgates and levees of New Orleans stood firm against Hurricane Ida. A billion dollars spent in strengthening the control system after the devastation of Katrina has paid dividends. It gives hope that prompt action to combat climate change does make a difference.