Rabbi Yonatan Neril, founder of Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development: 'We need to listen to what Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Katia are saying as messengers of God’s creation, planet earth. Something is out of balance in the way we are living, and the need to change is hitting us in the face.'
Neril: 'This is a huge wake up call for humanity that we need to change. It's no longer about recycling or getting a hybrid car. We need a fundamental reorientation of the way that we are living for sustainability.'
Climate change has been blamed for a dizzying array of absurd woes, from the dwindling number of customers at Bulgarian brothels to the death of the Loch Ness monster. Most of us can see through these silly headlines, but it’s far harder to parse the more serious claims when they’re repeated in good faith by well-meaning campaigners.
Consider the recent assertion by Unicef’s Bangladesh head of mission that climate change leads to an increase in child marriages. Between 2011 and 2020 globally, more than 140 million girls under the age of 18 will become brides, leading to curtailed education and reduced lifetime earnings, more domestic violence, more deaths from complications due to pregnancy and increased mortality for the young brides’ children. By all accounts, child marriage must be taken seriously. In Bangladesh, nearly 75% of women between the ages of 20 and 49 reported that they were married before they turned 18, giving the country the second-highest rate of child marriage in the world. As the Unicef head tells it, climate change has been a major cause, as warmer weather has worsened the flooding, pushing people to the cities, leading to more child marriages. This entire string of logic is wrong. The frequency of extreme floods in Bangladesh has increased, it’s true, but studies show their magnitude and duration have in fact decreased. And Bangladesh is far better at adapting today than it was a generation ago. In 1974, a flood killed 29,000 people and cost 7.5% of the country’s gross domestic product. A slightly larger flood in 2004 killed 761 people and cost 3.3% of GDP.
"Those who deny it [climate change] should go to the scientists and ask them," the pontiff said on Monday during an in-flight press conference on the return leg of a five-day Colombia trip. "They speak very clearly." As his charter plane flew over some of the recently devastated areas en route to Rome, Francis added: "I am reminded of a phrase from the Old Testament, I think from the Psalm: 'Man is stupid, he is stubborn and he does not see.'"
He said individuals and politicians had a "moral responsibility" to act on advice from scientists, who had clearly outlined what must be done to halt the course of "catastrophic" warming. "These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air," he said. "They are very clear. They [world leaders] decide and history will judge those decisions." Recalling last month's news that a ship crossed the Arctic without an icebreaker for the first time, Francis said: "We can see the effects of climate change, and scientists clearly say what path we should follow."
Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert: 'I will tell you that we continue to take seriously the climate change -- not the cause of it, but the things that we observe. And so there's rising flood waters -- I think one inch every 10 years in Tampa -- things that would require prudent mitigation measures. And what I said from the podium the other day, and what President Trump remains committed to, is making sure that federal dollars aren't used to rebuild things that will be in harm's way later or that won't be hardened against the future predicable floods that we see.'
“The shouting and screaming we hear today [about climate change boosting the strength of hurricanes] and the scientific efforts to support it all fall short on proving there is a link between warming of the atmosphere and our burning of fossil fuels,” Coleman wrote on his blog. The 82-year-old climate skeptic added: “Until they prove the basic foundation of their scientific position, the AlGorians are guilty of scientific fraud.”
Singer Stevie Wonder kicked off Tuesday’s star studded Hand In Hand telethon to raise money for hurricane recovery by getting political. Wonder started the show by saying, “Anyone who believes that there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent.”
Beyoncé: “The effects of climate change are playing out around the world everyday.” She then implied that climate change was behind the hurricanes, a monsoon in India and the recent earthquake in Mexico.