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Politicize the Weather

It's time to realize one simple truth: Republicans are very largely to blame

The Republican Party is effectively doing all it can to worsen climate-fueled weather disasters. (Photo: Illustrated | REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst, NOAA via Getty Images)

The Republican Party is effectively doing all it can to worsen climate-fueled weather disasters. (Photo: Illustrated | REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst, NOAA via Getty Images)

Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas on Thursday, moving slowly inland. By Friday morning, it had brought a 10-foot storm surge and sever flooding to parts of North Carolina. Multiple people have needed to be rescued and power companies are reporting more than 150,000 outages due to strong winds topping 90 miles per hour.

Yet for all of its destruction, it's just one of many terrible weather events that have caused humanitarian disasters in the United States over the past two years — most notably Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

It's time to realize one simple truth: Republicans are very largely to blame. Democrats should not hesitate to point this out.

There are two main reasons why.

First, natural disasters become humanitarian emergencies primarily due to poor preparation and response, either through incompetence or poverty. For instance, a 2010 earthquake in Haiti killed perhaps 100,000 people, while a much, much stronger one in Chile killed only 525 (mainly due to superior building construction). The United States is very rich, and should be able to handle anything short of the most severe disasters.

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Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. His work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post.

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