Brunswick Beacon, 09.14.23
Most of Brunswick County escaped serious damage from Tropical Storm Idalia. But the storm’s financial impacts across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas could total between $12 billion and $20 billion. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has only $3.4 billion remaining, and we’re only part of the way through hurricane season. FEMA is also responding to the horrific wildfires on Maui.
President Biden has asked Congress to authorize $16 billion to replenish the Disaster Relief Fund on which FEMA relies to conduct its emergency response operations. While President Biden assures those in disaster zones that the federal government will stand by them throughout the recovery effort, it remains to be seen whether Congress will fund these efforts.
Climate change is costing Americans billions as human activity spawns more frequent and widespread billion-dollar disasters including tropical storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, deadly heat waves, and droughts. In addition to our tax dollars that fund FEMA, climate change exacerbated events cost us billions in higher insurance premiums. Rather than accept these risks, many insurers are exiting some states altogether, leaving homeowners with few affordable options.
MAGA Republicans claim that climate change isn’t real, and folks like the fracking billionaire brothers from Texas pay right-wing media outlets to propagate this lie.
Sadly, millions of Americans are convinced these mega-disasters are somehow “normal.” They’re not. Climate change impacts are ravaging our health, draining our finances, and weakening our infrastructure,
As Republicans revel in campaign donations from their fossil fuel industry benefactors, President Biden has fought tenaciously to include climate and energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2023. What he needs now are legislators who will listen to scientists and who will work across the aisle to implement long-overdue climate change solutions. Remember this when you’re in the voting booth.