Unlike Donald Trump, world leaders take a pragmatic approach to climate change.
Hurricane Florence, which reached Category 4 (out of 5), weakened to a Category 1 before touching down on the North Carolina coast. It was soon downgraded to a tropical storm, with a wind speed of over 38 mph, but it is still causing damage due to flooding.
The storm locally dumped up to 30 inches of rain. There were more than 20 official deaths in the U.S. as of last Monday, September 17, and millions of people remain homeless.
On the other side of the globe, Typhoon Mangkhut plowed through the Philippines leaving dozens of victims, most of whom were miners buried in landslides. (Many are still missing.) Mangkhut then wreaked havoc in Hong Kong and the Chinese province of Guangdong.
The typhoon brought 18 inches of rain to the Philippine area. Like Florence, its destructive force is related to the amount of water it brings about in the form of rainstorms rather than its wind speed.
The cyclones’ rainfall is directly related to the additional energy transmitted to the atmosphere by global warming. Warmer oceans evaporate more, which in turn produces rainfall, ocean surges and stronger floods — precisely some of the more extreme events predicted by climate change simulations.
Still, the American president, Donald Trump, continues to dismantle carbon emissions reduction policies. History’s most polluting country withdrew from the 2015 Paris climate agreement which was arduously negotiated and clearly not enough to contain global warming at safe levels.
However, it is not all bad news. Last week, hundreds of governors, mayors and aboriginal leaders attended the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, striving to follow a different direction than Trump — and not just in speeches.
One hundred big companies in the food and fiber industry revealed billions of dollars in investments in smart agriculture to reduce climate pollution. Nine foundations intend to donate approximately $7.6 billion until 2022 to encourage traditional people to preserve forests.
A group of 27 cities with a total of 54 million inhabitants announced that they have reduced their carbon emissions over a period of five years (but none of the cities are in developing countries).
As evidence is gathered, decision-makers are leaving ideology aside and taking a pragmatic approach to climate change. Let’s hope it is not too little, too late.