Last month, the world watched in horror as Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic flooding in Huston, Texas, leaving thousands uprooted and a rising death toll of over 70. Last week, we were faced with the news that Hurricane Irma would tear through Florida, with residents experiencing 'the most catastrophic storm' it has ever seen. More recently, Hurricane Jose left Caribbean Islands devastated, destroying 95% of buildings as it passed over the tiny island of Barbuda as Jose's successor Hurricane Katia is predicted to be as damaging.
Last week, an earthquake in Mexico reached a magnitude of 8.2, which categorises them as the highest on the scale. According to geologists, anything over 8.0 can 'totally destroy communities near the epicentre' and an earthquake of this force is predicted once in every 5 to 10 years. As Mexico declares a National day of Mourning to honour those killed, experts show another of this size is imminent.
On the other side of the world, the less documented South Asian flooding has affected more than 40 million people across India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
With the onslaught of Natural Disasters across the globe, and further storms predicted, people across the world are asking, why aren't our leaders talking about climate change?
We know that hurricanes feed of warm water, and Earth Day Network recently published a piece about how warm water, heated by global warming makes hurricanes worse. Backed up by years of research and a stack of scientific evidence, we also know that that warm air holds more water vapour, which in turns leads to more rainfall and flooding. The EDN also talked about the evidence they had which proved urban sprawl and poor land management can make a bad situation worse, which is why residents in Huston are now being faced with a cocktail of toxic chemicals, sewage and debris as flood waters subside.
Not only do we now need our leaders to form robust plans for aid to reach these areas affected, but we need them to start asking big environmental questions. For years, politicians have applied 'band-aid solutions' which simply cover up problems with temporary relief. If we're ever to tackle climate change, we need world leaders to take action today! In Scandinavia, progressive green views have seen Sweden and Denmark scoring 3rd and 4th on the EPI, an Environmental Performance Index compiled by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities along with the World Economics forum, with Finland securing first place with a score of 90.68. However, the leaders of the free world, America, only come in 26th place and for years environmental policy has been seen as a liberal issue, which takes precedence behind the economy, defence and immigration.
In an attempt to combat this, Earth Day Network are asking people to write to their local congress representatives requesting change, and we're mirroring their efforts here in the U.K. calling for people to write, tweet or call their local MP's, demanding them to wake up to the reality of climate change!
"Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now" - Barack Obama.