Op-Ed: Hurricane Ian and the coming climate crash
Hurricane Ian is now only 15 hours away from hitting the Southeast. We’re going to have a close look at the storm and its potential effects on our climate.
Hurricane season officially starts Oct. 1. While it may seem like a short stretch of time, in our current climate, it will be a short period where we are especially vulnerable to a dangerous warming trend. So far this year, we’ve seen a number of extreme weather events — hurricanes, floods and drought — which clearly point to the importance of taking action against global warming.
But what happens when the climate itself changes? What happens when we have two consecutive hurricanes that go as far north as they can go, and then hit the southern Gulf Coast, which is almost dead in terms of water flow and water storage? That may be on the cards now.
Hurricane Ian is a Category 1 storm. It’s the strongest in the Atlantic on record, and is set to hit the coast of South Carolina late Friday night. Already it has caused $1 billion worth of damage to the Bahamas, and has been downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Here’s what could come after that.
The most important effect of Hurricane Ian is its expected effect on energy prices. The storm will suck out a ton of electricity from the Bahamas, and while this will definitely affect the rate of growth of the energy market, it won’t be enough to completely put the brakes on it. The problem we face now is that we’re already experiencing a rate of growth that is much faster than we normally see.
“A new report … concludes that the global energy generation capacity growth rate is accelerating at the same time that the rate at which emissions are increasing in the developing world is accelerating too,” according to Climate Central research. “The global trend in carbon emissions accelerated in the past 10 years,” while global energy generation capacity increased at the same time. So the problem of global warming is getting worse, not better.