Headlines from around the world seem to indicate something Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge. Climate scientists have confirmed that climate change made hurricanes like Harvey and Irma worse storms than they would have been. Because of long-term warming trends, the ocean is warmer, creating more energy for a hurricane to tap. The atmosphere is warmer too, sending more water vapor into the air that can then be pulled back down by a hurricane as rain. Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist who directs Columbia University’s Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, estimates that 5 to 10 percent of the rainfall in Houston was due to global warming (more conservative than the 30 percent estimate from Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research).
Right now, with Irma, we’re experiencing the strongest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. We can’t say that’s because of climate change, but we can say that climate change made that much more likely to happen.
President Trump has not expressed worry or empathy for those in the storm’s path,or those who have lost their lives. He is not encouraging donations to the Red Cross or other disaster relief groups. Instead, he appears impressed: The hurricane is just so big! Trump is a hurricane narcissist.
We’ve know for a long time that the president is a narcissist, obsessed with promoting himself and convinced that he does everything in the biggest, best, most successful way. But now we know that his narcissism knows no bounds—that he’ll continue to congratulate himself even as lives are lost. It’s not a quirky personality trait; it’s a dangerous form of denial.
Even more troublesome is Trump’s history with Insurance fraud that has been associated with Trump and hurricanes. Trump received a $17-million insurance payout in 2005 for damage caused by hurricane Wilma to Mar-a-lago.
However the Associated Press investigation published last year revealed there was little evidence of large-scale damage to Mar-a-Lago.
Trump admitted that he kept some of the insurance money for his personal use rather than spending it on repairs. Irma is presenting Trump with a new opportunity to cash in. He has already suffered significant destruction of his vacation home on the island of St. Martin. The 11 bedroom compound was for sale, listed at $16.9 million. At that price it is already $2.8 million less than Trump paid for it in 2013. Now with the hurricane damage he may be able to recover his full purchase price and eliminate that costly realtor’s fee.
Jennifer Lawrence indicated that the devastating hurricanes in Texas and Florida are signs of “Mother Nature’s rage and wrath” at America for electing Donald Trump and not believing in man-made climate change. Her conclusion is probably shared by many Americans. However they probably don’t realize that Trump has positioned himself to make money off the hurricane.