In the Hurricane of 1938, my father’s neck was broken when the garage where my parents sought refuge collapsed on them. My parents survived; an estimated 700 people in New England did not in that hurricane. It had no name and scientific weather predictions were not yet well developed. Nor were mass media technologies that science has also created.
Today things are different. Science helps us to know more, prepare better, soften outcomes of weather and understand and treat diseases. It was also scientists who predicted the recent solar eclipse that Members of Congress and people across the U.S. observed. We all watched because no one doubted the scientists who predicted the eclipse. We trusted science.
We have all been watching the ravages brought about by wildfires and unprecedented hurricanes that scientists have predicted. We mourn the terrible plights and celebrate the kindnesses in their wakes. But when we address the topic of disease, we talk about more than individual patients and heroic doctors. Science helps us to see patterns and to make predictions. We connect the dots from lung cancer to smoking for example and see the bigger picture. So when we talk about weather we need to talk about more, too. The ravages from hurricanes are real. So is climate change.
Step One for Congress: Acknowledge the huge changes in climate on earth, then take bold strides to address them.