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Trump Agency Heads Rebrand Climate Change as a Lack of Resiliency—Blaming the Victims

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Oct 2, 2017 6:18:21 PM

As part of the effort to scour the term "Climate Change" from federal agencies, Trump recasts the problem as one of lack of preparation on the part of citizens.Resilence is the New Climate Change.jpg

At Green Builder, we were among the first to coin the phrase Resilient Housing. We've seen the writing on the wall for a few years now. Buildings need to be braced for forces unlike anything they're currently designed to encounter.

The daunting effects of Climate Change are already in motion, and among the more skeptical in the science community, we may have already passed the tipping point where major impacts on housing, cities and even mass migration are inevitable.

But Mr. Trump's politically motivated change of lexicon should not be allowed to blur the line between the CAUSES of Climate Change, and the common sense response of making our homes more resilient. The timing of the shift is no accident, coming as it does on the heels of Trump (and FEMA's) highly criticized response to Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico. Trump effectively blamed the Puerto Ricans for their own misfortune, because they hadn't solved their debt problems.

This type of rhetoric should not come as a surprise. It's part of much larger effort to decouple the federal government from risk and responsibility.

That goal is not all bad, of course, especially when it genuinely serves the public interest. For example, congress just passed legislation opening up flood insurance to private insurers, a move that could offer more flexibility for homeowners.

But if used as a weapon against the poor, it's a low trick. And that's how the Trump administration is spinning the Climate Change narrative 180 degrees.

In the world according to Trump, it's not the wealthy nations producing the vast majority of CO2 that should change their behavior. It's the poor countries in the path of global warming-enhanced hurricanes, drought, wildfire and extreme heat that have brought suffering upon themselves, by not spending most of their meager budgets reinforcing their homes and preparing for whatever the world's biggest economies care to do to the planet.

If that sounds cynical, it should. But I'll leave you with the words of Trump's lieutenants, and let you make the call:

Here's how CNN reported the story:
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, both Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long and acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke avoided explicitly answering whether the government needs to be more focused on climate change because of hurricanes.
Instead, they both said the focus should be on resiliency.
"Regardless of what causes disasters, it's our job within the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to manage the consequences," Long told CNN. "The only way we become resilient as a nation is we have to create that true culture of preparedness among our citizenry, which we do not have, and then we also have to look how we move forward when it comes to infrastructure protection."
Duke echoed Long's thoughts on the need for "resilience."
"We live in a changing world, and as the FEMA administrator said, we always have to look at not just the response, but the preparedness and the resilience," Duke said. "And I think it's important that as we come together as a country, we look at the changes in our world and make sure that in planning and response, that we are adapting properly." (SOURCE)
Let's keep talk of Resiliency where it belongs—in the context of a last, best defense against the misjudgements and continued denial of Climate Change science. Should we build more resilient homes, resilient cities, and adjust building codes and insurance parameters to meet nature's growing ferocity? Of course. But let's not blame the person bailing out her living room for bringing disaster upon herself. Let's blame the politicians and influence of corporate polluters for doing too little, too late.

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