- Hurricane Harvey wreaks Big Oil refineries, tons of toxic chemicals, pollutants leaked
- Climate scientists warn the disaster could well be repeated in the near future
- Floods in South Asia kill 1400, experts point to clear links to climate change
The “unprecedented” Hurricane Harvey hit the heart of American petrochemical industry last week killing at least 60 people in South East Texas. A multi-pronged disaster, has left mostly low-income communities in Houston to face flooded toxic waste sites, explosions at nearby chemical plants and contamination of drinking water.
Even before Texas recovers from Harvey, fresh hurricane Irma is threatening Florida. Climate scientists warn of more Harveys in the near future, given the scale of CO2 emissions worldwide and the resultant global warming.
Meanwhile, floods in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have killed nearly 1400 people and affected 16 million children. Nearly half of Bangladesh has been left under water, over 500 people have been killed in Bihar, and thousands have been stranded in Mumbai after the city’s torrential downpour last week. Reports suggest that the extreme events are linked to climate change.
A new study also reveals how climate change is causing extreme floods in cities, and droughts in rural areas. Voicing his concern, PM Modi has stated that climate change was having a “big negative impact”.
Poor Flood Insurance
To guard against the impacts of climate change, India’s Economic Survey has pitched for greater climate insurance. India incurs around $9-10 billion worth of losses annually due to extreme weather events, 80% of which are uninsured.