The Rich Use Climate Science to Get Richer

Column: California wildfires to Florida hurricanes, how the rich game climate change in order to stay rich. (Image: ©Getty Images/iStockphoto) In April, Hurricane Dorian was forecast to hit the US east coast, and then…

The Rich Use Climate Science to Get Richer

Column: California wildfires to Florida hurricanes, how the rich game climate change in order to stay rich.

(Image: ©Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In April, Hurricane Dorian was forecast to hit the US east coast, and then later to the Bahamas. With Florida’s palm trees ablaze, the news that the storm was expected to make landfall triggered panic and despair. But it’s not as if the story took an unexpected turn.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency after Dorian threatened to smash into the state, and when the storm did, the residents were left with nothing, save the wreckage and destruction of their homes.

As climate science makes it clear that we must reduce our carbon footprint, the logic of this narrative is clear. We’re doomed if we don’t. That’s why the rich use the threat of climate change as an excuse to leave Florida and turn it into a money-making scheme, where they can buy homes with tropical-island zoning laws that ban new housing.

In order to stay rich, they build houses in the most fire-prone areas of Florida. If the state declared a state of emergency, those new homeowners would get a tax break on their state income taxes. Some even get to claim the first mortgage.

After the storm, the Governor asked the state legislature to change the housing policies that would give the wealthy new tax breaks. But the legislature refused.

The same story is repeated with hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, drought, and even wildfires. The rich turn to climate science and use it as an excuse to get even richer, while the rest of us are left without a home, or our communities destroyed.

We’ve reached the point where we don’t expect to change the world, but we don’t expect our politicians to. We’re left to hope that they have the courage or the imagination to make more sacrifices for the rest of

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