Hurricane Harvey has devastated parts of Texas. A birds-eye view of the damage shows the full impact of the storm.
Trump must be the voice of calm leading recovery efforts. But he must also lead us in preparing for the new challenges brought by climate change.
The role of the president of the United States during a natural disaster such as Hurricane Harvey, now bringing record rainfall and devastating flooding to a broad swath of Texas, including Houston, is straightforward and practical. The president brings to bear the weight of the federal government to help communities impacted by the disaster and communicates the details of the emergency response. On a deeper level, it is the president’s reassurance and hopefulness that help communities heal.
Presidents using their voices to help America through natural disasters is now standard. It’s expected. As natural disasters increase in frequency and size due to climate change and are coupled with wall-to-wall news coverage, presidents must use the bully pulpit to prepare a new generation of Americans for this new normal. In a moment when the National Weather Service has declared that events are “unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced,” now is an urgent time to take up that challenge.
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