The Midwest has been drenched by rain and beset by floods. California is bracing for wildfires after several years of record-breaking burns. Hurricane season is just getting into gear in the Atlantic Ocean, which has been hit by more storms than usual over the past three years, and those storms have been above-average in intensity. Heat waves have been increasing across the country for decades. Just last weekend, New Yorkers were being warned to use less air conditioning to prevent blackouts — and to charge their phones for when the blackouts would inevitably happen.
You can batten the hatches against a storm, but bureaucracy is harder to ride out. Last week, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record made a direct hit on the northern Bahamas and stalled there, destroying nearly half the homes on Great Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands. Days later, with their homes in ruins and food and water scarce, hundreds of fleeing Bahamians were asked to leave a ferry bound for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., because they didn’t have a U.S. visa — despite visas not being required in the past. And while U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials blamed the ferry operator, the federal government announced Wednesday it wouldn’t be extending the Dorian survivors temporary protected status.
We’re launching a new column, Climate Questions From A Grown-Up, and we need your help to make it happen.
This summer, we asked readers to send us their climate change questions. A lot of those questions sat squarely under umbrella topics we expected: how climate science works, what individuals can do to prevent greenhouse gas emissions and what crazy technological solutions might actually be effective. We’ll be coming back to those later. But first, we wanted to address a different sort of question: Who is winning climate change? Sure, climate change is a very bad thing in a larger, existential sense. But are there animals and plants whose habitats will expand in a warmer world? Is there anybody who has figured out how to profit off the coming apocalypse? Won’t some places be nicer to live in than others? You wanted to know. We’re going to find out.