The Knock-On Effects Of Climate Change
Harvey caused a chemical plant explosion. Is that the next face of climate change?
Jeff D. Colgan, September 6, 2017 (Washington Post)
“Among Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects were environmental accidents…[including the massive chemical fire at the Arkema plant. Such] accidents reveal a new consequence of climate change — some of which will prompt fierce political fights over who should pay for the cleanup. With Hurricane Irma barreling down on Florida, more such fights seem likely…[T]here is good reason to think that climate change contributed to Hurricane Harvey’s force…Although EPA officials insisted that no toxic chemicals were being spread [by the Arkema fire,] local officials urged residents in a 1.5-mile radius around the plant to evacuate…The Arkema plant wasn’t the only one and] Harvey released over a million pounds of extra air pollutants across the Texas Gulf Coast…13 Superfund sites (named after the federal fund to pay to mitigate these sites’ industrial pollution) were flooded and possibly leaking pollutants…Indirect environmental consequences are known as ‘knock-on effects’ or ‘cue ball effects’ of climate change…[and they] are also starting to appear even without natural disasters…While the responsibility for climate change itself is global and involves emissions from everywhere, knock-on effects tend to be territorially specific. As a result, some entity — or several entities — have political jurisdiction over the problem. That will [increasingly] prompt fights over who will be responsible for the mess…” click here for more