FEMA To States: Admit Climate Change Is Real To Get Preparedness Cash
Louisiana Ghost ForestCredit: PBS
March 20, 2015

It isn't George W. Bush's FEMA for sure. Now they're playing hardball with those climate-denying conservative states that suck up the disaster money like it's candy while continuing to deny the impact of global warming.

FEMA says no more.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change.

This may put several Republican governors who maintain the earth isn't warming due to human activities, or prefer to do nothing about it, into a political bind. Their position may block their states' access to hundreds of millions of dollars in FEMA funds. Over the past five years, the agency has awarded an average $1 billion a year in grants to states and territories for taking steps to mitigate the effects of disasters.

"If a state has a climate denier governor that doesn't want to accept a plan, that would risk mitigation work not getting done because of politics," said Becky Hammer, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council's water program. "The governor would be increasing the risk to citizens in that state" because of his climate beliefs.

Good, and we should make sure all the citizens in that state understand that their insistence on continuing to deny climate change means they are turning away jobs in their state, endangering a healthy budget, and more.


Beginning in March 2016, states must assess how climate change may increase threats to their communities and include those estimates in hazard mitigation plans when they apply for federal preparedness funding. This could prove interesting for Florida, where state employees are literally not allowed to say “climate change” or “global warming,” or they have to put five bucks in the swear jar. (For second offenses, Gov. Scott personally shows up late at night to scare their children.) So we’re guessing Gov. Bat Boy is going to just kiss some big-time grant money goodbye, along with large tracts of Miami. And no, Sen. Inhofe, Oklahoma won’t get any disaster preparedness money for Tornado Alley, even if you wrap up a snowball and mail it to FEMA.

The only flaw I see with this plan is that disaster funds will still be available to these states in spite of their failure not only to prepare, but also to acknowledge the cause for the increasing severity of weather disasters in their states. They can't be bothered to admit the reason for these epic disasters in order to increase preparedness, but they're just fine taking the money to clean up and help people get back on their feet.

In Oklahoma's case, they not only will deny climate change, they'll make sure their kids are ignorant about it while the tornadoes rip through their shelterless schools. Family values!

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