Las Vegas Sun

December 10, 2017

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Letters to the Editor:

Why hamstring our protectors?

The world is in crisis after the massive effects of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Millions of people are facing the loss of homes, goods and family. Harvey and Irma have caused $200 billion in damage in the United States and killed dozens from Houston to Havana. But we in America are luckier than others. Cuba and Puerto Rico lie in devastation.

As the world struggles to rebuild, the odds are not in its favor. Even the most advanced countries in the world have trouble rebuilding after a 500-year flood — much less a 500,000-year flood.

The intensity of a hurricane depends on many factors, many of which go hand in hand with climate change. Sea surface temperatures have been rising, and some parts of the North Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico are warmer than they have ever been, which made Harvey and Irma more devastating. As the atmosphere becomes warmer, the amount of water vapor that can be held increases.

Harvey alone sucked up enough vapor from the overheated Gulf of Mexico to dump 33 trillion gallons on land. The aftermath has been catastrophic worldwide.

Despite these undeniable facts, President Donald Trump and his Cabinet of polluters are proposing to cut the EPA’s budget, despite only accounting for .2 percent of the overall federal budget. So, I ask Sen. Dean Heller and our president, why cut an agency that protects our health, life and prosperity?

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