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Ross: Finally, people are believing scientists’ warnings

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence on the eastern coast of the United States on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (NOAA via AP)

We have seen an amazing spectacle over the last few days – millions of Americans evacuating ahead of Hurricane Florence. People were making the decision – when the weather was still nice and the winds were calm – to believe the media. Not only that, they believed the scientists. They got out, despite the considerable cost and inconvenience.

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It wasn’t always this way. Before satellites, before radar, before hurricanes had names – which was not all that long ago – these storms would hit with almost no warning and entire communities could vanish before anyone knew what hit them. Look up the Great Hurricane of 1938 sometime.

But we’re so good at predicting storms now that local officials focus on evacuations and can tell people – in good conscience – if you decide to stay, don’t expect to be rescued.

Basically, it’s letting natural selection handle those who choose not to believe the science. Which is the same science telling us that we either pay the cost of dealing with climate change up front, or pay the cost of adapting to it afterwards.

We’re seeing this drama repeat itself again and again. And each time, those who accept the science will move to the places that are safer, and those who believe it’s all a hoax will be free to stay behind, while nature does what it’s always done. Bat last.

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