Disasters have no borders, and a summer of unexpected catastrophe across the US shows it. California is notorious for drought and fire, not tropical storms like Hilary that barreled over Los Angeles this week. The East Coast expects hurricanes, not the pollution nightmare triggered by smoke that drifted in from blazes hundreds of miles away. Hawaii’s native greenery isn’t supposed to burn, and yet fires engulfed Maui.
Climate change is sending new calamities to new places — a phenomenon that can be observed not just in the US but all over the world. It’s piling disaster upon disaster on communities figuring out how to adapt to these new realities. Often, they’re faced with some new crisis while still recovering from a previous one.