This article discusses how to talk about hurricanes now.
Hurricane Michael isn’t a truly “natural disaster.” Neither was Harvey in Houston. Nor Maria in Puerto Rico. Yet we continue to use that term.
Doing so — especially in the era of climate change — is misleading if not dangerous, according to several disaster experts and climate scientists I reached by phone and on Twitter.
“The phrase ‘natural disaster’ is an attempt to lay blame where blame really doesn’t rest,” said Kerry A. Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at MIT and a global expert on hurricanes.