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Opinion
Lara Williams

Ian Is a Wake-Up Call on the Real Costs of Climate Paralysis

A warming planet is making storms bigger and more destructive, and we’re not spending enough to mitigate or adapt.

A man takes photos of boats damaged by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, on September 29, 2022. 

A man takes photos of boats damaged by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida, on September 29, 2022. 

Photographer: GIORGIO VIERA/AFP/Getty Images

After a sleepy start to the North Atlantic hurricane season, Ian jolted us all awake.

By the time you read this, the storm will have torn through the Carolinas and possibly beyond. But all we can see at the moment is the devastation left behind in Florida. As of Friday morning, at least 15 people have been confirmed dead, some 2.6 million homes and businesses are without power and two bridges have collapsed. Photos show the extent of the destruction: trees flattened, streets littered with debris and homes soaked in sewage-tainted water.