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.