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Petition aims to name new hurricanes after politicians


Paulina Keber
Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 12:58 PM -

Andrew, Sandy, Katrina, and Irene, are just a few names of people that happen to share their names with that of the most destructive hurricanes. But should people share their names with hurricanes that are both infamous and often devastating? ClimateNameChange.org does not think so and have started a petition to change the way that hurricanes are named. 

The website launched just days ago by 350.org, an environmental activist group based in the United States. They aim to build a grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis and have started by petitioning to the World Meteorological Organization. They propose a system change whereas hurricanes would be named after deniers and obstructionists of climate change. Their petition states: 

“Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has been naming extreme storms after people. As scientific evidence shows that climate change is creating increasingly frequent and devastating storms, and with climate scientists declaring these extreme weather events as the new normal, we propose a new naming system. A system that names extreme storms caused by climate change, after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy.” 

The video above, which is posted on their website, shows the humour in naming hurricanes after politicians. It paints a picture of how people with the same names as hurricanes see such hateful comments such as “we all hate you sandy” and “go away Katrina”. After the video builds sympathy for those that have the same name as hurricanes, it goes on to replace those names with politicians. The video then creatively satires how devastating an effect these politicians are to the public just as hurricanes are to people. 

This environmental group is looking to get 25,000 signatures from people who support the idea. They have since reached their goal and currently have over 25,200 signatures. 

While this campaign is witty and creative, do not expect a change in the naming system anytime soon. It is very doubtful that the WMO would ever listen to such a request. 350.org is also aware that the petition probably won’t work, but their goal is not to have hurricanes named after policy makers. Rather, they are looking to highlight politicians and policy makers who still, after much evidence of climate change, deny that it is real and that it has effected how strong and how often hurricanes happen. 

The campaign also calls for people to “save a name” of someone who might fall victim to one day having the same name as an infamous hurricane and seeing those that already have. 

What do you think of the idea? Let us know in the comment section.

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