It has been a devastating year for people affected by hurricanes. Harvey, Irma, and now Maria have made this one of the most destructive Atlantic hurricane seasons in recent memory. The Caribbean is the latest to be hit, with storms ravaging Dominica, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
Maria has caused at least 33 deaths so far across the Caribbean, many on the small island nation of 71,000 people. The storm hit Dominica particularly hard, with an estimated 80 percent of buildings damaged or destroyed.
On Saturday, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit spoke before the UN General Assembly, imploring that more action be taken to combat climate change. He said of his country, “Eden is broken.”
To deny climate change is to procrastinate while the earth sinks; it is to deny a truth we have just lived. It is to mock thousands of my compatriots who in a few hours without a roof over their heads will watch the night descend on Dominica, in fear of sudden mudslides . . . and what the next hurricane may bring. My fellow-leaders, there is no more time for conversation. There is little time left for action. While the big countries talk, the small island nations suffer. We need action and we need it now.