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To: Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo
Gina Raimondo: Fire Acting Director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) Jamie Rhome
The Department of Commerce’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) is charged with crucial preparedness authorities and with coordinating federal and state emergency responses to the emergence of hurricanes. As such, the NHC is a crucial federal entity. Indeed, the NHC is increasingly important given the escalating frequency and severity of hurricanes across the country.
Jamie Rhome, NOAA’s current Acting Director of the National Hurricane Center, proved himself unfit to serve in this integral leadership role when he rejected settled climate science and stated that he would “caution against” linking the intensity of Hurricane Ian to climate change. This point is not debatable and has been firmly established by other federal agencies like NASA and international research bodies like the National Academies.
Regardless of why Rhome is simply unwilling to articulate climate truth publicly, repeating climate denialism on national television is dangerous and unacceptable.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo must remove Rhome from running the NHC and replace him with a scientist who accepts settled science, who understands the impact of climate change on hurricanes, and who is willing to publicly defend scientific fact.
Why is this important?
It is deeply concerning that one of our top federal disaster response officials is actively and publicly downplaying climate change's objective impact on extreme weather. Such misinformation from a federal leader is not only inaccurate but actively imperils communities impacted by these extreme weather events.