We have all been glued to the TV to see the effects of hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

The force and intensity of these hurricanes were fed by warmer waters of our warming climate. Scientists have predicted the increasing strength of natural disasters if the warming continues and stated that the point of no return is fast approaching.

In light of this, the importance of a well-run, adequately staffed, scientifically based Environmental Protection Agency cannot be overemphasized. We need now, more than ever, unbiased science to help make policy that will save lives and use the country’s resources in the most effective way. So let’s look at Administrator Scott Pruitt’s EPA.

Personnel are at the hurricane sites to ensure safe air and water. Chemical plants and Superfund sites were in the path of the hurricanes, a number of which pose a threat to the public’s health. The staff is stretched thin and they are at these areas at the expense of other potential emergency sites. In addition, cleanup will always be costlier to the taxpayer than prevention.

Scott Pruitt has had peer-reviewed climate change scientific data removed from the EPA website, canceled grant money planned for legitimate scientific studies of climate change and weeded out any new grant requests that mention the latter. He instead plans to use taxpayer money to support industry “scientists” who are not respected by the scientific community, who deny the human contribution to climate change and whose job is to show why fossil fuel with the release of CO2 has nothing to do with our warming climate.

If we had listened to the industry “deniers” of lead or tobacco toxicity, how many more lives would have been harmed or lost? If now we listen instead to the industry climate change “deniers” and block peer-reviewed science and an effective EPA, what will be the horrific results for our country and the world?

Norma Dreyfus, M.D.