John Oliver Describes Why Flood Damage Is so Devastating and Fights Off Seagulls on Last Week Tonight
In the most recent Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on Trump’s non-plan to address the opioid crisis (“Trump’s fix for our opioid epidemic essentially boils down to: here’s two pennies, go throw then in a fucking mall fountain and wish your addiction away”), the awful homophobic Roy Moore who’s running to fill Jeff Sessions seat in Alabama, and more.
The main story, however, was about floods—the natural disaster we saw a lot of this summer and will likely see more due to climate change. Oliver shelves the climate change debate for the current moment, as “We might not have proof until the late 1980s”, and focuses on how flood damage is actually often within our control.
Fighting off seagulls, the host talks about how the Insurance Act of 1968 made flood insurance more affordable but with the presumption that those affected would move with the knowledge that they are at risk. The problem? They didn’t. And that’s only a small portion of the many things that are wrong with the way the National Flood Insurance Program deal with floods and flood damage. Oliver describes the well-intentioned program like so: “everything about it, from who participates, to where the money goes, to the incentive it creates, needs fixing.”
Without “serious, thoughtful reform”, he says, we have “an unstable, unsustainable program that is indirectly harming some of the people it was designed to help.”
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