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United States correspondent Thomas Rupp traveled to Miami for a story on a historic heat wave, which you can read here. Now he is stuck there for days as his flight to New York keeps getting canceled due to severe weather both on departure and arrival. We invite him.

Can you still see the humor in the situation or have you lost your sense of humor?

‘Yes, there’s some poetic coherence to the fact that I’m doing a story about extreme weather, and now I’m … trapped by extreme weather. You become a part of what you write about. I’m supposed to leave on Sunday, but there are severe weather systems across the US at the moment. In the New York area where I live, and surrounding states like Massachusetts and Delaware, there were tropical storms with heavy rain.

“Just as it destroyed New York, it started as a storm in Miami with the likes of lightning I’ve ever seen. At least hundreds of passengers, including several journalists, were stranded.

Are you coming home yet?

“My flight was supposed to be in a few hours, but the second you called there was a thunderous deep bass. Let’s see, there has been a warning about this. A lot of water evaporates from the ocean, and then it gets trapped. Somehow it doesn’t feel logical.

“What’s really worrying is that you see how vulnerable the country is to climate change, in a different form in each place.”

Is this extreme weather already being politicized?

‘It’s not that bad. Even the conservative channel Fox News, which knows absolutely nothing about climate action, can only conclude that something serious is going on. The extreme is clear that politicization is not so bad.

‘The question is whether it will actually lead to a different policy. It’s true that 70 percent of Americans experience temperatures above 33 degrees, and one in three are now warned about the effects of extreme weather. Southern and southwestern states such as California, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico were hit hardest. Temperatures in those desert states rise so high that life becomes dangerous and water becomes scarce. Temperatures in Las Vegas will soar to 50 degrees.’

Rory Doyle / de Volkskrant – Miami before the storm: South beachgoers seek rare shade.

Dylan Van Begum

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