In its latest move to silence any discussion of climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency kept three scientists from speaking at a Monday event regarding the health of Narragansett Bay, New England’s largest estuary. The irony is that the EPA is the sole funder of the $600,000 program that published the document, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program.

However, silencing discussions on climate change is impossible given the unprecedented frequency of environmental disasters. Former EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman, who served under President George W. Bush, told CNN that the environmental devastation from the last three hurricanes and droughts that led to forest fires is going to cost US taxpayers upwards of $300 billion dollars. However, Ms. Whitman noted that estimate does not include the devastation in Puerto Rico from hurricane Maria or the current wildfires in Northern California that have already claimed 233,000 acres and 8400 structures. While no one specific environmental disaster can be directly attributed directly to climate change, Ms. Whitman stated, “…scientists say this is what you can expect.”

It is also going to become increasingly difficult to salience discussions on climate change as the cost of dealing with environmental disasters skyrockets. According to the US Government Accountability Office’s Website today, their report “Information on Potential Economic Effects Could Help Guide Federal Efforts to Reduce Fiscal Exposure” projects climate change will cost the US Government “between $4 billion and $6 billion in annual coastal property damages from sea level rise and more frequent and intense storms,” between 2020 and 2039.

The current EPA Director, Scott Pruitt, is under attack, literally. In addition to criticism over his direction of the EPA, Pruitt has received multiple death threats. As a result, Pruitt doubled his security and added a new soundproof booth in his office. According to CNN, this prompted Reps. Peter DeFazio and Grace Napolitano to request the EPA inspector general to investigate potential misuse of taxpayer funds by Pruitt.

Unfortunately, denying the science that underpins climate change is due to human activity will have no effect on the ever-increasing weather extremes. In March, Pruitt stated carbon dioxide is not a “primary contributor” to global warming, a statement that scientists around the globe argue is false. Carbon dioxide is a “greenhouse” gas and traps heat. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), “Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, as well as natural processes such as respiration and volcanic eruptions.” The current level of carbon dioxide is hovering around 400 parts per million, 100 parts per million higher than any time in the last 650,000 years. Most scientists agree this increase is unequivocally due to human activity. The bad news is that the carbon dioxide level continues to rise. At 500 parts per million, it becomes a health hazard to humans.

Many people think that climate change, specifically global warming, means that it is just going to get slightly warmer around the Earth. However, that is not how it works. Global warming causes weather extremes, similar to the recent frequency of hurricanes and droughts we’ve experienced. It also means loss of coastal lands as the world’s oceans rise due to heat expansion and glacial melting. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Global sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches above the 1993 average—the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch per year.

Higher sea levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges push farther inland than they once did, which also means more frequent nuisance flooding. Disruptive and expensive, nuisance flooding is estimated to be from 300 percent to 900 percent more frequent within U.S. coastal communities than it was just 50 years ago.

The evidence is clear. The Earth is experiencing climate change due in large part to human activity. The economic impact, in addition to human suffering, is enormous. Removing EPA regulations and denying the science will create more jobs. Unfortunately, those jobs will be in the emergency relief agencies and health agencies.