A growing number of people have noticed that the letter of Ivanka Trump's first name conveniently lends itself to the World Meteorological Association's method of naming hurricanes. Given her role in an administration full of climate change deniers, they've petitioned to have Hurricane Irma, one of the most dangerous Atlantic storms on record, be renamed after the her.
"By packing the administration with climate change deniers, withdrawing from the Paris climate accords, dismantling a federal advisory committee on climate change, and dealing blow after blow to the scientific community, the Trump administration has shown that it is completely irresponsible when it comes to climate change,” reads the mission statement of the petition.
“Even Ivanka Trump, who promised to try to influence her father on certain issues like climate change, has quietly accepted the administration’s lack of action on this very serious issue," the statement continues. "Ivanka Trump can say what she wants about climate change, but as long as she quietly stands back, she remains complicit in the destruction we all face at the hands of her father’s administration.”
Over 8,500 people and counting have signed the petition to change Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Ivanka, closing in on the goal of 10,000 signatures. Alternet points out that the Ivanka Trump has demonstrated that she has little sway in her father's policy decisions; she arranged an ineffective meeting between President Donald Trump and Al Gore early in his term and reportedly urged her father to stay in the Paris climate accord (we saw how that worked out).
However, despite evidence that her role in the White House may be that of the president's velvet glove rather than a moderating influence, the hope of the petition is to "put pressure on members of Trump’s administration to take [a real] stand for the health and safety of our world and generations to come.”
It's a decent goal, but it's doubtful that it will succeed. The Caribbean and southern United States are already dealing with and preparing for the catastrophic impact of the hurricane — at this point it likely matters little to anyone what it's actually called. The storm is here, whether it's Irma or Ivanka.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters photographer Yara Nardi Stringer