Let me begin by saying how much I sympathize with the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and hope that they all land on their feet. This piece isn’t a celebration of “being right”, no, it is a warning, and one that likely comes far too late.
It is Almost Universally Agreed That Climate Change:
1. Has Caused Sea Temperatures to Rise
2. Increases The Frequency and Severity of Storms
3. Is a Direct Result of Human Created Carbon Emissions, At Least to Some Degree
A Wake Up Call…
Hurricane Harvey plowed into the gulf coast of Texas, leaving behind more than a meter of water in its wake. The amount of flooding in Houston has been described at “apocalyptic”, and there are serious questions about whether or not some areas of Houston will ever be repaired.
Currently, it is just too soon to tell.
It is a dark irony that one of the meccas of petroleum extraction was hit by a massive hurricane, after President Trump decided to exit the Paris Climate Accords. Clearly, this is the time to make reductions in our carbon emissions, and look for other ways besides fossil fuels to sustain the modern world.
The long chain of problems that is starting to emerge from Hurricane Harvey serves to demonstrate the interconnectivity that the modern world relies on to function. Once the power goes out, the flood waters knock out the backup power, and the storm refuses to relent, factories that manufacture dangerous chemicals start to explode.
And there isn’t anything anyone can do about it.
With all of the cost estimates for the damage that Hurricane Harvey did flying around, it is easy to forget that dollars can’t restore the earth to the condition it had before we started destroying it. Money can’t fix the atmosphere, and it certainly can’t keep hurricanes at bay.
As if to illustrate this, as I write this there is another massive hurricane in the Mid-Atlantic. Her name is Irma, and she is planning to strike the U.S. at some point in the next week. No one knows for sure where she will decide to make landfall, but another strike on the gulf coast can’t be ruled out.
This is a very serious situation, and we may want to reconsider our view towards the environment. Ultimately the earth will survive us, but we may not survive the earth, especially if we just keep acting like everything is normal, and nothing needs to be changed.