Hurricane Harvey has brought death, unfathomable destruction, loss of homes and a deeply distraught community of caring people throughout the world. How can we help? What do we do now?
We will reach out, and offer whatever we can. I particularly love the #cajunnavy and all the out-of-state volunteers from California and New York rushing to our side.
We will grieve as the horror stories continue to emerge, send help, money and (if so inclined) prayers. We will shelter and support those who have lost more than us, although as each day passes, the sad songs of each individual tragedy will become more faint, and other noises will overpower our initial heartfelt concerns and pull us back to our “normal” lives.
Others will continue to speak the truth, as irritating as it is. All of the scientists and sane humans on earth continue to say, in increasingly loud decibels, that climate change is real. The storms will continue to grow, and now is definitely the time to talk about it. People will continue to be displaced, and our hospitable planet will be less so. Try as we might at gatherings and conversations, from the Paris Accord to the twitterblurts of nonbelievers, turning the course on this nightmare seems increasingly more difficult.
There’s another culprit that is equally overwhelming. ProPublica and the Texas Tribune have been telling us what was wrong all along with urban sprawl cities, especially with their excellent coverage “Boomtown, Flood Town.” They document how Houston was an unplanned and overdeveloped mess, and point to local, regional, state and federal planners, administrators and public officials who share the responsibility for allowing developers to pave over wetlands, which contributed to the floods and resulting devastation.
What’s a caring human to do? Of course we should help the victims of each natural disaster. Yes, we need to continue to support the groups fighting climate change, and definitely give money to the media and reporters who tell the stories, especially those serious publications read by so few. Is that enough? No. Now, and in the future, all hands are needed to engage at all levels of government, including the duller than mud local zoning commissions. We need to read the tomes of bureaucratic blither that tries to justify the rape of the land, and beat it back. This land is our land, isn’t it?