December 2017
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Stephanie C. Fox

Goodreads

Nature Has Conducted Another Eminent Removal

Every year, almost everywhere on the planet, there is another natural disaster that wipes out human development.

It doesn’t necessary wipe out the humans who developed – built settlements – on that land.

Hurricane Harvey has destroyed homes and other buildings and flooded the area that it hit.

The storm inundated dams so that they cannot hold the water back without breaking, thus requiring that the water be released into human settlements and exacerbating and prolonging the misery, and caused sewage and its associated microbial parasites to be included with that water. Fire ants and other creatures are included in the flood, and at least one pet dog, a German Shepherd, was killed by electrocution after being left behind by its human family. Elderly people are stranded in their homes and in nursing homes. Children have died in motor vehicles, drowned in the flood. Water has risen to the tops of top stories of homes, keeping rescuers working nonstop to evacuate residents.

Texas, with its coastal areas located on the Gulf of Mexico, is not a low-risk place to settle.

Several years ago, I tried to pay my phone bill online and it did not work. A hurricane had just hit Texas. I called the phone company and asked for help paying the bill over the phone, and explained what was happening on my end. The representative agreed to help me, of course, and said that their server was down. Then I asked, “Why? What’s wrong with it, is it in Galveston, Texas?!” She replied, “Well…actually…yes, it is.” I didn’t say what I was thinking, which was, “Great place for it! NOT.”

No location is completely risk-free of natural disasters, but some are drastically higher-risk compared with others. Living there, complete with the physical stuff of life, only to be wiped out by a natural disaster is a strong deterrent to a long-term thinker. Yet many people are not long-term thinkers, and many others are therefore induced to settle in such areas.

There is what does happen, and there is what should happen.

What should happen is that zoning regulations ought to make it legally impossible to build – or rebuild – in flood zones and other disaster-prone areas. But a law school graduate who did his legal studies in Texas reported being jeered at by “freedom fighter” classmates for asking about that, with financial profits being touted as paramount, and damn the consequences.

Houston Is Drowning—In Its Freedom From Regulations

I wonder what those classmates think now that those zoning-free areas have been erased of human developments by Hurricane Harvey.

Climate scientists have many assessments of Hurricane Harvey, which has devastated coastal Texas, including the Corpus Christi and Houston areas.

These assessments range from assertions that climate change was a major driver of the superstorm, to assertions that climate change amped up the intensity of this superstorm that would have occurred with or without climate change, to warnings that it should not automatically be linked with climate change.

There are countless articles on the Internet about superstorms and climate change, ranging from social to political to economic to academic to fill-in-the-blank. I’m not going to cite a tedious slew of them here, but I will cite a couple of them.

 

What made the rain in Hurricane Harvey so extreme?

None of them, however, have said that preparations shouldn’t be made and that we should all live as if natural disasters never happen. After all, the point of studying the climate is to use what is learned for the benefit of humankind, in this case for disaster preparedness.

Don’t look to Donald J. Trump for much help. Each public appearance is about the Nielsen ratings for him. He showed up at the flooded area in a white hat with “USA” on it, with Melania in tow clad in high heels, designer jeans, and a black hat with “FLOTUS” on it (she did change her footwear to sneakers upon arrival in Texas). When that ridiculous spectacle is over, we can then watch Trump supporters ask where Obama was in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina his New Orleans, Louisiana. Answer: Not yet POTUS. George W. Bush was in office for that superstorm.

Meanwhile, in his terminal lack of foresight or wisdom, Trump removed flood protection standards put in place by President Barack H. Obama just in time for them to be desperately needed.

Donald Trump scrapped Barack Obama’s flood protection standards days before Hurricane Harvey

Why am I not surprised?!

Trump undid something Obama set up that would have precluded redevelopment of land that Nature routinely erases human development from. Blocking redevelopment so that people don’t continually get wiped out of their homes and property would force them to set up elsewhere – away from the superstorm zones of the country. But no, that’s too logical to be policy!

Mexico has offered disaster support services and other aid, but Trump isn’t in any rush to allow those hombres to cross our border, even when they aren’t bad ones. That help is needed now, not whenever he gets around to deciding that it’s urgent – so urgent that politics and potential resource-sharing should not be a factor in the matter.

Trump Administration Hasn’t Decided Whether to Accept Harvey Help From Mexico

Accept the help, Trump.

Here is a video by a disaster preparedness instructor in New York City. He focuses on preparing the elderly residents for emergencies. The video has a hilarious label on it: “That’s So New York – Emergency Preparedness for Seniors”. It’s great – it includes safety for pets.

https://youtu.be/h2-qgKLTOCU

It’s fine to mock oneself for doing the wise thing, thus preempting mockery from outsiders, but there should be no mockery to begin with. Everyone ought to do that.

That’s funny, though, coming from an author of a dystopian series of novels on human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse. One of its recurring themes is that the majority never does what it ought to do, which is why natural disasters hit them so hard.

  

The safety of pets is included in the plot of these novels, as the narrator has a cat, as do her parents and her sister-in-law.

Older victims of Hurricane Harvey may need special attention as Texas recovers

While all this is going on, Trump will sneak in more erosions and erasures of individual rights.

Internet slowing down? Check to see what happened to net neutrality.

There will be other examples, but that’s just one, and it’s easy to mask as a storm-related one.

Here’s another one: attacks on freedom of the press.

Trump attacking freedom of the press: U.N. rights boss

After a day or so of being vilified on the Internet for not opening his Houston, Texas megachurch to the public, Joel Osteen relented. He’ll just have to suck up the refurbishment bill, as well he should. He can afford it after inducing many fools to fork over their money to him.

Joel Osteen is a thief and a con artist.  This quote from an article that examines his life sums it up:

“Number 1. Joel Osteen represents the Christian 1 percent. From aerial views of his jaw-dropping mansion to the cut of his navy suits, he always looks like a man with a good reason to be smiling.”

 

Here’s why people hate Joel Osteen

Osteen’s megachurch has seating for tens of thousands. He deserves no sympathy for the mess and hassle that will result from helping as many people as that space will accommodate, and even less for his delayed opening of it to the displaced victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Hypocritical politicians from Texas, who voted against funding for recovery from Superstorm Sandy, are now getting their comeuppance. Ted Cruz of Texas has won himself a starring role in that regard. He must now beg for federal funds for recovery for his constituency while attempting to explain away his complete lack of interest in granting any to other locations. As the saying goes, it’s all very different when it’s not happening to you…

Ted Cruz defends his 2013 decision to vote against Sandy aid amid Harvey’s destruction on August 28, 2017. (MSNBC)

Everyone’s a Socialist After a Natural Disaster

When it’s not happening to you, you ought to be willing to extend help in the form of money, resources, and legal permission to whoever has been hit by a natural disaster, wherever in the nation that they are. What goes around comes around is another saying that comes to mind.

I asked a question in a group on Facebook:

Fill in the blank with whatever recurring natural disaster – WHY keep rebuilding and living there?! Native American tribes didn’t do that. They had seasonal locations, just to avoid the superstorms. Well, I’m glad people are commenting. I write about human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse. I do it to induce people to think and to plan long-term while entertaining them with a story. I am one of those humans who will not keep living in an area that keeps getting its human settlements erased by Nature, so I wonder about the thinking of “most” humans.

I don’t believe that this disaster is a once-in-a-century event. It is partly due to anthropogenic climate change, and it will happen at least once a decade from now on. If I didn’t care about the impact of disasters such as Hurricane Harvey on humans, I wouldn’t bother to study it. I expect people to recognize the value of asking the question and learning whatever we can from what happened to people in Texas. Yes, it is awful. Anyone can see that. That is assumed. I am looking past that to see how our species can help ourselves in the long term, not just immediately. I never just look at the immediate. I’m most interested in long-term solutions to problems.

This deals with a theme of Book 2 of the Nae-Née series, in which masses of displaced humans had to relocate inland after superstorms and sea level rise:

When everyone in Texas has recovered from Hurricane Harvey, I suspect that most of them will simply get more stuff, including homes, vehicles, furnishings, clothing, kitchen equipment, household appliances, and whatever else one gets, and continue to dwell in a zone that nature repeatedly subjects to eminent removal. This is what I wonder about: WHY?!

Why don’t they move elsewhere?!

That they are “from there” seems like a ridiculous answer.

It is something that makes me curious about the nature of the majority of humans, which is why I write about human overpopulation. Why do humans repeat behavior that puts them back into danger zones, threatening their habitats?!

Why would I ask such a question? Intellectual curiosity is the first part of the answer to that, and a hope of finding answers that would enable a solution that avoids future problems like the present ones is the next part.

The results of this impromptu study ranged from many real and useful answers, thus vindicating the effort, to vilification and condemnation for asking it now, while people are in the midst of coping with the disaster. Why not later, they ask, when things have calmed down? Answer: Because later, most of the answers will be inaccessible, forgotten due to restored comfort.

I’m disgusted and impatient with emotional reactions that are emotional first and thoughtful later, which can come even when people are comfortable.

Such reactions are what drive the destructive actions of mob rule.

Don’t waste my time with that.

Instead, give me the answers I want so that I can do something to prevent human-made disasters, such as riots. Innocent people and property get destroyed when large numbers of angry people get together. My sympathies are with the people who are not part of the mob, not with the mob. Degenerate into emotionalism, and you lose me. (Alexander Hamilton was the same way. When I got to that part of his character in the biography of him by Ron Chernow, that was it – I became a fan of Alexander Hamilton.)

Here is a list of the answers I got – reasons why people move back to disaster areas:

  1. Family and friends live there.
  2. Jobs brought them there.
  3. Career certifications are location-specific and cumbersome to re-do elsewhere or again.
  4. It’s too expensive to move away.
  5. No area is risk-free.
  6. People want to live by the ocean.
  7. The particular area has unique attractions.
  8. People have no idea where they would go instead, having not considered it.
  9. The Farmers of the nation – who profit from all of this – have no incentive to fix any of it. Farmers with a capital “F” = banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists. They don’t care, and they have bought their way into political offices at the top level.

That’s not the only sort of response that I got.

Some pointed to the historical pattern of superstorm frequency, suggesting that it didn’t happen that often. To that, I say that that is no reason to rebuild, only to know that another superstorm will come at some point and erase one’s efforts and re-inflict misery and chaos. Also to that, I say that those patterns no longer hold, because anthropogenic contributions to climate change have increased the frequency of superstorms. Hurricane Katrina was not a century ago, as one commenter suggested that superstorms are. It was 12 years ago.

Some complained bitterly that “now is not the time” for such questions, called the effort “cruel” for being made now, and got personal.

Yes, I’m infuriating enough to keep on discussing this in the midst of a disaster, and I won’t stop just because some people find my focus on long-term planning aimed at preventing repeats of the misery in Texas infuriating, ivory-tower-like, cold, or demonstrative of a lack of empathy…as they see empathy. I also told those of the commenters who got upset that I refuse to post a disclaimer about Asperger’s every time I want to ask a controversial question. It’s a group with no censorship. The only rules are that we be polite to each other, with no name-calling. Some of the commenters failed to follow that rule, and called me a bitch even after I disclosed later in the thread. I’m not one bit chastened.

In fact, I replied to that individual: “Have you heard of a CBS television show called Scorpion? This thread is like that show in reality. You are the client, and I am experiencing empathy…with the Scorpion team. They are Aspie geniuses who clash with the neurotypicals whenever they go out in the world. No matter how determined they are to help, they are not appreciated until the finish line. Of course, on television, that finish line reliably comes before the hour is up in the hour-long episode. In real life, it takes much longer. Thank you for helping me to feel more like the Aspies of that show.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorpion_(TV_series)

Aspies aren’t malicious – we’re just focused on whatever question or problem we’re facing.

If someone insists on seeing us as malicious anyway, I don’t have time for that, nor will I make time for that.

One reporter was lambasted online for pointing out the fact that people who live in the disaster area have been going into grocery stores and taking the food. Of course they’re going to take the food, and they should! It is urgently needed and right there. It can’t be sold, so the corporations that own the grocery stores have no legal claim to it and shall be filing insurance claims on not only the stock but the premises. Consider the grocery stores resources available to devastated residents and leave it at that.

Well, he realizes that now, but too late.

And I get told I have no empathy just because I go for logic before getting upset.

When I get upset, it’s because I’ve thought things over and reached the point at which I am aggravated over the fact that unsolvable problems remain, or that solvable ones won’t be solved due to the irrational nature of the majority of humans ruling the outcome.

Example: People will forget why they need zoning regulations and to be banned from settling in areas with either high or the highest probability of repeated eminent removal by Nature once they are comfortable again.

This is why I push forward with the questions about it all now, while people are full of intense emotion – and, therefore, stronger, more detailed memory of the problem to discuss – rather than later, when they are comfortable.

I’m not particularly bothered by the fact that they are outraged at me for doing so.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Leave a Reply