Huston And Harvey, Porto Rico And Maria, Florida and Irma, California’s Fires: Natural Disasters And The Things We Never Learn

Extreme weather, climate change takes the brunt of the blame; earths warming temperatures due to greenhouse gases changing weather patterns leading to the devastation before us while American and other world leaders deny the clear science behind it earing the scorn of our youngest generation. However virtually with every natural disaster Americans wake up to the increasing disappointment the America they thought they had doesn’t exist, the government, the safeguards they believed would protect them have left them bereft, preventions for local/regional weather phenomenon, climate change induced or not, not taken costing lives and livelihoods.

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

From the time terms like climate change and its predecessor global warming became parts of our lexicon it has been the go to excuse, scapegoat for the havoc, wreck and ruin visited by mother nature; man’s disregard for how the planet works, its organic processes seen as almost exclusively responsible for upsetting the delicate balances of our multiple ecosystems; chemical pollutants in the air causing the planet to warm, pollutants in the water tainting it for some of the most vulnerable creatures living there for thousands upon thousands of years. Having ripple effects up the food chain effecting man in a myriad of ways: think higher asthma rates, increased allergies from shorter warmer winters, longer summers, and things like El Niño weather patterns making volatile nature even less predictable;100 year flood events happening every 1, 3 to 5 years, record numbers of tornados even in places designated as prone to them, staggering numbers of hurricanes and tropical storms documented over the years, the latest hurricane that sat for days over the stricken area dumping unprecedented amounts of rain, flooding, always an added danger to such events named a direct result of climate change, man induced alterations to natural weather making hurricanes wetter than they otherwise would be. On the other end of the spectrum extreme vegetation consuming drought, lowest rainfall numbers in recorded history even for desert regions getting very little to begin with, giant snowfalls and history making cold, ice storms leading to power outages and death, par for the course according to scientists elaborating climate change doesn’t solely refer to warming but a pattern of worsening weather (hints the moniker change from global warming to climate change, many thinking another is in order to make it urgent, prescient, forefront in our consciousness, climate reality; referring to what the changing climate means and what we have to do to live in it) extremes that show evidence of climate damage by modern life perpetuated human behaviors. Yet too many times climate change becomes the default assumption to explain nature’s wrath, nature’s raw power that has the capability to mow down man and any of his machinations, what exactly are blog and author talking about, listen closely to what experts are saying about the headline making flooding that hit Venice; it’s flooding actually came from an extra high tide happening when both the sun and the moon align, known as a spring tide, rising water a recurring headache mere days later for a second time because of that natural, spatial universe phenomenon. Not man related climate meddling melting glaciers and other planetary ice coining another term, sea level rise submerging low-lying areas where varying size human populations live or key plants and natural substances for medicines reside; the former creating growing complexities for citizens and governments regarding safe relocation, regularly impacting indigenous peoples and their simple way of life destroyed or nearly so. Flood desecration of St. Mark’s basilica seeming to rile the people of Venice painted by the news coverage as a casualty of the broader issue climate change ignores that basilica is 100 years old and in 100 years, excluding climate change, weather patterns over that comparatively short period in climatological terms would differ to a certain degree all on their own. Identical cases with named global treasures experts say are now in jeopardy thanks to climate change Chile’s Easter Island statues are being threatened by costal erosion true, though it might have something to do with their at least thousand year existence and that’s assuming the carbon dating is correct; not to mention there is no concrete writings or cultural indicators to tell us how long they were supposed to last, though they were tombs, the rest meant to be under ground, how they would have been maintained or preserved if the tribes/people who built them were still here to do so. The cedars of Lebanon known for their numerous biblical references now enduring hot, dry conditions inhospitable to trees leaving them vulnerable to extinction might well be climate change or their thousands of years on the planet and shifting climate patterns over time, an ancient burial site in Russia illustrates the point perfectly as it is from the 13th century the same millennium as the linked Salon.com article’s mentioned archaeological ruins in Tanzania, stone age villages in Scotland dating back 5,000 years as the author dramatically says predating the great pyramid at Giza. Both are ruins and we see how quickly abandoned buildings fall into decay; the latter though built in the stone age probably weren’t made of stone hastening that decay, plus depending on where they were built costal erosion there too may simply be the natural order of time. Should we attempt to save these valuable historic sites, at the very least glean what we can from them before they are lost, ensure who and which ones get precious preservation dollars from their respective home governments/the global community, the author’s secondary theme, is based on something more tangible and beneficial to our understanding of the past and thus the future than which site rakes in the most tourist dollars creating a greater incentive to be sure it remains intact are twin valid questions that deserve thoughtful consideration and effort they currently aren’t getting on a mass scale, the mass scale they should be. The potentially rotting ancient corpses once sealed by permafrost now in danger of melting present a not entirely unknown hazard to mankind in the form of long dormant, eradicated, not seen in centuries disease, likely will release ice trapped gasses and naturally occurring elements ala mercury into the atmosphere and onto the planet all scientists collectively say is bad for the planet and us on it; putting it toward the top of a priority list of things to watch and formulate an implementable plan to try and handle the worst case scenario. By that same token, knee jerk blaming climate change for every ancient site destruction now underway by various elements of nature seemingly indiscriminately makes your arguments look unserious, un-credible and is demonstrably unhelpful to the cause of maintaining the livability of the planet for people and various animal species on it, stopping the extinction of species critical to our biodiversity. For example squirrels not climate change are responsible for historic statue destruction in the UK and are creating a headache for park preserves because they are gnawing on them owing to their wood construction and the animals’ compulsive need to sharpen their teeth, while no squirrels were injured not having ingested the shavings park operators are looking to safely squirrel proof the figurines; nothing suggesting climate change and a lack of surrounding trees spelling human encroachment caused the problem either, in fact it is probably their convenience and lesser height than the trees but still safely off the ground that is drawing the animals. Northern California’s kelp forest is being attacked by a specific sea urchin, a purple sea urchin, whose predator the star fish has largely been rendered inert by disease, undisclosed is if that disease is linked to climate change; complicating things, the urchin is protected under law and can only be removed by hand presenting an insurmountable task to those trying to save the kelp, the foundation for sea staples like plankton, food supplies for fish, crab, sea otters. America’s original chestnut tree was driven to functional extension by organisms traveling to America through trade in the early 20th century; we know this now as a restoration project seeks to revive the tree species by cross breading it with chestnut varieties from other countries, the Chinese chestnut, resistant to the deadly fungus. Scientists just discovered a new water mold that is deadly to Christmas trees (firs) belonging in the same genus classification as known fir killing molds though rarer than the previously documented ones and therefore not projected to have a significant impact; things as yet not linked to climate change but changing the environment in which we live. You’d hardly know it unless you were laser focused on news broadcasts, yet Australia’s bush fires like California’s blazes happen annually of course influenced by secondary factors like drought, rising temperatures, unusually high winds but would happen anyway without it based on other factors related to humans being on the planet at any point in history post learning how to harness fire not singularly the current one, even going back to the turn of the previous century and this is in a nation, on a continent who has made efforts over the years to equally combat climate change as well as engage in wildlife conservation; to clearly find it’s not enough conclusion hardly limited to judging the evidence of 2019-2020’s fire season experts say is profoundly different and more destructive, but a UN climate report calling out every westernized nation that even if they meet set climate goals outlined in initiatives like the Paris climate accords, a long shot to start with, emissions needing to be cut in half within a decade, the earth is still on track to warm 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century far cry from keeping below the 1.5 degree mark identified to stall climate change at its current state. Also important to understanding what is happening in Australia, not widely known to Americans, is due to the continent being south of the equator their seasons are inverted from what we experience; meaning right now it’s winter for us, cold temperatures snow and ice, while they deal with more temperate climate conditions akin to our deserts, when we are in winter they are in the height of summer, fires suddenly making more sense in that context. Algae blooms now capable of killing small dogs, closing beaches and exposing people to foul smells coupled with respiratory distress if they get too close, skin ailments if swimming in effected water may indeed be exacerbated by climate change, their frequency, intensity and duration may well be due to said change while their root cause is another human/corporation behavior the agricultural runoff, fertilizer and pesticide waste from huge farming operations being pumped into rivers streams and ultimately oceans, animal waste produced from farms raising animals for global meat demand; yes something that needs to be stopped but putting it under the blanket awning of climate change next to ensures that won’t happen as those against altering modern human life continue to push back against echo-friendly legislative proposals, business practice mandates and win. And it technically isn’t climate change, it’s 100% human activity easily changed back to it’s normal, natural state of less blooms, smaller ones, less deration by not letting corporations dump their waste into the surrounding ocean; whereas those things effected by climate change proper can only be stalled in an existing state, refer back to the warming numbers above, not reversed by any current scientific means. Key to separating out things brought on by climate change and those that would occur anyway is when the events you’re speaking of have names, the mentioned spring tide in Italy, red tide another name for the algae bloom poisoning dozens of fish and closing beaches for health reasons, talked about when Hurricane Dorian came ashore king tides, the highest of high tides, and what meant for Florida; the warm moving blob currently in the Pacific ocean close to New Zealand allegedly responsible for killing up to 1 million birds drawing the curiosity of scientists is suspected to be the amalgamation of no wind and a strong high pressure system not a blatant climate change horror, the winds contributing to what happened in Venice listening to videos below have a name sirocco, native to the region. Australia’s fires may be just as influenced by something called a strong Indian ocean dipole referring to drastic temperature changes in the east and west Indian ocean capable of pulling moisture to or away from the continent (currently pulling it away) fostering the record heat playing into the devastation of their annual fires, climate change too mentioned as a cause or factor in the dipole, however much less so than some would have us all believing. Something called an atmospheric river contributed to both American winter holiday headaches creating vast amounts of tropically pulled moisture then dumped on land to generate heavy rains and snowfall amounts, ice accumulations. Polar vortex is a known weather term not coined since rapid climate alteration could be documented with visuals and data comparison rather dusted off from a set of older terms rarely used, NBC News shortly before Christmas provided pictures of what a show squall looks like going over the city of New York, so called bomb cyclones are a known weather entity dropping rare still not unheard of snow or rain, lower temperatures in parts of the country; the definition of a bomb cyclone simply being: a storm that gains energy rapidly over time with massively dropping pressure usually within 24 hours. Nor’easters in the north eastern United States in fall heading into winter, winter heading into spring, are a known part of the weather in the area, as is lake effect snow seen most prominently around the great lakes in America, the former snarling much of thanksgiving weekend’s travel; holiday commuting or no, threats to life and function as we know it can be much attributed to people who don’t know how to drive proficiently on snowy and icy, even wet roads, a culture of blowing off recommendations to stay off the roads when bad, lacking employers for things other than essential services who won’t fire employees who didn’t show up in the middle whatever inclement weather situation (employees who either assume they will be fired or can’t live without the pay they would earn for the day) or mandate employees go home before major weather hits. Result news footage at the standard rush hour times multiple car pile ups, overturned big rigs, every kind of vehicle in ditches; people who can’t, or more often don’t, stock up on food stuffs, bottled water, basic essentials pushing them out onto the roads at the worst time, stores whose shelves quickly become bare in the face of bad weather events so stocking up means driving miles and miles or not preparing at all. The second half of the subheading is almost verbatim what this blog said in discussing both superstorm Sandy (again note the name of the phenomenon not just the specific event) up and down the eastern seaboard and the tornado in Moore Oklahoma in 2012 and 13 respectively challenging the very idea we would think of disbanding FEMA, tell disaster victims they are on their own, the horror exposed students were defending themselves from a vast and violent vacuum with backpacks and heavy textbooks, many teachers covering their smaller student’s bodies with their own in an effort to keep them alive for want of storm shelters on school grounds, attached to school building structures themselves in a region designated tornado alley. A part and parcel disaster response well before there was a president Trump or Porto Rico looked like a 3rd world war zone; not to forget or dismiss all of the above’s precursor hurricane Katrina and the nightmare that seems to be routine when discussing government disaster response on a local or national level. On the other hand, you can have all the evacuation orders you want, have all the needed means available in abundance doing those effected no good if they won’t heed mandatory calls to leave; we all know at least one of these type, the group every time there is any kind of evacuation order that stubbornly refuses to leave their home, less for the logistics of their life sustaining medical equipment or officials asinine approach to small pets (not allowed in most human shelters, a factor that is slowly changing but not fast enough) but, because ‘we’ve been through hurricanes before, fires before’ usually with a side of old and cantankerous. Has to be irritating for rescuers, the hold outs who will concede to evacuate if they see conditions around them worsening to a degree they find unacceptable then often too late to evacuate leading to death or serious injury, extreme risk to trained rescuers or good Samaritans who attempt to help them. What those laying everything at the feet of climate change, it’s predecessor global warming encompassing a host of climate issues miss is America’s, and by extension the whole western world’s problem with disaster aid isn’t limited to president Trump’s inept response to aforementioned Porto Rico’s never before witnessed devastation, battling the growing effects of climate change largely ignored since environmental acts passed in the 1970’s, bigger, badder weather events killing more people, resulting in more property destruction, displacing more people here and throughout the global community, creating literal climate refugees when dryer grounds won’t grow anything and your livelihood is agriculture, dependent on the fruits of agriculture; it’s the things that already should have been there totally absent, it is the reality for all the modern accumulated knowledge of the last 45 plus years we were never getting it right on building cities, towns, municipalities, whole states in terms of minding the environment if for no other reason than mitigating the damage, potential loss of life. We’ve never gotten it right in terms of creating dwellings and businesses to withstand the weather phenomenon in given regions across the country, specific parts of the globe, never been strategic, as strategic as we needed to be then, and assuredly have to be now about not building in select places either because we didn’t yet possess the means to do so in a reasonable amount of safety or because the areas provided a buffer between greater inhabited spaces and nature’s raw violence, given more than the most rudimentary thought to building areas to balance humanity and nature’s existence on a swath of land. Wrongly viewed as a separate issue, citizen and worker carelessness in in critical risk areas, beyond illegal camping and fireworks why was garbage smoldering to begin with then left next to the tinder box of dry brush to start at least one California fire, another started by hammer sparks; someone forgot to tell all the people screaming about climate change in reference to Australia that their bushland has a climate mimicking California in many ways arguably equally prone to fire. Fires that will continue in both areas as long as firefighters and desperate homeowners, respective governments are contending with carelessly discarded cigarettes, people who ignore fire related bans on camping, fireworks, operating mowers, weed whackers and other lawn equipment known for throwing off sparks, dismiss red flag warnings regarding wind, the fire risk if you burn trash, out and out arson, fitting into statistics on Australia’s wildfire problem blazes started by curious juveniles playing with matches or other flammables. Theory backed up by the 24 people arrested in that country for various fire related offenses from out and out setting them to violating various bans on fire causing activities, but climate change; forget the 3 women in Germany who started a fire at a zoo killing 30 animals and injuring others with sky lanterns set off to celebrate the new year independent to merely being banned at a zoo where animals are enclosed but banned throughout most of the country probably due to the easily seen risk they pose. Back to the states, stupidity not climate change caused an Arizona wildfire fire thanks to a gender reveal party’s pyrotechnics gone wrong in a known desert region, in the middle of a dry field and surrounding dry vegetation to top it off. A supposed to be controlled burn in Florida instead succeeded in torching several homes when the private company hired by state fish and wildlife were apparently vastly incompetent and had no one watching the blaze; 23 were injured when a ‘lava bomb’ hit a tour boat as the Kilauea volcano was in the midst of spewing lava for 2 and a half months, one of the world’s most active volcanos to begin with, granted active being anything erupting since the last ice age; still Kilauea has been giving people a spectacle and a headache on and off for 40 years becoming a macabre tourist attraction of all things, begging the question what were you doing there with the very recent, devastating activity? The operator of the tour boat, probably a local who should know better, know the uptick in eruptions is particularly dangerous should have been fined, potentially lost his business and possibly serve jail time based on the severity of the injuries acquired. As this article was being compiled it happened again in New Zealand their White Island volcano erupted with tourists actually on it climbing the lower sides and in one of the smaller craters, a tour boat full of people while narrowly missing the eruption had to be told to get completely inside the boat and below deck even as the burning hot, chemically corrosive ash and debris headed right for them; worse contrary to news report headlines at minimum in America covering the deadly event, it wasn’t an instance of no warning scientists who monitor the volcano said for weeks they were seeing gas build ups and tremors indicating at minimum something might happen; yet it was only after the tragedy that Royal Caribbean cruise lines announced suspension of tours to active volcanos, actions that should have been common sense well before a death toll was ever involved. Questions surrounding the 17 people who died on a duck boat in Missouri don’t stop at bringing up the safety/ integrity of that particular hybrid land/water vehicle raising also questions about why the tour continued with a storm warning in place, storm itself generating waves far above what the craft could handle, to basics like the life jackets still on the boat lined up in their place confusion as to if the captain, tour guide ever told passengers something as simple as to put them on, had a policy to go you must put it on before we disembark. Returning to the holiday, forecasters predicted the weather’s on-slot for roughly a week and still people flew across country almost heedless of if they’d get back knowing they had to work on Monday, school age children were to be in class, no small few got on the roads to travel in some cases hundreds of miles, as the weather was beginning to come down around them and went anyway if nothing else to find themselves in an accident on the return trip; note the jackknifed cattle truck in video below, begging the question what was this guy doing on the road in the kind of vehicle it takes to transport such large animals with the weather being what it was, unless they were sick or injured and he was traveling to a vet there is no earthly reason for him to be on that road yet there he was. Would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious the woman who said to cameras “they were saying for a week we were gunna get it and we did,” perfectly illustrating the mentality meteorologists, disaster planners and rescuers find themselves up against when dealing with a public who thinks because the predicted weather was a few hours to a day or 2 off it was wholly wrong, weather men or women to be denigrated for their inaccuracies ‘they could never get away with in their jobs;’ safety not so much as a consideration within the context of the subject matter whether or not it could mean your very life. Nor is it just individual citizen activities rather businesses, corporations and companies not limited to agriculture conglomerates and large industrial size meat farming operations, but factories, chemical plants, fossil fuel driven energy production (electricity) more than their mere existence and pollutants landing in our air and water changing our atmosphere, planetary temperature because they do exist; also the accidents, explosions they generate making our air less breathable, spewing more toxins and global temperature changing chemicals, gasses into the atmosphere at even higher rates than their deemed regular activities. Later in paragraph 4 will be a detailed description of the Arkema chemical plant feared to explode during hurricane Harvey but many times, as in Arkema’s case, it’s the type of chemicals already being produced there then you add burning them at temperatures never tested to determine their affect either on people breathing contaminated air or on the larger environment; a month after Arkema in Tennessee news viewers saw a different chemical plant explosion telling employees to shelter in place and neighborhoods to stay indoors, standard operating procedure in these instances along with shutting off things like air conditioning. Natural gas already known for leveling homes sometimes entire neighborhoods when it leaks, thought to be responsible for the literal leveling of a Florida shopping center injuring nearly 2 dozen; a gas station explosion killed at least 2 people in Virginia, it was a propane blast that leveled a non-profit in Maine, ethanol and jet fuel storage in California, another Texas chemical plant late November 2019, a silicone plant in Illinois, a residential area in Philadelphia, an aircraft plant in Kansas had a nitrogen line rupture 2 days after Christmas, over the summer it was a utility explosion that collapsed part of a Nevada college dorm. Exempting the Harvey example and the adjacent mentioned chemical plant all from the just past year alone, bulk of events happening in either southern or red states, a disproportionate number taking place in different parts of one state Texas; yet we continue to use energy entities like propane and natural gas, regulations at best seem ineffective, at worst, non-existent or not followed plant, factory, company ultimately allowed to remain in business years longer than they should be considering the threat they pose to people and property alone forget the far-reaching climate implications. When they don’t have or don’t follow safety plans, when the rack up violation after violation, employ Band Aide fixes, get financially in bed with supposed to be regulators; it isn’t until a double digit number of people end up dead that things marginally change to impose the safety protocols that should have been from the inception of the business, planning of residential areas, but climate change is the most deadly threat to people in the modern age.

https://www.salon.com/2019/11/21/its-not-just-venice-climate-change-imperils-ancient-treasures-everywhere_partner/

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/05/what-lies-beneath-as-earth-warms-diseases-within-permafrost-become-a-bigger-worry_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2018/02/19/the-arctic-permafrost-holds-a-crazy-amount-of-mercury-and-that-is-bad-news_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2019/08/27/massive-siberian-forest-fire-could-melt-permafrost-freeing-massive-methane-stores/

https://www.salon.com/2019/11/14/heres-why-australia-is-having-a-cataclysmic-wildfire-season_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2019/11/17/toxic-algae-blooms-that-kill-dogs-are-becoming-more-common-and-climate-change-is-making-it-worse_partner/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPJ9TaIuzAA

https://apnews.com/4b32a0b1eb07443793fd5d253b1c8196

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-11-20/bushfire-ignition-source-how-we-know/11701132

https://apnews.com/97040cb8050a34ce90a8510b3b5472dc

https://apnews.com/a0b1275b8a3d429295e62adbcd5424bb

When mother nature, climate change or evolving climate reality negatively intersects with human lives and livelihoods it’s almost always about where we build what and should we even consider building in certain areas based on the climate conditions and availability of not only building materials but building materials for most often residential dwellings. From whole countries, to entire states, cities or towns  blatantly seen is that they were poorly planned even going back to their 1700’s 1800,’s early 1900’s founding, planned almost to spite the weather, climate situation people choosing to be there, born there will face; inexcusable now 20 years into the 21st century with the advents of science, technology and engineering that tell us unequivocally where you put what and what structures are exposed to in terms of weather or other pertinent factors can equally negatively affect people’s lives and life expectancies, shorten them, create hardships that have people taxing local and national government aid resources. Prime example the city of New Orleans, it is and has been for decades below sea level before sea level rise was a term in our vocabulary or an entity effecting our planet, still after the devastation of Katrina it remains fully inhabited, 90% of its pre-Katrina population numbers 10 years after the harrowing storm never mind now approaching 15 years post devastation and beyond; not the good thing news anchors implied because you want less population in danger prone areas versus more. Same concept applying to the now scheduled relocation of people on Louisiana’s coastal communities, bayou camps; who on god’s green earth, within the last over half century, thought that was a good idea, creating the communities themselves not moving them. Compounding their issues is development, oil and gas drilling has meant digging of canals causing salt water to enter a natural delta destroying vegetation allowing the unchecked flow of water that otherwise would be halted by growth paralleling what wetlands can do to mitigate hurricane impact, other man made additions blocking the flow of water in key areas contributing to flooding, costal restoration projects set to likewise wipe out fishing businesses and ways of life. A common theme damming of rivers globally to serve human needs for water and crop irrigation, redirecting or stopping water flows to make room for human habitation in once completely natural and uninhabited areas; result flooding found in places it’s never been or seen before, city and state officials playing god with people’s lives/livelihoods regularly flooding poorer and less populated neighborhoods. To save the oil refinery flood out residents, exactly what 150 victims of Harvey involved in a lawsuit allege; that to divert water from listed refinery and companion chemical plant they erected 2 impromptu dirt dams sans informing anyone, seeking government, army corps of engineers input let alone approval, proper notification to surrounding home and apartment dwellers also thrown by the wayside. Then adding profound insult to the accompanying injury sure to be done to homes and other property they left the dirt blockages in place for 2 weeks  that, effected community members elaborate, meant stagnant water and permitted mold to grow making the place toxic, implication beyond habitable until mold can be removed, if it can. Not the effects of climate change rather the effects of land use politics, next logical question is why it’s your dream home with that kind of ‘scenery,’ (visual distance from an industrial area) more to the heart of our discussion, why does it seem Texas overall is willing to throw anything building wise up next to anything else as if there are no consequences to doing so, referenced in the introduction was the Arkema plant worrying plant managers and those living nearby thanks to explosion chances, here is another that was saved at the cost of citizen property; vividly dovetailing into question 3 what are all these chemical plants doing in Texas and within uncomfortable proximity to easily flooded, prone to hurricane areas? The off shore drilling rigs are one thing, for them to work they have to be close to the shore, close to X depth of water, refineries can be somewhat farther away but still need to be relatively close to avoid possible disasters in transporting raw crude oil and related substances over long distances; putting in stark relief the hazards of off shore drilling and the potential need to either tighten regulations governing it or remove the people from the proximity of the operations. The chemical plants not so much, there is no sound justification for their presence held up against what they are, the threat they pose; the opposite really, moving them to a less risky area would translate to avoiding the nail biting stress during Harvey, the explosions that did occur and their virtually incalculable damage to the environment, exposure risks to people and pets in that town. Again yes the financial politics of where levies are placed and who they protect, the physical fact levies only protect the land directly behind them plus are known, by the laws of physics once more, to make flood levels surrounding the levy higher than they would be without it, multiplying the complexity a third time, reliance on outdated models and poor investigation of impact is exactly backwards, but this author couldn’t get past the second small paragraph of the Salon article explaining current flood, supposed to be mitigation, factors describing a mobile home park backed up against a swelling creek in Missouri; why would you allow a mobile home park next to a creek along the volatile often flooding Meramec river, oh yeah because they are eye sores inhabited by poor persons, in other words expendable in the grand scheme of things. Overarching question, why people consent to put up with this in 2 ways, A- living arguably too close to creeks and rivers to begin with and B choosing to remain and then repetitively rebuild in a volatile, at risk area repeatedly prone to the identical devastating weather events every few years, every year on average; personal story from the author’s own family my uncle, hard to find a more stubborn person on the planet, finally got out of McBaine Missouri after the flood of 1993 because of the cost of repeatedly moving his trailer and as of 2010 the area was relegated to a village with a population of 10 persons in the county dwindling down over the years because of the relentless floods.  It took perhaps longer than it should have for people to get the message nature wasn’t going to give them any peace staying there however they got the message and moved which is what needed to happen. Winslow Nebraska now faces similar choices relocate to higher ground or rebuild in the exact area and face it happening again; whether the true cause of the tiny town’s woes are climate change derivatives or not, possibly a 100 year flood event hitting its 100 year marker as the man interviewed saying it (the Elkhorn river) had never flooded like that before was the ripe old age of 72, they are getting it right in at least pondering the question rather than immediately petitioning the state/ federal government for disaster relief funds, rebuilding monies, found land close to where the town now sits to buy and transplant residents presenting it as an option. Leaning in favor of moving the town to a higher elevation, the roughly 100 people who live there, such a small number it makes little sense to do anything else apart from a buyout to extract the people then let the water go where it will. The Maryland city featured in more Salon work on climate change consequences problem wasn’t just asphalt but, redundancy galore, where they chose to build the city, at the bottom of a hill, branch where 2 rivers meet, adding to the ignorant stupidity of choices growing development has swallowed a sizable portion of their watershed, an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas, meant to deal with flood waters has been instead covered by roads, streets and sidewalks leaving nowhere for water to go, next stop 1,000 year flood; not only a 1000 year flood but one causing severe damage it takes years to decades to recover from.  Inexplicable choices that permeate every aspect of building, poring over city, town, or state organizational design; another illustration found looking at the title of the NBC article from 2011 on evacuation plans close to nuclear power plants indicating the plant was there first so why were people allowed to get so close to it building commercial/retail space but especially residential neighborhoods? Were they not telling people of the proximity, because it’s hard to imagine citizens wanting to cozy up to elevated nuclear fallout percentages even ones too young to have been alive before or during premiere nuclear accidents in our modern history 3 Mile island and Chernobyl a singular google search away, in a rare spark of intelligence spelling the positives of no more American built nuclear power plants. Panning out to a global lens, is the stark picture of Africa’s Victoria Falls an ominous warning about climate change or is it an example of the effects of improper, poorly conceived damming? Brazil’s damming operation made a host of promises but actually fulfilled few of them if any for brighter futures and better economic opportunities; what the people got was higher bills and intermittent lighting just 25 miles from the world’s 3rd largest hydroelectric dam according to the Associated Press while people thousands of miles away in big cities reap the benefits, proving just because it’s hydroelectric and new doesn’t mean it does what it was intended to do both for the environment or the people. Hydro power known to scientists to release more emissions than coal under common conditions associated with the plants just different climate shifting emissions, specifically methane and nitrous oxide; how, drowned then decomposing weeds and other plant-life when dams and reservoirs are created to harness the water flow to lastly generate electricity, translation, not ditching hydro power but changing how we weigh factors when decided to erect one. The Bahamas has a similar land to water proximity problem as New Orleans, island masses scant single digits above sea level so too meaning their cities and major dwellings for ordinary citizens are dangerously close to sea level leaving many people fleeing to their roofs to avoid drowning and await rescue during hurricanes and accompanying floods, probably playing a pivotal role in how grand Bahama Island’s electrical grid was utterly destroyed paralleling Porto Rico. Analyzing clinically the where we put what concept, take Italy’s viewed catastrophic flooding in Venice, official there saying it brought the famed city to its knees immediately blamed on climate change, effects of sea level rise put on display for the skeptics of the globe to see. The other elephant sized problem in the room of understanding what happened to that landmark region, it too is scant single digits above sea level, known for its canals built into the architecture at ground level that would flood at the slightest deviation of tracked weather patterns; granted it’s an established city hundreds of years old but time and scientific advancement should have told them to make significant changes or move. Volcanic eruptions on Hawaii’s Big Island shows you precisely why populating such areas ends up being a bad idea; it and islands like Indonesia and the Pacific’s, something called the ring of fire, an area of the pacific ocean marked by both seismic and volcanic activity were made from long past volcanic eruptions spewed into land masses, certain areas adding said mass/square mileage due to continuous volcanic emissions and not only do you have people on them but large numbers of people, whole countries understanding the island string that makes up aforementioned Indonesia. The Philippines Taal volcano eruption in mid-January presents more of a danger to human life, domestic and any wildlife within miles of the lava spewing giant presently with mineral and chemical generated lightning from ash content, lingering long term effects of  resulting ash ingestion than climate change potentially over the next half century; people still determined to throw themselves back into the thick of it cleaning up despite the, undeniable fact, potential for another eruption remains imminent, returning to retrieve livestock they can carry, volunteers removing pets. It’s a repeating scenario with populations encroaching on volcanos here and abroad, versus living directly next to, practically on top of, them, recall the children flown to the U.S. for burn treatments after volcanic eruptions in Guatemala because people were way too close to an active volcano; the devastation there rivaling that of west coast fires in obliterating homes, towns, people cut off from vital roads, escape/rescue by lava flows and threatened by toxic fumes. Fukushima never should have been built anywhere in Japan exactly owing to it’s geography, the makeup of the island created by ancient tectonic plate movements and also being in that talked about Pacific ring of fire, the scientific, meteorological fact  thus it too is prone to both earthquakes and tsunamis triggered by volcanic activity on the ocean floor surrounding the country, realities long ago in evidence, known to their government making housing so many people or turning to nuclear power for energy needs unthinkably dangerous; demonstrated exponentially, for all their preparedness people still had homes and businesses they couldn’t go back to, select radius of land too radioactive for the next few hundred years to be used for anything. But climate change, it’s a regurgitated predictable story with many islands called barrier islands for a reason, they function as barriers for storms and other natural phenomenon’s impact on larger land masses usually holding greater numbers of people; “when I first learned about barrier islands, back in high school, I couldn’t believe that people would live on one. That’s because barrier islands aren’t permanent; they’re just accumulations of sand that form off the coast (many can be found on the U.S. East Coast). And it’s a natural state for these islands to grow and erode and get washed away. A strong enough storm can cut an island in half, as seen after Irene in the photo above, or take away the wide swath of beach that had been between homes and the ocean. What had been prime beachfront property one day can be open ocean the next.” Not my words rather the words of Sarah Zielinski writing for the Smithsonian magazine; yet we find people living on them uncaring of the danger if the ones hugging the Carolina’s are any indication, picture provided by the Associated Press illustrates its attraction— coveted beach front property. Florence, that was a hurricane for those who don’t follow weather events or happen to be reading from outside the U.S., was the next warning barrier islands don’t make good living spaces or spots for summer homes, yet despite the devastation and the double whammy of projected sea level rise slated to impact those islands in the nearer rather than the farther future people were still focused on rebuilding and both local and national governments let them by funding their ill-conceived housing choice via reimbursement without insisting they relocate. Climate writers not the first to ask when we are going to outgrow our love of life threatening real-estate, i.e. living entirely too close to national coasts, these specific ones soon to be doomed by sea level rise in the coming years, hurricanes or no hurricanes, storms or no storms, mimicked in California’s loose soil hills and multimillion dollar homes crumbling into the sea; beside the technical, textbook definition of a barrier island are the known smaller inhabited islands globally that are only really ever heard about in 2 instances: as popular westerner tourist destinations or when hurricanes come horribly close to flattening the civilization living on the islands like St. Martin, St. Thomas and St. Croix, the British Virgin Islands,  repeatedly hit parts of the Caribbean islands among several others that are comparatively smaller landmasses serving as barriers between weather and larger country and continental size land areas, nevertheless we keep populating them, rebuilding them, touting them as wonderful topical tourist destinations for westerners to escape the drudges of winter . Question never occurs to people talking about things like the disaster in Porto Rico if we should be inhabiting it and islands like it or if we should have taken nature’s hint and the opportunity it provided to yes, as daunting a task as it would be, move everyone off the island, clean up the debris, tear down the buildings and give it back to nature. That a significant percentage of Porto Rico’s population did land on the mainland United States resettling in already climate embattled Florida experiencing sunny day flooding curtesy of their own sea level rise conundrum is equally a problem that will need addressing in the coming decades; however it should not take relocation off the table here or across the globe. Unbeknownst to those living outside the region there is something there called the hurricane belt effecting parts of the Caribbean islands as well as the gulf of Mexico paralleling America’s tornado alley or the Pacific’s ring of fire; true several popular tourist attractions lay outside that designation but too many natively populated areas and tourist destinations foolishly lie in it becoming massive rebuilding efforts for a myriad of countries on an increasingly frequent basis, aspects those governments need to seriously rethink especially the tourism angle. Mexico City’s most recent major earth quake was so bad because the city was literally built on what was once hundreds to thousands of years ago a lake bed doubtlessly exacerbating seismic activity if not the underlying cause of it thanks to the loose soil; where it is and what it used to be causing earthquake activity to make the city shake like a jelly bowl according to scientists studying the effects. Why is Indonesia populated at all sitting amongst the volatile hotbed it does never mind as densely populated as it obviously is, government there already planning to move the nation’s capital from Jakarta to possibly a city on the island of Borneo, to be determined, consequences of  sea level rise; they should complete the process, if you will, and move as many people as feasible off the frankly overpopulated island group before you factor in the violent aspects of nature citizens least able to cope with it must contend with. Albania’s major city where a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit toppling buildings and leaving hundreds if not thousands trapped sits on a convergence of fault lines reminiscent of California but apparently because it had been around 6 years since there had been any publically notable seismic activity they seem to have forgotten that fact, and while the video footage of the rescue of a small boy is from one view uplifting his grandmother gave her life shielding him and astute people are wondering if he will keep his legs, how functional they will be based on the way he was trapped, what will it do to him emotionally, psychologically that his grandmother essentially gave up her life shielding him that he might live? Speaking of which, move farther away from the categorized western world and there is a marked lack of building codes, increased shanty towns that end up reduced to debris fields when any major weather event moves through hurricane, earthquake, flood creating more chemical and debris waste they are least able to handle and accelerating climate damage; the former something researchers also said pertaining to Mexico city after their 1985 earthquake that killed thousands the surviving buildings were not retrofitted to withstand foreseeable quake damage, speculation, 30 odd years later same malfunction.  Humanity’s clash with nature in the last century can be boiled down to not only are we routinely encroaching on the habitats of wild animals that has the 2 fold effect of harming the planet’s echo system, driving species to extinction but also putting humans in harm’s way as they have increasing encounters with wildlife leading to injury or death prominent but not limited to Florida; where alligators kill small pets even small children, with a healthy dose of the public’s utter stupidity swimming in a river likely, if not wildlife specialist confirmed, to have the dangerous reptile in it cost a women her arm lucky, it wasn’t her life circa 2015. A woman walking her dogs entirely too close to an alligator inhabited lake did lose her life in 2018 in an ill-fated park accessible to people and their pets coupled with a montage of gators invading neighborhoods and warnings that summer is their mating and nesting season, description given of what those nests look like (mounds of rotting vegetation) commenting if you walk by one you will be attacked. Who could forget the toddler eaten at a Disney world resort living space, 2016 while standing in ankle deep water, equal parts parent and resorts fault, parents for not heeding the no swimming sign and the resort for not elaborating via signage why there is no swimming alerting people of the deadly reptile’s possible presence. To say nothing of closing parts of the park when they had been seen in other areas, the wedding pavilion, 2 weeks prior; underlying problem Disney World was built on drained swampland, encompasses over 20,00 acres, a quarter of it designated as a nature preserve. Following along those lines is the exotic pet trade globally has led to an invasive species issue for Florida from tegus, to rock pythons and more who’ve become a wild nuisance and threat as someone’s pet got loose, went into the wild, procreated, and teaming populations are slated to wipe out native species of smaller animals, similar classifications of lizards, snakes or mammals lasting effects murky but not positive by any stretch of the imagination. The man who strangled a coyote after it attacked his son may well be seen as equal parts lucky, coming away with a few minor bites and scratches, and a bit of a hero in the eyes of the public not to mention his son, but what are you doing walking in such a remote area with your child next to a lake AKA animal drinking fountain; another encounter involved a cougar who was shot after attacking a boy at a park; problem being when the only green space/wild space allowed to animals is also that that sees a fair quantity of human traffic, when human encroachment draws animals to people’s poorly stowed away garbage, maybe it’s time to rethink people access to these parks, place age limits on them like amusement park rides for safety of people and animals. Most likely to kill you in America, deer as the contact with motor vehicles leads to lethal accidents; humans globally remain most capable of doing harm to animals not the other way around, local police warning people to take up their soccer nets and hammocks seeing a deer with antlers entrapped by netting, identical pleas in the UK to save fox pups, swans and other wild animals from deadly fates of strangulation and other serious injury, a seal pup that had to be rehabilitated thanks to being caught in a so called ghost net, one left forgotten by fisherman. Moving back to people threats to putting things in decidedly the wrong place for twin parts the environment and survival, one of the multitudes of issues making the California fires devastating and deadly isn’t just climate change, utility company mismanagement, more on that discussed in paragraph 4, but accelerated building in areas that used to be wild woods/grasslands where if it caught fire it would be bad it terms of smoke related air pollution, probable mudslide risk when the dry season gave way to the rainy season but woods and forest would recover, also posing the treats talked about when animals collide with people, people never capable of contemplating they should give way to nature. On the flipside in the state’s  race to create more housing they have decided to use one of the worst choices possible, their treasure island once used by the navy for weapons testing and understood to still be highly radioactive creating thyroid and rash issues, lumps and hair loss, in children no less, doubtlessly accounting for  a portion of the 22,000 people already living there who were formerly homeless or in some type of supportive housing, it is also soon to be subject to sea level rise; no matter according to the golden state willing to spend 6 billion dollars to give the island a so called makeover. On Marshall Island a nuclear waste site’s concreate storage facility is on the verge of cracking, standing to impact the entirety of the world chiefly because the interior was never reinforced added to water seeping in thanks to sea-level rise; plus again there are people on the island, probably people on the island when western powers unilaterally decided to use it as a dumping ground. Which begs the question where was the Marshall Island government then or in the intervening years doing something about the situation before the present day; looming question, state of emergency or no state of emergency will it do anything to prevent the impending disaster? Fracking not climate change is the cause of increased seismic activity in the plains of the United States, also responsible for contamination of ground and well water where people can light their tap water on fire apparently due to the methane content; readers can guess where this is going, while dangerous to the planet and people living on it, needing to be stopped immediately putting it under the banner of climate change won’t achieve that. 2 military bases and their carelessness with firefighting foam containing so called forever chemicals seeping into ground and drinking water elevating cancer rates and generating questions on should we be creating so called forever chemicals and putting them in common products used by the public or that the public is exposed to on the daily has nothing to do with climate change but explains ill health effects that may land at it’s feet. That news story followed by a study saying children exposed to flame retardant suffer marked losses in IQ points unable to be reversed; the Wibbitz news video smartly connecting the loss of a single IQ point in a child to economic reverberations nationwide. More important to the purpose of this work is while there are regulations limiting the retardant in everyday products toys, furniture, carpeting there is no ban on the chemicals, and while the EPA conducted a study of the residential area surrounding those bases, their expert subsequently sounding the alarm about PFAS asking valuable questions about why and should we be creating forever chemicals that has yet to generate a ban on the entire category; while 2 of the most common are banded in America that isn’t worldwide and doesn’t account for the thousands of others. Nor is what happened to the featured community’s water by any means unique, water all over the country is teaming with forever chemicals, whose effect is largely unknown, unstudied, un-researched according to recently publicized scientific news, but climate change is our biggest threat, disasters sending us a warning. An Indiana public housing complex was built over land once occupied by an industrial plant of one sort or another and contaminated the soil thus contaminating people’s homes with lead among other toxins, forcing them to either move or raise their kids in an environment prone to lessen their IQ’s and cognitive function because developers didn’t know the history of the land or care to find out.  Pilot bad judgement not climate change or even a lack of regulations/protocols saw a fuel dump over a series of schools including children and teachers who were outdoors and in need of decontamination as a precaution when their plane experience engine trouble; protocols that mandated dumps be over designated unpopulated areas and at higher altitudes so that it can atomize and disperse before reaching the ground. Proving where you put what isn’t just about a balance between human habitation and climate protection and preservation, putting proper buffers between humans and drastically more powerful nature rather a bigger picture element of protecting people and animals from things that could harm them, the environment itself from things toxic to it invented by man.

https://www.salon.com/2019/05/14/dam-it-all-more-than-half-of-the-worlds-long-rivers-are-blocked-by-infrastructure_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2018/08/10/flood-thy-neighbor-who-stays-dry-and-who-decides_partner/

https://apnews.com/301b49f44779cea0d79d23e72e602cfe

https://www.salon.com/2018/06/14/a-1000-year-flood-in-maryland-shows-the-big-problem-with-so-much-asphalt_partner/

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/43529122/ns/us_news-environment/t/us-nuclear-evacuation-plans-havent-kept-population/#.XeWNIJNKjIU

https://apnews.com/799926266670a56c085938a9054a905e

https://www.salon.com/2019/11/18/why-some-hydropower-plants-are-worse-for-the-climate-than-coal_partner/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/building-on-a-barrier-island-65387317/

https://apnews.com/405008cae0af432ea2fa136583b54dc8/After-Florence,-barrier-islands-still-doomed-by-rising-sea

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/loose-soil-beneath-mexico-city-make-earthquakes-severe/story?id=49976037

https://apnews.com/80076705e5660694006a19272f7a540f

https://www.newser.com/story/277682/wildlife-workers-have-clever-way-to-find-florida-pythons.html

https://www.newser.com/story/285889/cougar-was-dragging-boy-by-the-neck-then-a-distraction.html

Setting aside the human error or arrogance of regulation and protocols not followed, codes not adhered to, should it be deemed beneficial or necessary for the sake of easing overcrowding, providing economic opportunity to an area, to build in spaces that are less than ideal, to continue using volatile substances and materials fraught with problems, how we build on 2 fronts makes a difference on how we fair as people and the impact to the environment both in materials used to construct a dwelling, business, factory or chemical storage, differing based on which one of those and more you are creating, and disaster mitigation techniques we know can limit damage and literally save lives. The safeguards we put in place, or conveniently forget matter, in situations that quickly turn to life or death at some point even when it’s thought they won’t; opening sentence assuming that list of things was ever there in the first place, increasingly not the reality. Hurricane Harvey was such a nightmare for Huston due to over development mowing through wetlands and similar natural barriers known to lessen specifically hurricane effects removed to make streets, sidewalks and suburbs; residents sounding off about the terrible planning and lack of detention basins, drainage infrastructure to catch and contain run off, drain it away from habited areas and other known techniques devised to prevent exactly what transpired. Hurricane Katrina destroyed so much thanks to inadequate levies to begin with and poorly maintained levies on top of that, a situation mirrored in the Midwest due to their depression era built drainage system to offset flood waters that had never been properly updated, systematically tore down and rebuilt thanks to age, advancements in both engineering of such structures and real time information on what both weather and waterways were doing, scientific projections by experts on what it was likely to do in both the near and far reaching future, added factors like development and population growth putting increased stress on the levies effectiveness (surely they have an algorithm for that); levies there it will take millions to billions of dollars to adequately replace not likely to happen citing tight budgets and a lack of fundamental understanding about what the levy system does to protect both people and property along with the stagnant political will seen globally when addressing climate change and in America when discussing national infrastructure repair, replacement and  future minded building. Another factor in New Orleans exposed when they had a minor flooding event in 2019, that was predicted to be worse than it turned out to be, is the state of their  catch basins meant to act as drains keeping water out of things like streets in a place that, as indicated, is already below sea level and simultaneously prone to flooding, consistently clogged and unable to function as designed; plus though they have an app meant to tell residents if public works has cleaned the basins near them so they can better prepare by moving their car to slightly higher ground, information given indicating their having been cleaned is clearly inaccurate causing residents to potentially lose vital property like a vehicle used to get to work, to doctors, evacuate if necessary. Meanwhile also presented in the relevant news piece was the private companies doing city drain clean out for residents and businesses who can afford to have the ones on their property freed of debris and leaf litter, trash; situation both city and state officials have to know is untenable where the city sits, yet it is reporters sounding the alarm. Along the Meramec from the previous paragraph plans were drafted, even partially implemented to build a reservoir and dam that had it been completed would have kept all 33 miles of the river and the people living next to it safe, but for a vote saying 2/3 of citizens didn’t want it and president Carter in 1976 ran and won on no more ‘big, wasteful federal water projects,’ discontinued in 1981; they also had the option to buy out persons living there, turn the area over to nature allowing water to go where it is supposed to, into the flood plain, and idea abandoned  because it’s ‘seldom economically justified.’ Reconfiguring how we build dams to prevent the emissions highlighted above, is it viable to contemplate removing vegetation from a dam/reservoir site before building to stave off the decomposing plant methane release, transplanting capable types of vegetation to surrounding areas ensuring the benefits of carbon dioxide absorption and oxygen creation are not completely lost; what natural substances can be used to keep away vegetation regrowth so operators aren’t either beating back a never ending problem or letting harmful plant decay go unchecked?  Paralleling Fukushima regardless the nuclear accident they had to know they would need some place to store or a way to safely dispose of radioactive water and in the instance of storage they would eventually run out of space, need more space to  put it; plus if the resulting storage issue is directly linked to the accident, they’ve had 9 years to come up with something safe to handle storage or disposal while the people of Japan and the world get proposals to release it into the water or the air after it has been diluted in an unspecified way, of course touted as safe sounding like all too familiar rhetoric in light of BP’s oil spill debacle. Their people and the world community worried about the fishing industry in the area slowly brought back after the disaster should ask didn’t you learn anything, what you don’t get international news there; a basic google search shows it was built between 1967 and 71 which means it should have been much more closely monitored due to its age, there should have been discussions governmentally about upgrades, partial or whole demolition to build a new and improved one. Shocking is how close news reporters having gone there several times over the years to assess and report on the progress of recovery can get with officials insisting it’s safe; resounding question is it and when will we know if it’s not, when reporters’ cancer rates skyrocket?  What fortifications were needed but not used to shield both Porto Rico and Grand Bahama’s electrical grids from flood waters; better question, documented damage notwithstanding, how did Huston avoid the total power grid failure happening in both places, how can those nations and territories respectively mimic it along with other densely populated islands to protect against such failures long into the future, what can they learn from the preparedness of the Japanese, while no match for nuclear radioactivity, might help citizens withstand nature? Keeping utilities and plumbing dry by building it well above the water line seems elementary enough though it was suggested by the Dutch in reference to Huston, their biggest suggestion to avoid another Huston-like mess wherever it may end up being is to mimic their approach and build up not out, pointing out the silliness of permitting building designs as Huston is constructed, a sprawling with essentially nowhere for all that water to go; unfortunately creating challenges of its own, building up means making building susceptible to lightning  strikes, examining sky scrapers and high rise apartment complexes horribly energy inefficient and another top source of greenhouse gasses, but they probably meant 5-6 stories not edging  on triple digits like grand hotels, excepting they praised lower Manhattan in New York for its density and compact building. Oh yes places built so tiny they have something known as a shoilet (a shower combined with a toilet); largely a joking commentary on their small size, there are other places around the world where space is at a premium producing some interesting results from hotels to homes like the Japanese Capsule hotel basically providing you a pod for the night, lone upside it’s a night or 2. Less so their micro apartment boom circa 2013 that is morphing into more hotel like pods offered as permanent living spaces; at least pods in LA costing roughly $1,200 for bunkbeds is easing their housing problem and works for some, usually young entrepreneurial types with no children or pets, few possessions and most pods come with community living spaces and work areas allowing people to stretch their legs. All lacking critical things for people with disabilities, the bending and kneeling required for one woman’s Japanese micro apartment bedroom would be a nightmare for someone suffering arthritis, Parkinson’s, MS, people with conditions like cerebral palsy who need motorized wheelchairs or a walker, easy to envision the musculoskeletal issues garnered if you are tall and you’re always hunched over to avoid hitting your head on the celling, can’t stretch your legs out fully even in bed, stretch your arms out fully anywhere at home; before even talking westernized country obesity rates, the inches comprising hallways most westerners couldn’t get down because of their base body size and bone structure not excess fat. Dutch or Japanese model setting the stage for a battle similar to the one the linked UK mother had to fight for accessible housing for her family within their public housing equivalent system; ordinary people with no ailments aren’t going to want to huff it up endless flights of stairs imagine the persistent TV trope of New York’s broken elevators and hauling your groceries, furniture that far. And requires better elevators than the ones featured in the news story below making the news because it killed someone due to a malfunction, frequent passengers talking about how it routinely jumped and reminded them of a Halloween attraction, having a history of fines; hardly an isolated incident, and in the builder’s praised Manhattan to boot, but mentioned a cable snap an Chicago, another New York elevator crushed a man as he tried to exit it as it stopped in Williamsburg 2015, an office tower elevator killed a woman in 2011in Brooklyn proper, but build up not out. Obviously better elevator construction, maintenance and more frequent replacement is needed for existing structures and future buildings, to do list items filed under dah; however, no one thinks mister building expert would want to ride on any of those on the regular do they? Finally their up not out concept assumes things not normally or necessarily true namely that you will be able to bunk with your neighbor in the event of extreme weather onset like the noted exception that happened during Harvey of a woman doing precisely that; especially if they are allergic to dogs, are scared of your pet lizards or you have 5 kids like my friend. Managing people in hospitals is easier if all you have to do is move them up a floor or 2 yes, too it is possible to bunk 2 even 3 non-critical patients to a room temporarily sure; factors that depend on several things going in your favor in an emergency, that stable patients you want to house 3 to a room don’t require equipment or monitors there’s only one set of plugs for in the room, that even if there is plug space you either don’t overtax the electricity or have generators that can compensate, that in already below sea level cities like New Orleans or ones just above sea level like Venice, the Bahamas, Haiti aren’t finding half their hospital both full and flooded, scenarios filed under it could happen as the expert notes but was plainly trying to outline some basics. At the same time, article one about the country linked below is from 2017, an article from the first month of the new decade has the Netherlands literally sinking; because, while they get high marks for flood mitigation necessary for where the country is, they failed to account for, anticipate an even greater threat subsidence, meaning the country already a feat of engineering its way out of flooding is slowly, or not so slowly, sinking into the sea. Moore Oklahoma’s headline making tornado laid bare the utter stupidity, there really is no other word for it and blog keeps using that word because it’s the least syllables and the least unambiguous to underscore the fact we continue doing this to ourselves with our, borrowing a phrase for the Dutch piece on flood prevention, ad hoc approach to everything from building design, city, town placement to disaster response. No greater truth surrounding their state level approach to disaster funding, only giving funding to communities that have experienced a disaster, in this particular instance a tornado, in the last X number of years; now that might sound reasonable knowing the limited resources both allocated to such things and to states in general either from the federal government or what they are able to generate on their own from local taxes, fees, fines, tourism dollars. Except for the natural, weather reality the area you’re talking about is colloquially nicknamed tornado alley for the sheer amount of  tornadic activity it sees, said alley encompassing parts of several plain states almost certainly ruling out sparse population or population thinning based on weather danger; meaning every residence, every school, hospital, nursing home, community center should be equipped with a storm shelter by law, mobile homes, trailers and tiny homes not on a concrete slab should also be banned because people must leave them and seek sturdier shelter in the event of a tornado, their home then becoming potential projectiles and debris fields impacting the environment as well. California’s infamous Santa Ana winds aren’t new, yet contrary to the trend of burying utility lines in the ground for at least the last 2 decades on new constructions, California is still battling both old, outdated and plainly faulty as well as dangerous equipment, plus the fact it remains high up in the air vulnerable to such strong winds, dry or other lightning, electrical towers and other vertical equipment that can easily be blown over and spark what, fires; PG& E announcing it will do so in Paradise after the town was decimated by fire and numerous legal fights, delay stemming from, in your face level greed and laziness. Brush clearing initiatives happening only after 2 of the deadliest fires there and is proven to only be as good, as effective as its weakest link hampered by property owners who refuse to let bush removers and tree trimmers alter their property; which shouldn’t be legal in the context of what is happening, should be treated like all other government, utility private property access to read meters, when you have a tree problem on you property intersecting with a power or gas line you call the company, not do it yourself, civilian tree trimmers will defer to utility company experts, how is this any different?  Instead of going with total burial starting with the most fire prone areas, things as foundational as replacing old equipment as soon as possible, they elected to plunge thousands of people into darkness for days on end several times; part of being prepared is ensuring you have the right people for the job, the right people doing the right job, recall Florida’s fish and wildlife hired a private company to do that controlled burn detailed in the introduction, now California for years has been using inmates to help battle fires. Which not only raises ethical questions about the hazard of putting untrained persons in that level of danger, usually low level offenders who can be trusted on a type of work release, potential to serve their time and lead productive lives afterward versus those serving life sentences, but simultaneously poses a different danger to the rest of us apart from escape risk and what escapees are bound to do if they get out into communities, what are their layperson, non-expert eyes potentially missing that could spell death or injury to their fellow fighters not from the prison, not see that could alert a community in the path of a blaze if a professional was looking at it?  Reinforcing the tenets put forth in the previous paragraph Salon’s article saying we know how to fight forest fires but we aren’t doing it to our largest state’s detriment, from forest clearing, to controlled burns, to letting fires burn themselves out as it is a natural part of the forests life cycle and burns less area than the time when native Americans had yet to encounter the Europeans; truth that  underscores the need to mandate where people can and cannot build so burned areas like those described don’t cost people and property. The Salon piece on mudslides calling for maps that better demonstrate the risk to areas indicates from the title alone they can be made; the why we aren’t then doing so likely tied bureaucracy and dollars no one wants to spend, though climate activists are correct on one thing, the cost to stall climate change at its current level, preempt any further alteration pales in comparison to the cost of doing nothing. Kudos to Salon a third time for posing the question can building codes be altered to make structures more fire retardant, a second time implying they can if only officials had the will to do so and make the investment needed to see it done; things that should simply be the cost/requirement of living there, having your business there. Is there anything in how you design neighborhoods, residential spaces in terms of grouping to diminish the effect of hurricane force, straight-line winds or tornados houses/apartments, streets, landscaping to entire cities grouped so nature does less damage, the way densely packed Manhattan is a buffer against floods; apparently there is, round homes with self-supporting roofs prevent collapse, higher quality building materials not found in your standard hardware store specifically designed for high wind areas finishing off into a greater quality home. CNBC profiled a material used the world over except in the U.S. to fortify homes against hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood or fire something marketed as a“3D cementitious sandwich panel is made of fire retardant foam sandwiched between two wire mesh faces. The two faces are connected with reinforcement wires that run through the foam and the whole thing is enveloped in concrete.” Initially not used due to lack of large scale production means, a code cracked by Austria, still not used massively in America because it had an abundance of wood that provided a cost effective building means until just 5 years ago, as of the relevant video in 2018, because of higher lumber costs, more stringent building codes, skilled labor expense, though it has been touted by the likes of president Cater in his time as commander in chief as well as used to build homes for charities like habitat for humanity during the 1990’s under his affiliation with the group and to fortify homes against vividly remembered hurricane Andrew-like devastation; assuming the previous segment was loin’s share marketing that doesn’t work nearly as well as advertised, it has to be better than what we are currently using, better than the virtual nothing protection people are living in now.  Second question can it modified for apartment style living spaces, affordable housing units, other types of buildings housing essential services things go better if they aren’t a casualty of the elements; is it a partial key to solving our chemical storage woes to prevent massive explosions, be a good substitute for industrial workspaces to combat accidents felt miles away and spewing toxicity? Even going the more traditional route how you build a building can help people in the midst of the disaster no one could see coming or couldn’t get away from fast enough, just look at the newer school building in Oklahoma where kids got out and were safe versus the one that was fattened (video after paragraph 4 explaining disaster funding); the tunnel like system built into the structure of the school meant there were ways for people to crawl out of the reduced to rubble, partially clasped building, if nothing else air enough to breath until rescuers can get to you, air enough for you to call out, make noise alerting rescuers to you whereabouts. Using our global lens again, Indonesians weren’t alerted to their 2018 tsunami hitting just 3 days before Christmas because the warning system meant to do so had been in disrepair for years, buoys designed to detect earthquake activity, the catalyst for resulting tsunamis in almost all cases, don’t function and communication towers responsible for carrying alerts country wide can’t do that often knocked out during quake onset/initial impact; further the equipment they have is only capable of monitoring for 1 type of earth quake related tsunami/event, when there are those caused by volcanic, eruptions, landslides, meteorites. Only 80% potentially delectable by Indonesia’s system, people unprepared and uneducated about what to do in case of, where to obtain warnings; all this despite being equally densely populated and in an area known as we’ve explained, as the ring of fire, reporting news anchor often referring to it as a hotbed of seismic and volcanic activity and rural fishing village type areas cut off from warnings, major help, homes too close to the water because their simple fishing boats lack motors or a means to transport them from a home farther away to the water for the day’s work and back.  Grand Abaco Island is having so much trouble rebuilding after Dorian because they were unprepared for what they should have always been prepared for, their electrical grid among critical systems that should have received extra protections and fortifications based on what it was and the inherent risk to the island of hurricanes, 3 months later it looks much the same as it did directly after Dorian came through, the people who haven’t left, splitting up families among the Bahamian islands, are dependent on American based charities to provide free meals, desalinate water at an exorbitant but necessary cost. Misery laid at the feet of climate change not at the feet of the reason 30 years of garbage was accumulated in 3 days was because of inadequate building codes for where you are, Bahamian government like so many others in comparative situations, nowhere to be found by the accounts of people choosing to stay or having nowhere else to go. Bare minimum in deciding to build in a high risk area should be warning and alert systems that work, evacuation plans that are top notch and updated regularly, curtailing things like loss of life via determining the maximum radius that volcano you want to let people live within X miles of can spew it’s contents and add at least an extra mile for safety and telling business and home builders no further. What is the maximum number of people that can be evacuated from a nuclear accident radius and from what proximity of both closeness and distance, then make sure people are no closer than those numbers while living or working, using extreme caution when building roads accessible to through traffic. Evident from current and recent past experience there needs to be much more space put between residential suburbs, neighborhoods, homes and chemical plants of all kinds and types, recalculation of acceptable parameters for industrialized buildings and people; because mid-January it happened again yet another added explosion rocking a neighborhood reminiscent of an earthquake according to residents cause a leak of a highly flammable and dangerous to breath it’s fumes substance. Reestablished parameters closely followed by tighter regulation, maintenance as well as higher quality manufacture of natural gas lines so both can stop exploding making the environment worse and endangering people’s lives. In the following we need to start taking a page out of Star Trek thinking globally not just nationally, our vision rarely expanding past our strategic ally(s) if it indeed goes that far, global building codes; global building codes need to fast become a concept we are familiar with, international and global relief funds need to start insisting this is an endeavor undertaken petitioning donations, stipulating part of what you give will not only go to helping people in the immediate aftermath of disaster X but toward fortifying buildings, retrofitting homes, apartments and essential services buildings to keep what happened form ever happening again, killing and injuring far less people if it does.  Here is what blog and author meant about all the STEM (science technology, engineering and math) suddenly pushed in the United States in order to compete with our global counterparts, to bring our international and national test scores up to par with theirs and the scant benefits it nets the global community from the perspective of solving their individual nation problems to the world’s collective problems. No one is looking into neutralizing forever chemicals in things like the flame retardant story, because even if we stop using them tomorrow we still have to deal with their presence in the quantities we have now, no one has dreamed about neutralizing radioactive materials from nuclear energy or weapons, the casings for the latter that will decay over time and be a problem for future generations; the nuclear physicist responsible for the thorium reactor mentioned as an alternative to the radioactive uranium we’re using (see paragraph 4) is an American, though Austria is responsible for the newer building technique not only is it doing America little good for unfamiliarity with it and refusal to adopt them but the developing world who can’t afford the new builds and especially not ones with expensive techniques. Addressing the public housing complex in Indiana is not only a matter of making sure the regulations are in place to 1 know the history of the land you want to build residential areas on, 2 ensure testing of soil to rule out harmful contaminants that can seep into homes, but 3 is there a way to extract those harmful components from soil so a once industrial area can be repurposed for civilian living paralleling the Italian village who used hemp plants to combat the contamination that meant the slaughter of one man’s sheep herd, shuttering cheese and meat business, hemp that was used in Chernobyl to remove certain heavy metals after the reactor meltdown? We don’t know because the research has never been put into it while lawmakers scoff at exploratory research efforts calling out scientists for among other things wasting tax payer funds on Jell-O wrestling at a research facility in Antarctica; except the wrestling was not a part of the research projects it was done for entertainment in their downtime with Jell-O ones assumes people weren’t eating, congressmen arguing to defund scientific research that conflicts with their religious beliefs. It’s students in Egypt creating an Iron-Man-like exosuit to help workers manage lifting heavy objects, not governments, apart from the western world, adopting basic worker safely rules and minimum safe workplaces, working conditions; lastly the STEM aspects that are being pit toward combatting climate change, finding bio-friendly substitutes to things a-la plastic, changing how we store and consume things like toothpaste and shampoo are either so impractical or bizarre they will never catch on, on the mass scale they need to, to save the planet and are too focused on individual citizen/person behaviors not governmental, policy changes that could make a much bigger difference much faster, needed if we are going to have any hope of meeting climate deadlines.

https://www.salon.com/2018/06/10/hurricane-show-and-the-perils-of-poor-planning/

https://www.salon.com/2018/10/14/conserving-wetlands-helps-reduce-hurricane-damaga_partner/

https://apnews.com/e60f93b7f7de2ff7b5b015fb5167dd9b

http://www.salon.com/2017/09/13/the-u-s-should-go-dutch-to-avoid-building-another-houston_partner/

https://www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/how-one-mother-took-on-the-system-for-her-disabled-son-and?bfsource=bbf_enus&utm_term=.iclkBNLDa#.eimg54v9w

https://www.salon.com/2020/01/18/blowing-in-the-wind-why-the-netherlands-is-sinking_partner/

https://apnews.com/e6b03e93e058849d9a6cfec444f5920e

https://www.salon.com/2017/12/12/california-fire-damage-to-homes-less-random-than-it-seems_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2018/01/17/deadly-california-mudslides-show-the-need-for-maps-and-zoning-that-better-reflect-landslide-risk_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/28/we-know-how-to-fight-wildfires-effectively-why-do-not-we-do-it/

https://nypost.com/2011/05/26/watchdog-slams-science-group-for-wasting-money-on-jell-o-wrestling-shrimp-treadmills/

Government approach America and beyond has a lot to do with how, what needs to be called climate reality, will negatively or positively impact communities across the globe not just the continent of North America, how long the planet can survive and thus  humanity on it. Ill preparation, governmental incompetence, water distribution problems, failed privatization plans   as much as climate change led to severe water shortages and arcane rationing in Cape Town South Africa, sounding an alarm for us if we continue to elect corrupt, non-visionary officials hell bent on also privatizing everything especially with it happening there, a thriving western city on the continent; situations mirrored on California’s Catalina island here in the U.S. strained by tourism, how the town makes it’s living and livelihood. African continent political instability, Middle Eastern war and conflict exacerbating natural vulnerabilities built into the regional climate namely, both being predominantly deserts by definition lacking water and depending on scarce pockets to grow food staples, provide drinking, cooking, bathing water, modern sanitation where it currently exists; but it doesn’t seem to be what the Salon author below talks about referencing drought and decreased farming yields in places like Northern Syria, that has according to them, seen less fighting and more climate impacts causing people to choose not to return to their former communities even if they could be rendered safe. When listening to what the Yazidi  women(a minority group in the region) told Newsy  about Turkish military movements being merely the latest obstacle in attempting to find safety for her and her children; you hear a lot about fleeing from city to city to live in peace, not one sentence about the state of agriculture, the work she can’t find because the ground isn’t growing anything or what it used to; listen again to Newsy’s reporting the thousands who are refuges in Iraq owing to U.S. pull out and the subsequent attack on the Kurds, the effects of geo-politics not geo climate disaster.  Developing world countries and their populations least capable of staving off the devastation of climate change we are supposedly already seeing be it extreme drought, forced relocation due to sea level rise, change in wildlife behavior effecting indigenous peoples’ food supplies, the locust epidemic reaching a 25 year high pummeling certain African nations leading to an UN plea for help brought on by high temperatures and a very wet season ideal breeding for overly abundant  numbers of the pests. Australia that can’t seem to catch a break now beset by a native deadly spider thriving in the current conditions causing so many problems for people and other animals; proving there are things that do well, even benefit from the climate change. Venezuelan exodus and headline making starvation from rampant inflation, issues over humanitarian aid isn’t a consequence of climate change rather political instability, seen as unfair elections leading to the naming of Juan Guaidó as president, the fallout from that political move upon the Maduro government’s pushback. Here in America much of the issue with levies, dams, reservoirs and such is outdated models and unconsidered factors when choosing to build a select type of water control; largely outdated because of government funds not going to the equipment needed to monitor, extrapolate and project outcomes correctly, shortsightedness that an area would never grow it’s population, see business development or the weather in terms of flood severity would never change, particularly asinine since what you’re dealing with is raw nature. BP’s American golf coast oil spill wasn’t the ecological disaster it was leaving lively, teaming ocean areas filled with various forms of animal and plant life suddenly dead rendering incalculable damage to the larger environment only because of where they were drilling, highlighting the impact to nature of off shore drilling, visible evidence we should stop it immediately, nor was it their abysmal safety plan that would have failed a high school science fair when it should have been on par with NASA; it was a combination of overall lax safety protocols for what they were doing allowed to continue by regulators and legally/legitimately gotten waivers for disaster plans, permission to forgo environmental impact studies, later found fact the company had no idea how to respond in the event of a spill resulting in untold environmental damage. The repeated wavers they were permitted to get from the applicable government agency letting them start and maintain operation absent a viable emergency, contingency plan should a leak occur resulting in weeks before the leak was closed, massive oil gallons leaking into the ocean daily, causing cascading health effects to surviving animals and humans. Plan finally submitted, roughly a year before the disaster, riddled with so many errors it would be comical if it wasn’t so dangerous: listing a long dead scientist as an expert on environmental factors, possible impacted animals as the walrus and sea otter among others, none of which are on the gulf coast; anyone reading the plan should have spotted such glaring inaccuracies, reminiscent of a kid who copied and pasted parts of their report on the arctic for one on the gulf of Mexico when it comes to the effected animal section, yet it was approved nonetheless. Mirroring a developing situation in the Galapagos islands where an oil spill their due to a faulty or poorly operated crane has done potentially catastrophic damage to plants and animals, unique species found nowhere else in the world immediately called both dangerous and illegal; pointing to maybe some things not only shouldn’t be placed near water but shouldn’t be transported via it either, how many oil spills are a result of tankers run aground, barges carrying it or other chemicals running into each other, ironically an EPA accident that dump waste into rivers. Hurricane Katrina’s human casualty count in deaths and lives destroyed, though the people lived, wasn’t just about inadequate levies, poorly maintained levies that had they been in top shape less inhabited areas would have been flooded, it was also poorly crafted evacuation and disaster plans for an area prone to both hurricanes and floods, evacuation and disaster plans that had not been updated for decades despite population booms; you see the same thing surrounding nuclear power plants here at home evacuation plans likewise years out of date, not accounting for significant leaps in population allowed to creep entirely too close to something so volatile and dangerous, lacking or terrible contingencies for extracting the most vulnerable of citizens elderly, homebound individuals, those on oxygen tanks, ventilator in their homes, those living in various assisted living facilities, nursing homes, mental health facilities permanent or temporarily, those in medical facilities at the time of disasters and getting them to safety. Plans to get significant percentages of a place like New Orleans that reside below the poverty line, unable to afford things like cars or internet, the 2009 force of people onto cable services to get local, used to be over the air channels, to view weather thanks to our hasty transition to digital television meaning any Katrina-esque event going forward will be worse in terms of an uninformed populous, to date  low distribution of weather radios that merely need cranking to operate and easily get informed, get up to date information; let alone be relocated in the event of a weather emergency, thousands trapped in the superdome, the looting, chaos, the police officers later convicted of shooting  unarmed, doing nothing wrong, residents because they could. Reminiscent of later happenings where law enforcement or first responders charged with clearing homes after fire/flood creates a situation rife for what you see the cop on given video doing were instead caught on camera taking things from the homes like prescription medications, not to give to the person currently residing in a shelter waiting to get back to their home but needing the medicine, but rather to abuse themselves or more likely sell on the street illegally for hefty amounts of cash. Human tolls are much harder to mitigate when there are no storm shelters, backup generators for hospitals don’t work (what we saw in the after introduction video provided on Moore Oklahoma), you end up facing total power gird failure, huge swaths of infrastructure are just gone or blocked with debris, what we found after  Maria in Porto Rico, Guatemala and the volcanic eruption; post disaster cleanup and recovery the world over has one strong recurrent theme: people who feel abandoned and forgotten by their country’s central government whether that’s Grand Abaco in the Bahamas or Haiti10 years after that countries devastating earthquake with no main hospital to serve a huge city agonizingly slow cleanup or no cleanup at all, news footage a decade later find vast parts of the country seem frozen in time debris and crumbled buildings not removed or cleaned. 16 people (now death toll at 18) didn’t have to die on New Zealand’s White Island but for government negligence in suspending tour operations to the volcano doubling as a tourist attraction, that despite scientific assessment it was difficult to pin down the eruption based on the type it was, it’s track record of recent eruptions (as late as 2016) should have meant no one was on the volcano at all; survivors facing life altering injuries, painful long term burn treatments, hospitals there begging for skin to treat tormented victims, ordering thousands of square feet of skin to manage the grievous wounds.  The avalanche that killed 2 and meant rescuing 5 wasn’t caused by climate change and more snow, looser snow it was the fact state officials reopened ski slopes despite warnings from the regional avalanche center based on a foot and a half of snow that fell the night before. Adding to at least the perception of Australia’s climate woes isn’t limited to the Prime Minister’s seemingly tone deaf  response to their ongoing fires rapidly killing wildlife and displacing people having to come back from a vacation abroad to manage the crisis, nearly running away when confronted by a group of residents about said response, resources to combat raging blazes select regions don’t feel like they are getting their fair share of, an all too common occurrence even in westernized nations, but the government officials’ decision to go ahead with their standard New Year’s tradition of setting off fireworks despite public outcry monies spent go to firefighters and combating the blazes, efforts to save animals or aid displaced persons; thankfully it doesn’t seem to have sparked anymore fires but displays a combination of both ignorance and arrogance that will continue prolonging such problems climate change or no climate change. Bad policy was exposed in a supposed rarity for mainstream media during hurricane Harvey’s devastation of Huston  reporting by MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes revealing federal flood insurance to essentially be a racket because they kept approving huge dollar amounts of  flood damage reimbursement monies to rebuild in the exact same flood effected area with no mandated changes to building supplies, no mitigation factors mandated from state and city building permits when rebuilding entire neighborhoods, whole sections of towns, businesses and city/municipal services; things in paragraph 2 that were the implemented in the slightest would doubtlessly save billions of dollars in damage, hundreds of lives annually. Identical situation unfolding in the wake of California’s latest round of fires as residents find their specific fire insurance policies revoked, null and void based on skyrocketing risk; now there is an argument to be made about the unethical nature of yanking a policy people paid into in the midst of a disaster but, those policies should never have been approved in the first place due to the inherent danger of doing so. Concept corroborated by a Salon article laying out the case for taxing heavily people who want to live in disaster prone areas as opposed to outright banning them from being there. Rank corruption is what saw plans to build a golf course in a tiny town in Arizona apparently with no thought or understanding comparing the limited water supply to what such a course needs to stay lush, green and attractive to local users forget tourists, potential to compromise water supplies for local residents in an already small, small town be damned. Investigators looking into how a copper mine was approved to be built dangerously close Lake Superior slated to contaminate it as Lake Michigan was equally contaminated when the same person approved a similar project in Wisconsin as head of the state’s natural resources department, now regional EPA director merely the latest example of  norm crashing, regulation roll back, regulation flouting via the Trump presidency; plans to protect vital Chesapeake bay from 3 major pollutants went awry just one month  into the new year when the director of the program called the plan informational and aspiration Salon going on to outline Pennsylvania as not only the biggest polluter of the bay but the one of the three state group who has failed reduction benchmarks for years while the EPA turns a blind eye though originally agreeing to enforce the plan. At the same time it wasn’t Trump’s EPA (environmental protection agency) that began that agreement or that led to the cancer alley in Louisiana that is literally killing people at an alarming rate with a ridiculous number of petrochemical plants surrounding a residential area, not specified is which one was there first, the plants or the neighborhood.  As the Salon article below states in its title alone there was roll back of regulation and a week later there was yet another in a long line of chemical plant explosions demonstrating the need for government officials to know what regulations do and assess their effectiveness before doing away with them. Both destructive patterns you find repeating itself exemplified by the mothers who banded together to uncover why children in their town were getting various cancers including the interviewed woman’s son; initially targeting the newly placed 5G cellphone tower and eventually landing on a chemical in the water, they part of a different area of California not on city water systems. CBS’ investigating highlighting pockets of the country subjected to unknown chemical exposure from abandoned plants for instance that used to manufacture an additive for decaf coffee until it was removed for it’s probability as a carcinogen, company admitting the chemical had been leaked in the air for years beyond EPA mandated limits spiking community cancer rates. To that end and expanding on a common thread through the reading presented on a government level federal,  state and local chapters getting brutally honest about what chemicals and substances are out there, what studies say about their harm to people, the environment, both then formulating a plan to stop their spread and clean up where they already are. The original Keystone pipeline is already leaking while investors, casual watchers of the opposition to the XL version seem mystified by the opposition to it despite its projections to contaminate ground and drinking water along its route, protesters met with uncommon violence for saying they don’t want their land contaminated or they stand with those who don’t want it contaminated. The FBI is investigating Pennsylvania’s governor as well as his administration to see if he forced through another pipeline carrying liquid natural gas through the state; even if he were to be charged on tangible wrongdoing, convicted in a court left murky is what happens to the pipeline, the half-finished components and what leaving it abandoned does to the area ecologically, how it effects residents and what happens to them. Why exactly does California have at least 2 for profit, investor run, traded on the stock market utility companies versus city, state and county co-op style public utilities; why did it take a relatively new governor and at least 2 massive fires for regulators to begin scrutinizing their practices after  the named camp fire to find the tower that fell and sparked the blaze had not been climbed for inspection since 2001, why have they continued to operate without being taken over and made public or shut down in favor of the public ones after causing a double digit number of fires?. Let’s be clear, the only reason all those chemical plants are centered in Texas is the state’s lax or absent regulations on such substances making it easier and less expensive to be there, the area that has no zoning laws so when a plant did explode, years prior to the Arkema mess precipitated by Harvey it took out an apartment complex, a nursing home and 3 schools because there was no regulation saying those things couldn’t be next to such a plant or the plant could not be that close to a residential area depending on which things were built first. The same area that had no fire codes and instead of adopting some basic ones, used nearly everywhere else nationwide, officials passed a law against establishing any fire codes; the plant had neutralizing agents for the chemicals either to mitigate their harm to people and the environment or reduce chances they would explode yet weren’t using them for an unfathomable, unconscionable reason never explained. Residents who were then concerned about the air quality after the explosion, local reporters demanding to see known generated reports didn’t just hand them over and be open and honest with the people in that city/town, they decided against compiling any further reports as well as fighting the release of existing ones. Indicating we need a reinterpretation of states’ rights, what they did in that Texas town should be illegal at the federal level on the grounds endangering public safety; speaking of states’ rights, for all the progressive California appears to be why is it permitted that select areas are not using the FEMA emergency alert system, in this case to alert them to wildfires, limiting who is informed and when leading to or soon to lead to a situation like the one encountered during hurricane Katrina in Louisiana?  On another issue, it didn’t get an earthquake warning system until 2017 and California is just now implementing a plan to do update seismic reinforcement on thousands of residential and concrete structures yet giving residents and businesses 25 years to upgrade old structures to new earthquake mitigating building codes once they finish, the not yet done, assessment; only for the latest news making earthquake to remind both residents and officials they may not have 25 days, more like 25 weeks or 25 months let alone that government allotted 25 years before the long talked about and dreaded big one is upon them.  If they were smart, in order to solve the danger to the kelp forest in the northern part of the state’s ocean people would be permitted to remove the sea urchin by any means necessary until a competent scientist has deemed their numbers at the proper levels, under control to preserve the kelp and the species of plant and animal dependent upon it.  For additional westernized countries it’s variations on an identical story, it isn’t that Italy or the city of Venice was ignorant to their vulnerability or necessarily lacked a plan for addressing it, it’s that their floodgate plan was 10 years behind schedule; it was, as pointed out in the global treasures being swallowed by climate change Salon piece, as they were voting to phase out the use of diesel busses in favor of environmentally friendlier ones their government chamber was flooded. Italy a country that just recently initiated programs and tried to pass into law provisions saying that fisherman who find plastic debris in the ocean can’t just throw it back, remove it from their nets, hooks exc. and go on about their business but must collect it, bring it in and turn it over to a proper disposal site/recycling center; Rome who just voted to ban diesel cars, confusing is if they actually mean diesel cars, many would be shocked to learn those are still a thing anywhere in western civilization, or diesel vehicles like the mentioned busses, big rig 18 wheel trucks used to transport goods across America, not hard to imagine there might be a language translation malfunction. Globally diverting from westernized nations, farming impacted isn’t just climate change and what no longer grows in Guatemala causing a mass exodus to the United States and elsewhere but crop diversification they weren’t doing, aid workers are just now researching crop genetics to give them ones that will produce growable crops and replenish possibly depleted soil. No real next step conversation about if the climate has shifted permanently to where it can’t grow once thought usual crops are there things that can now be grown there and sold in country to make a living, exported to neighboring countries as a regional source of produce rather than depending on exports from the U.S., other nations around the globe? Less thought given to diversifying their economy, moving it away from largely agricultural pursuits to avoid what leaders surely had to see coming over the last 5-10 years, potentially much longer. Many of the fires burning huge swathes of the Amazon rainforest, colloquially know as the world’s lungs, were intentionally set to clear land for either farming or cattle grazing in a singular country Brazil who elected a far right leader 2 years after America elected Donald Trump seeing no problem with the land clearing or methodology; who even rejected fire aide from the international community because French President Emmanuel Macron dared say the area being burned indiscriminately was vital to the world, the function on the planet and he, Bolsonaro, one man, president of Brazil or no can’t be allowed to destroy it. A fire in Chile appears to have been intentionally set whether it was under the similar circumstances of and clearing for whatever reason by the average inexperienced person, a dispute over land between parties, between land owner and government remains to be investigated; what isn’t up for debate is the nearly 200 left suddenly homeless and the environmental impact of the fire and resulting debris, an often forgotten element across the globe when assessing ecological damage potential.  Stalling climate change in places like the African continent experts note boils down to family planning, educating girls and things such as establishing schools in conflict zones; on the former no, not the draconian population controls always conjured when you talk about it’s relation to climate change and resource strain, China’s one child policies and it’s horrifying ramifications. Totally opposite, providing the voluntary family planning women say they want, not just general education but  sexual education and access to birth control having birth rates in select developing areas within a decade; plans to educate the world’s public on reproductive issues crafted with social norms and cultural attitudes in mind before trying to wholesale change them, door to door female health workers in one country, another uses television soap-operas to re-engineer what is acceptable and right in terms of birth control and family planning. Findings conforming the predictable if not obvious, educated girls have fewer children, take better care of those children and themselves, are less likely to get incurable STD’s/STI’s think HIV/AIDS, marry against their will or as children, in part because they have something else to aspire too another means of sustainability and economic upward mobility than getting married. An educated girl/woman in sub-Saharan Africa is teaching her community the farming techniques Guatemala needs to employ like irrigation, her using discarded water bottles or intercropping growing cops in close proximity allowing water conservation supplying them to schools and supermarkets. Governments the world over starting with the Western ones need understand they have the power to mandate no building within X miles of a volcano, within X miles of nuclear power plants and need to wield it effectively then strictly enforcing those restrictions; you have the power to limit tourism to curtail over tourism plaguing both the unique Galapagos islands and America’s iconic Red woods.  Next, to begin with tightening the enforcement of regulations already on their books, basic oversight would have stopped BP from getting its operating permits never mind remaining in operation, would have kept the levies both in New Orleans in top operating order, along with the Midwestern ones, the former’s catch basins clean; federal agencies charged with approving or rejecting proposals to build things like the XL pipeline and the original keystone ones are required by law to consult with indigenous, tribal peoples yet regularly don’t; it would behoove oversight bodies to talk to the leaders of tribal people before  granting final approval to the requisite permits, do that.  Basic oversight also would have put a stop to fracking the moment media investigation showed video of persons lighting their tap water ablaze despite the exemption president Bush signed in 2005 if nothing else as a public health threat; Rachel Maddow’s in depth coverage on the topic directly revealing it’s policy not accident that essentially poisoned these people’s water, would have at minimum suspended fracking operations the second it was linked to the earthquake activity to the natural gas extraction procedure. Regulation would have mandated the release of the chemicals used be disclosed if to no one else the regulators so they understand the long term effects, would have mandated the air quality reports in the Arkema plant Texas example not only continued to be compiled but were within the viewing range of equally regulators and the impacted community so they can take the appropriate precautions. We have an act and organization OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) to monitor workplace conditions, no one reading this can say those plants constantly on the verge of exploding, oil rigs almost identical to the BP operation don’t pose at minimum a risk to workers set aside form the areas X miles out in every direction. Reading the title of the last link below it isn’t just wealthy investors, people with pension funds and companionate individuals that need to change their money placing strategy national and state governments western and not need to do the same putting capital into disaster prevention not just reactionary response, making the human investments, social investments that give people economic mobility a priority. Reaching once more past western countries, you have not only the power but the responsibility as a government to do things like diversifying your economy, over and over in addition to the violence in south and Central American countries is the comment the ground won’t grow anything it’s too hot, too dry; people in Brazil aren’t clearing land with fires because they hate the environment, they are doing it for a livelihood, an income via farming or cattle who need to graze. There is talk about government response to Turkey’s just happened earthquake not solely because there should be with every disaster but because the country sits on known faultiness and there are justifiable questions about quake preparedness when there is so much devastation and a woman was only able to be freed from her trapped state because rescuers were able to call her cell phone; Erdogan likely to respond to any US criticism bringing up California, who elected Gavin Newsom (not a Trump acolyte) versus turkey who has essentially a dictator. Those worried about climate change likely see the new viruses found in soon to be thought melting artic ice as a reason to prang the panic button; however, not only are they aware of the danger meaning western and wealthy nations can continue taking samples and crafting potential treatment plans if, try to find all the unknown things there and learn which ones can be harmful to what, the new corona virus attacking China and slowly hitting major cities around the world, symptoms mimicking SARS,  came from illegal animals in an open animal/meat market. Thousands infected, double digit numbers dead and the toll keeps rising, but climate change  

https://www.salon.com/2019/12/08/climate-not-conflict-drove-many-syrian-refugees-to-lebanon_partner/

https://www.newser.com/story/286038/un-pleads-for-help-amid-devastating-locust-invasion.html

https://apnews.com/c89d01fd28ab067ef9bf5ca017904768

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RVirtJJ7MY

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050404118.html

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jun/09/bp-oil-spill-contingency-plan

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/11/787065806/new-zealand-scrambles-to-treat-burn-victims-from-volcanic-eruption

https://www.newser.com/story/285353/they-reopened-the-slopes-then-came-the-avalanche.html

https://www.newser.com/story/284940/sydney-we-cant-cancel-show-despite-conditions.html

https://www.salon.com/2019/10/22/bans-on-rebuilding-in-disaster-prone-areas-ignore-homeowners-preferences-raising-costs-works-better_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2019/08/02/epa-inspector-general-wants-to-know-how-something-like-this-was-okd_partner/
https://www.salon.com/2020/01/24/the-plan-to-protect-the-chesapeake-is-failing-and-its-pennsylvanias-fault_partner/
https://www.salon.com/2019/11/28/just-one-week-after-trump-rolled-back-safety-measures-chemical-plant-explosion-rocks-texas-town/
http://www.salon.com/2017/07/09/watch-the-solution-for-reversing-global-warming-is-educating-girls-and-family-planning/
https://www.salon.com/2019/09/28/how-a-rural-womens-network-in-sub-saharan-africa-became-a-model-for-fighting-the-climate-crisis/
https://www.salon.com/2020/01/05/federal-agencies-are-required-to-consult-with-tribes-about-pipelines-they-often-dont_partner/
https://www.salon.com/2017/11/18/to-prevent-climate-related-disasters-invest-differently/
https://www.salon.com/2017/12/20/let-it-go-the-arctic-will-never-be-frozen-again_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2020/01/02/fukushima-reactor-cleanup-delayed-by-five-years-as-japanese-public-demands-end-to-nuclear-energy/

Critical questions not being asked, therefore never answered either, demonstrate it’s all of a piece many of the secondary, tertiary and adjacent problems faced by small town/rural America including climate/disaster protections is because they haven’t seen an active chamber of commerce since the Carter administration, their town looks like the set of Steven Spielberg’s Goonies, (a popular 1980’s film) almost a decade into the 21st century, sometimes even older, it looks like it could  be a movie set for a 1950’s, 60’s or 70’s period piece, without the known novelty attracting tourism it might be added, complaining they’ve been left behind by presidential candidates, politicians in Washington. Recall the town hall group in 2016 when Bernie Sanders talked about getting them off coal and into better jobs their argument wasn’t they’ve heard this before and  training never materialized or their age, late 40’s 50’s too close to retirement to start over, their refrain was I’d rather be doing coal; worse residents simultaneously utterly resistant to change while bemoaning their also declining population numbers, the lack of jobs, the fact businesses and industry don’t come to… insert name of town not found on most state maps never mind a national one. Rural hospital closures are largely blamed on red states who refused the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, true enough, but it also falls into what we’re talking about in places with a store, a stoplight and a school because the government mandates they have to have one and there isn’t enough healthcare to provide for a few hundred, less than 2,000 people, to pay doctors a living wage, needed nursing staff, forget specialists even when it pertains to OB/GYNs, NIC-U services for preemie infants, why they likewise can’t get ambulance services, reimbursement rate for both Medicare and Medicaid too low to have them making ends meet; nor does it excuse the person with a chronic health problem who knew the nature of their condition yet remained in a place without one, a woman whose child had been diagnosed with something that needed extensive care staying in such a tiny place. Worth asking is why the featured mother was ‘fine’ with a store, stoplight and nothing else when she planned on starting a family, why people failed to believe the ‘rumors’ about the hospital closure?  Progressives fundamentally misunderstand the catalyst behind private ambulance services isn’t limited to the greed of the company doing so for profit and little else or the gargantuan cost leveled at the consumer solely for their benefit; it’s that tiny areas with less than a thousand people can’t afford a public ambulance service, towns have budgets on a miniature scale to states and at the state juncture decisions have to be made about where funds will benefit the most people. Why one of ABC News’ Diane Sawyer Hidden America specials saw lone firefighters, paramedics making so little, struggling to get by, relying on food stamps; because they are living in such small areas their municipality can’t afford to pay them more, profiled fire fighter has 3 jobs as that and a paramedic in his own town plus the latter in a neighboring town because they probably don’t have enough people (trained a whole other issue) to separate the jobs, predictably the same issue with the parallel town. Other areas are dependent upon volunteer 9-1-1 and EMS because they can’t get anyone to do it for the pay they can offer as a dinky little town, predicable reason one area hasn’t had a doctor in people living there’s memory; EMS services not funded by states instead community fundraising ala fish fires and bakes sales is the height of absurd and needs to be addressed then remedied, preferably at the federal level saying there’s a minimum standard states must provide as soon as possible sure. Specialists and specialized services still unlikely to be seen as the singular outlier of a  rural hospital managing to keeps its doors open started with obstetrics investments yes, moving to omni-training doctors in family medicine succeeding in providing general care, which is far better than nothing, but continues to exclude critical family services like autism diagnostics and ongoing treatment/care management, services for any children there born with conditions such as Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy, pediatric cancer. How you end up with the autistic Miss Montana whose story included teachers and aides who exasperatedly said things along the lines of they didn’t get paid enough to deal with her tantrums, not diagnosed and given support until age 11 squandering the potential of workers we need in the races to compete with countries like China with billion person populations. Forcing juvenile cancer patients to either receive less innovative care that could risk their life or go to a bigger hospital in a larger town, across the border to a neighboring state at the same time taking care monies away from the isolated rural hospital. Relating that back to climate change, climate reality it is quite possible the reason there was never an investment in a reservoir or dam along the Meramec river is because there weren’t enough people to explain the cost that would be akin to doing it for McBaine when it had 500 people or less, towns named in the piece are not ones listed on a major state map, are not known nationally, would be hard for lifelong locals to name unless they themselves lived there, had family there or spent time driving through remote parts of the state, towns  grappling with the same thing the one in Nebraska is dealing with not choosing relocation but wanting flood mitigation, wanting the state or federal government to spend millions to safeguard the few. Is that equally why other parts of the Midwest are up against depression era drainage systems because there aren’t enough people across enough states effected to justify the millions to billions on levy repair regardless how much money is spent in the middle east, how bloated our military budget, repeated sticking points for progressives when anyone brings up the cost of proposals to fix our grade od D+, crumbling infrastructure; as the Salon piece pointed out decisions not made on science but how wealthy the people are or aren’t in area Y, science probably saying avoid the risk if anyone bothered to apply any. Places facing population decline have tried to offer various incentives to entice people looking for a place to make their home, particularly the younger generations, states like Vermont saying come for a vacation, interview job,  hopefully stay for a lifetime, Tulsa Oklahoma sweated the pot offering to pay 10,000 of your rent if you move there, Topeka Kansas offering the same deal to 40-60 news residents who rent and 15,000 to anyone who buys a home in the city, looking to build economic growth. But as Lewis Black pointed out in his “Stuff That Pissed Off Lewis Black in 2019” comedy bit For The Daily Show if they are offering you money to move there, you probably don’t want to move there, drawbacks conceded by the NBC Nightly News anchor on the Vermont piece noting their largest city is tiny, they don’t have a Target or a McDonalds, plus in somewhat of a novelty have banned billboards, and yet are supposed to be trying to attract millennials of all people; the attraction that does seem to exist was in the nursing job one woman got paying more than her current one, the 4 bedroom house she rents with her husband, who got a retail management job, for 1,700 a month compared to New Jersey. Though without the so called big box stores if they don’t have a Target they probably equally don’t have a Wal-Mart of a Hy-Vee  meaning they are paying more to mom and pop local stores just so they can keep their doors open and anything on the shelves, quite possibly offsetting the implied savings; addressed too the total lack of ethnic diversity, state only 1.4 % black, and while interested home buys from Mississippi say the difference is the attitude, feeling of being wanted and embraced, that’s now, wait until they have children and their school has to deal with ethnic hairstyles and they are being told to cut their dreads or that the design in their hair is from a ‘big city’ gang, only certain states and municipalities having passed laws preventing school and job discrimination based on ethnic hair. Banning billboards may seem like an innocuous thing that leads to a place’s improvement yet it is a caution as to what other things they might see fit to ban as blog and author have covered towns banning everything from dancing to baggy pants to flip flops; we’ll come back to Tulsa momentarily but anyone looking to move to Kansas with their family or wanting to raise on there might want to think twice considering former governor Sam Brownback decimated the education system, Topeka was the city in 2011 that briefly stopped persecuting domestic violence supposedly for want of local funds to do so. Speaking of which Oklahoma was ranked one of the poorest states in 2017 and was part of a rash of red state teachers strikes in 2018 where a participating student showed gathered press her crumbling textbook and one teacher detailed his laundry list of jobs attempting to make ends meet; understandable when they are ranked 49th out of 50 in educator pay as of strike coverage. It’s what people like Chis Mathews don’t understand about what they term flyover country, parts of America we merely fly over on the way to larger hubs, major cities; we have fly over country for 2 reasons A- it is huge swaths of farmland and cattle grazing B there’s nothing there to draw people to them. As the Salon piece below says hey Ohio make me a millennial want to move to you; millennials are attracted to career diversity they can ply up against mountains of student loan debt not bike trails, the author correct too when they stated plainly millennials are not responsible for correcting ‘red state brain drain’ people who leave for higher education and better opportunity never to return. Blog and author have talked extensively about how their career goals don’t match their Midwest industrial tech town factories, H/VAC, retail and clerical positions but no real niche for writers. Often talked about on both the economic front and the environmental front is how bad America is at providing public transportation compared to complementary countries on the globe, how much carbon dioxide wouldn’t be pumped into the atmosphere if we weren’t such a car culture; fact though it may be it misses the crux of the problem, the sheer amounts of landmass the United States covers compared to entire European countries the size of our smaller states, contrary to the Vox  piece that lists Canadian cities vastly more spread out than the U.S. but predictably the most internationally known and populated ones is we aren’t talking about interstate travel (Greyhound and Amtrak do that), we are talking about bus services for individual towns.  Too it is either ignorant or misunderstanding of the history behind how the town was formed and founded usually around some natural resource in the era before motor vehicles, towns whose increase in population over the past half century plus was achieved by people who came there with a car for their own personal/more convenient means of getting around; even in the Vox piece an expert having worked in both countries states we prioritize reach over frequency explaining we want transit to go everywhere, where as in Europe, ‘where people better understand it they know key is trains that run more frequently to key places.’ Personally blog and author find both are wrong, maybe how they do it in Europe works for them but even their countries’ systems have huge faults being walking cultures that put people with disabilities at a disadvantage, the story of Adam Payne you’d think came out of America, no actually the UK; you can have all the public transit in the world and it doesn’t do any good for people or environment, population sustainability or growth if it doesn’t go where they need it to, if people have to walk too far from their home to get on a bus to work, to the store, the doctor, attend desired community events, if they have do appear at the bus stop an hour or more early to be sure they catch their connecting/transfer bus to the other side of town to work while being on time. Case in point my friend recently had to change her son’s psychological services because the city eliminated a bus route and with all her children and herself having asthma coupled with a need to go there rain or shine, regardless temperature it wasn’t going to work; speaking of work,  if you are seeking a job and need something/anything to pay your bills you may be further hampered by the hours the city bus runs versus the hours of available jobs, night shift and odd hour positions  that aren’t open to you, anything other than 8-5 if your town’s bus stops running at 6 or 6:30 in the evening and you must concern yourself with getting  home at the end of the day. A factor in the midsize town in which we both live that does have a bus service and a paratransit arm for persons with disability only running at peak hours where they can maximize the number of riders, let alone the town in Nebraska population 100 people. The biggest thing making out town the growing success it is, minus a functional chamber of commerce, is that is sits adjacent to the state’s section of 1-70 bookended on the east and west by 2 major urban hubs; strategically placed in the middle offering a 2 hour drive either way to tourist attractions, a zoo, science center and major football too, town itself offering cheaper rents, less crime to make it ideal, the 3 colleges attract students and the things that they like adding vibrance, vitality and diversity permitting it to grow.  Concurrently to be confronted is the mindset that these little towns represent Mayberry, a slice of America’s past where you don’t have to lock your doors seemingly oblivious to the truth that that town was fiction, the show designed, as stated by the creator(s), to teach moral values to children in the 1960’s before the so called counter culture had taken hold, people got real about what life was really like; and, behaving as if the fates of Etan Patz, Adam Walsh and Jacob Wetterling shouldn’t have popped that bubble well before the news crews showed up to do their reports on closing hospitals, volunteer EMTs and the like. The stories of Kamiyah Mobley, the man thought to be an infant stolen in 1964 has finally been found half a century plus later, coupled too with family DNA registries solving cold case after cold case from decades previously, when relative DNA catches a killer, rapist, pedophile; not to mention the child sex abuse in the catholic church, the boy scouts, USA gymnastics, college sports, doesn’t once and for all prove it was never real. Rural areas who would greatly benefit from modern advancements in delivering healthcare, think telemedicine, are shut out again for want of broadband, high speed internet that isn’t cost effective to bring to small areas like the town with less the 1,300 people; where the interviewed new mom was from already driving several miles to a neighboring state for standard infant care for her daughter and thankfully where she was when her stroke hit affording her access to telemedicine which was then capable of diagnosing and treating her effectively. That’s the first Newsy video related to this paragraph and even smaller populations discussed in the second  Newsy segment specifically on lack of internet availability and what it’s like living without a service that by all rights should be classified a public utility in the 21st century. Further hampered by complicated licensures and convoluted Medicaid reimbursements varying from state to state, doctors having to possess dual to quadruple licenses for each state they tele-communicate with, remote diagnose or treat patients in underscoring, for at least a second time, the need to review states’ rights versus having one national standard for licensing professionals like doctors, lawyers and teachers.  Once you see and begin to recognize the markers you start to comprehend the whole gigantic scope of the pictured problem; second talked about vid, town in Ohio and an Amish person going down a rural road in a horse and buggy for heaven sake, sporadically dotted housing, miles and miles between anything. Equally it’s the same plight with small areas and teachers, it isn’t just the low pay, the clear the room orders for disruptive students with a plethora of disorders who should be in specialized school suiting their needs, the lack of support resources in nurses, teacher’s aides and school counselors trained to deal with issues including knowledgeable threat assessment for mass violence, it’s that there is nothing enticing in the surrounding community to draw recently minted teachers to them; hints a reliance on foreign teachers who are eager to come to America, the low wage here is better than they could make in their own country and often coming as a small group can send money to relatives where they’re from living together in 1 modest apartment or average size house, but erven they are routinely shocked at the tiny town their in being America as they were picturing New York, LA, thriving metropolitan cities. Isolation that impacts political views that often lead to voters on the local or national level voting against their own self-interests; the Maryland town profiled supporting president Trump’s travel ban is a perfect example of the slice of Mayberry complex, people who have never seen a Muslim that wasn’t the picture of a terrorist on their TV screen, news segment about a sleeper cell all radicals not just people who want to practice their religion unhindered the same way you can find them in church every Wednesday and Sunday. Certainly never talked to one personally understand the values that they do share, both believing in things like modesty, just one displays that with a headscarf while someone women refuse to wear pants or forgo extremely tight fitting ones like leggings, raise their kids fundamentally the same way, want them healthy, happy and receiving good educations so they can have all the things there parents didn’t both while growing up and when they forge out making their own life. They’ve never listened to the personal story of a central American, Mexican migrant, have no concept of the gangs and the violence they face, children they’ve already had killed in an effort to recruit them or their parents into the gang, to sell drugs, nor have they seen the value both groups can bring to a community beyond cultural expansion and broader horizons there’s the benefit in sheer numbers that mean more funding for schools, grants and allocations for building projects but also businesses they go on to open, work ethic they demonstrate, new foods, restaurants, community centers they open.  Many of the MAGA hat wearing young people who support Trump do so because they are isolated and see nothing else, only hear what their parents, grandparents and friends parents say on issues, chronically poor they have no hopes of higher education or viable chance of moving thus the deaths of despair by alcoholism, suicide, drug OD, accidents while making volatile illicit substances like Meth; needed is to cure the isolation, but that takes town and municipality cooperation.  Spearheading us into California’s other water problem, like growing pockets nationally-lead in water, school children unable to drink from water fountains stems from them not being incorporated into the nearest city water system and whatever well or ground water is available is contaminated with giant agriculture run off; city water company pointing to the millions of dollars in cost to tie in individual pockets of 2, 3, and 400 residents in tiny outlying towns, why it has been thus far left in the untenable situation it’s in, people spending 100’s of dollars a week or month on bottled water, paying water bills for water they can’t use. Certainly the sole motivation of a provider charged with giving access to something as vital as clean water can’t solely be profit and when it is we can see the devastation wrought in the PG&E details given above; however, it raises a series of questions about what is the best course of action to an essential as rudimentary as clean water? Is the answer to force the city water company to spend the millions in creation of water tie-ins maintenance and upkeep in the coming decades once built, is the answer to tell the people if they want to be included into the city water system to move into said city or create one blended community closest to the city instead of isolated ones of so few persons resulting in around 1,000 people to justify the still exorbitant costs, is it to mandate the Agra farm and meat production conglomerates fork over the dollars to clean up their act not merely for the environment but the residents living in the surrounding area; it stands to reason if we can filter and sanitize water for drinking in every major western world city then why are we content to let business and huge industrial agriculture, meat farming establishments dump polluted water in rivers and streams, eventually landing in the ocean rather than filtering toxins out first and putting essentially clean water back into our waterways minus the chlorine of course? Yet even if they could be compelled by law or financial means to  take those steps how long would it be before the water was returned to it’s safe state for human consumption; which one needs to be the stopgap now solution for people suffering under something that shouldn’t have become an  issue and which the longer term solution?  How do we merge tiny communities when the surrounding populations have dwindled to provide the services every town needs to achieve basic function let alone flourish; is the middle ground what one Alaska town did housing their town of 200 in one building including school laundry mat, grocery store predominately during the winter while in the summer people are away from home, or a modification in California case of a college campus style set up smaller than a sprawled real town with sparsely placed homes making it easier to connect them to the city water system?  How do we prevent town/city shrinkage if at all possible; offering incentives is marginally successful, how do we convince businesses to go to holloed out industrial towns, former manufacturing hubs or is the solution to get brutally honest with people and say if you want better, move, let small town no longer functioning areas die. People also need to start taking some ownership and making better informed choices surpassing ceasing and desisting voting against their own interests; think back to paragraph 2 simultaneous to what was happening; people knew the refinery was there, knew the proximity of the plant to the residential area nevertheless featured family had just moved in to their dream home 7 months prior with their 6 kids, people know where the nuclear power plants are, or should if planning a move, looking at where to live why would you possibly want to live so close to a nuclear power plant in the shadow of instances like 3 mile island and Chernobyl aware of the age of these facilities which should heighten wariness of them. We have choices and decision making agency other parts of the globe don’t and it’s long past high time we use it. Identical categories of problems haunting the developing world on a much, much greater scale, how to provide clean water to desert Africa has been a decades long battle forget running water; Bill Gates and other wealthy inventor types have experimented with non-water based sanitation to keep human waste out of developing world rivers for years a functional model being tried in Ghana’s public restrooms so people get used to it while waiting for manufacturing costs to go down to put it into mass use, something years down the road.  Meanwhile the rampant disease that comes from exposure to open sewage, bacteria and unsafe water worms exc. will continue; connecting people there to vital service like running water and electricity infinitely more complicated by how spread out they are, the woman who spoke in the Africa piece talking about her higher education in agriculture she used to help her community also elaborated how children in her village are walking farther to attend school. Just one instance of hardships to basic needs; curious to see would be if the one building town concept or college campus style concept would work to bring people either closer to an existing city to tie into those thing or allow them to create their own combined with infrastructure to get them to and from their farm and animals, make to perhaps communal where everyone works and gets an equal share of the harvest to eat or sell, meat to slaughter and eat or sell at market, barter with neighbors, neighboring areas for other goods. Then what role does and should governments play in facilitating the successes had in Africa, directed aid from the rest of the globe in making these things happen, bringing people up to a minimum standard of living and dignity? It was people for rural Guatemala making the long trek to land at the American boarder pleading for asylum because they are farmers who can no longer grow enough to eke out a living, not hard to imagine people in Brazil who have no skill in framing or cattle rising are the ones willing to take their chances trying to get to the American boarder and try to present a case for asylum now subject to president Trump’s remain in Mexico order The newest migrant caravans to appear on Mexico’s border hold people from Honduras, who are fleeing 2 parts crime and a lack of jobs/work they hope to find in the US.; proving not everything is indeed climate change and once again not everything could be fixed if climate and nature was as docile and harmless as a kitten.  

https://www.salon.com/2016/11/10/hey-ohio-make-me-a-millennial-want-to-move-to-you/

https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/26/17903146/mass-transit-public-transit-rail-subway-bus-car

https://www.buzzfeed.com/patricksmith/how-one-mother-took-on-the-system-for-her-disabled-son-and?bfsource=bbf_enus&utm_term=.iclkBNLDa#.eimg54v9w

https://www.salon.com/2017/11/18/can-cities-get-smarter-about-extreme-weather_partner/

https://www.salon.com/2018/02/08/theres-a-much-smarter-way-for-cities-to-plan-their-futures_partner/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/02/16/the-thing-about-thorium-why-the-better-nuclear-fuel-may-not-get-a-chance/#3b310ac41d80

https://www.salon.com/2019/11/18/why-science-failed-to-stop-climate-change_partner/

https://laist.com/2019/02/20/so_much_rain_dropped_on_catalina_that_the_island_has_dropped_its_drought_measures.php

You can do things right, build cities intelligently not only with an eye towards growth and expansion over time as the city is more and more established, becomes more attractive to regional industries, citizens looking for specific things when deciding where to work, raise a family or retire; keeping your city’s population as people demographics change, employment trends shift, entities move in and out of your town/state, what so many areas have failed to do when it comes to depending on the single factory for jobs, a single industry for the lion’s share of employment; but, it can also be done in terms of climate safety, environmental preservation. Check out the lone house left standing after hurricane Michael, that is because it was a relatively new build designed specifically to withstand updated hurricane force winds minus the round home, concrete sandwich models in paragraph 3 if that’s too much for home owners/apartment builders and regulators to get their head around; note the grain silo in Illinois protected from surrounding flood waters because officials had learned from lessons past and built it high enough to be unaffected by flood levels at least at their current projections. Outcome, while everything else is underwater and other parts of the city grind to a halt people employed there still had jobs to go to and paychecks they could earn supporting their family, better able to tackle any flood damage to their home if/ when it occurred.  Remember the school with the tunnel structures built into its design meant for people to evacuate in the event of a tornado and building collapse; thinking like that saves lives. Solving the world’s energy consumption problem and future energy needs as more and more countries enter the global stage, come up to western standards, technologies continue to advance  may lie in little know, but massive potential, thorium nuclear reactors that don’t hold the same ghastly radioactive danger as uranium, has a shorter half-life owing to its minimal radio activity; and, as Andrew Yang pointed out in the 6th democratic primary debate, you can’t make a weapon out of it meaning, giving it to politically unstable countries to make the lights go doesn’t mean a catastrophic can of worms popping open at a later date. Historical fact, the reason thorium reactors are not the primary source of, classified as nuclear energy, is a direct side effect of the cold war and our wish to fight rather than power electrical devices. What the people of Japan should demand to replenish the power needs of the country without facing another Fukushima, expanding out to the rest of the world with few clean energy options or needing larger power volumes; instead car maker Rolls-Royce is going with mini versions of the traditional reactors that produce roughly ¾ of the energy their counterparts do to be built in Northern England and Wales respectively, laughably under the guise of reducing carbon footprint and increasing safety, we’ll presume they meant of nuclear energy on the latter point, though it’s worth noting no highly radioactive nuclear energy can currently be rendered safe by aspects of science. Doing it right means actively determining then putting the right environmentally conscious apparatus in the right place; critical to both save the planet and humanity’s existence on it. While simultaneously avoiding what happened with Brazil’s behemoth plant, recalling the question in paragraph 3 can we remove vegetation around the site of a dam/ reservoir before constructing it for hydro power plans; safely keep it from growing back around it minus using pesticides, harmful chemicals to avoid the gas release. The right thing is more research into clean and renewable energy to prevent what the Netherlands is in the midst of with sinking thanks to their water mitigation techniques that missed a key component; climate and all scientists plus green energy experts need to get better at telling their story, crafting their narrative and making complex highly technical issues less palatable and more just plain understandable to anyone who hasn’t just walked out of a high school or college science class in the last 5 years. Why science failed us in terms of climate change isn’t just about misinformation of the fossil fuel industry, politicians serving their usually personal moneyed interests over that of their nation and the viability of our planet, being ill-educated and uncaring about the science they were presented with, but because it wasn’t presented to the world’s people in a comprehensible manner let alone what could feasibly be done about it, particularly at the government/policy level without entirely reengineering life as we know it; things scientists had to know wouldn’t go over well with anyone. Add that to the ambiguity of some findings, the fact that lung fungus theoretically could account for bee die offs, solar flares some of the heatwaves documented or the balance attempted in this very article about what is and isn’t climate change, how much climate change is the problem and how much is our response to the weather and climate conditions around us even if climate change wasn’t a phenomenon effecting us; practical reality we pay little attention to natural elements,  throw caution to the wind when going about our lives even when our own safety personally is at stake.  Toward the ends of rescuing the planet from human activity and bettering lives in the process re-watch the video after paragraph 3 and the inventions that might prove workable, could that harvester of green energy meant for slow moving waters help, be made bigger to function like the hydroelectric dams we have now without the negative side effects found with traditional ones, the portable turbine attached to homes near water since it generates power outputs to run one? As demographics continue to shift and once small towns not so slowly turn to ghost towns how do we safely turn it back to the land, let it grow wild again without the contamination issues with soil, trees, plants and air talked about in other paragraphs that will turn to harming animals if not people and make it uninhabitable for decades upon decades if humans decide they want or need to go back to the area?  Also in desperate need of investigation the best way to dispose of disaster debris so it is least harmful to people, animals and the environment when we can’t hold back the wrath of Mother Nature.  To reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides that must be kept out of the oceans in addition to crop rotation and plant genetics for countries like Guatemala, paralleling things our grandparents did to keep spiders and ants out of the house,  what are natural remedies limiting the need for those 2 chemicals, things people plant around their garden perimeter that make animals and pests not want to go near it, what natural substances can double as a pesticide placed on or around crops that again pests don’t touch that can easily be washed off or is innocuous to humans, livestock and pets? California’s Catalina Island 5 years later lifted its drought provisions because they were no longer needed proving what we already knew, these things are cyclical; the question then becomes how do we conserve and store water in abundant times so that we have it in the lean times? Identical phenomenon with fires in the dry season and mudslides over the burn scarred areas, floods in the wet season; next question the is what can we do in addition to preventing fires in the first place to help speed recovery of an area from a nature standpoint not only a human one, what can we do to ease the mudslides and flooding when their winter weather inevitably comes? Related to the animal waste running into California’s rural water problem something like 100 global companies are responsible for 70% of the climate damaging carbon emissions, getting them to change their operational practices toward a more green, eco-friendly functionality seems a lot more both plausible and palatable to American and emerging western world cultures than one liners about taking away people’s cheeseburgers to curb global beef consumption because cow flatulence releases too much methane as does making them clean run-off water before releasing it; dido stop irrigating fruit and vegetable food crops with listeria, salmonella and E. Coli tainted water, clean it then put it on, not only do you stop some of the thousands sickened by this subset of ‘food born’ illness, you prevent both the deaths associated with it and antibiotic resistance from their constant user/overuse. Blog and author have touched on this before but it bears directly on the topic of this piece as well, instead of making recycling an individual responsibility, passing laws forcing people to recycle or even compost in the case of Seattle, adding fees and fines to city and municipality residents who refuse to get on the bandwagon of saving the planet; take it out of their hands, take the burden off their shoulders by doing what a section of California has done for years now, everyone’s trash goes to a sorting center and at the very least all recyclable materials are removed. Go a few steps further, by equipping workers with the proper protective gear and facility set up to be sure there is no biohazard exposure, people aren’t getting glass in their hands and arms then extend the sorting to making sure everything ends up in it’s proper place paints and motor oils to their disposal site, computer parts to theirs, mercury laden next generation light bulbs we aren’t supposed to throw in the trash but probably do to theirs, good condition items that merely need a good cleaning are cleaned and donated to the local good will; rather than what we have now which is a decidedly broken city recycling system based on blue or whatever color bags that have to be completely full before they will be taken and filled with all the same recyclable material, glass, plastic, cardboard or paper, you can’t fill it with miscellaneous recyclables and see it hauled off, make a mistake in sorting and they promptly leave it on the curb to be blown by the wind, get torn open and create litter. CBS This Morning did an eye opening segment on people’s recycling mistakes, which included plastics with food waste still in them, whole cardboard boxes that ‘must be broken down,’ recyclables headed for the land fill because they were put in what looked like a standard kitchen trash bag before being placed in the city provided giant bin, majority of cities where you cannot recycle plastic flower pots, styrofoam wasn’t recyclable  in the community featured; sane question being why not, as is the chip bag, the paper towels, plates and napkins, do we not have a method or do we simple not bother because it’s too tedious, likely not the kind of eye opening they wanted as in educational, aimed at getting people to sharpen their recycling skill, more inclined to have them give up. Or, to our next point, demand a better system obvious from the video too is a need for change, upgrades to sorting equipment, of process to accommodate plastic bags, films, packing materials and garden hoses, stop the refusal of yogurt cups and shampoo bottles, Styrofoam, this time an egg carton that wasn’t part of the program, is the tin foil not recyclable or is it only ‘excluded from the program’? Why not, instead of marketing the plastic bottle cutter just to everyday people to save space in their recycling, sell it for a nominal fee to city and municipal recycling operations to aide them in their work and to the public for any oddities they might think to create with them? Identical thoughts to the former seeing the tire shredder which should be expediently mass produced and distributed to every recycling center in the country, comprehensive recycling/waste sorting and redistribution would solve the next emerging problem too all those cardboard shipping boxes clogging landfills and the plastic packing that keeps items within from being broken or damaged in shipping, transit without shouting at companies to trial and error different methods that cost untold dollars in defective merchandise; at the very least you break even keeping use levels the same. Why does the US have a recycling program for used crayons but not the UK and why does a child have to point this out to them and the world? Why are we giving China our recycling instead of doing it all ourselves; too check out the road in Scotland made from plastics that seems to hold identical durability than traditional asphalt, why isn’t this method exported the world over so China has something to do with our unwanted plastic at the very least, can the method be given to the developing world so they can convert their discarded plastics into much needed infrastructure, likewise creating jobs much the way MSNBC’s  Lawrence O’Donnell and his K.I.N.D. fund (kids in need of desks) provided money to make desks to school children in the country of Malawi providing locals with employment. Rather than their plan to ban plastic bags, straws nationwide and stop using plastic utensils at catering events, phasing out postal service plastic tapes, as the biggest offender in terms of plastic pollution finding its way into the world’s ocean by their most known river they would be more productive with the Scotland method. Better than seeing the plastics washing up in the wave on South Africa’s coast line; would it be feasible to send some western world plastics to them in the short term to generate roads while we work on lessening use, compacting packaging, sustainable recycling efforts leveling off use? Equally it isn’t just or perhaps even that we use too many single use plastic items, too many plastic straws, bottles, plastic bags it’s that they are ending up in our oceans; thus we really don’t need global national bans, city, province, municipality bans on mentioned items we need to keep them out of the waterways. How, reduce litter not by imposing fines and fees for the bad habit but firstly by getting better trash bags that every stray cat, loose dog, raccoon and coyote or bear can’t get into (and no the solution is not those gargantuan bins old ladies and people with disabilities can’t maneuver let alone with garbage in them, many of which bears or raccoons can knock over and break open or otherwise gain entry) strewing trash everywhere, some of which will then be blown away from the most conscientious resident eventually landing where, areas like the great pacific garbage patch, slowly killing some poor animal. To that end, all western countries next to that patch, go clean it up, go remove the debris your countries habits put there, bottoms of the ocean where plastics and debris have not become growth spaces for sea fungus and plants, habitats for fish clean it out of there; we already have one functional means to do so in the video after paragraph 3, time to mass produce and use it. Also use the solar powered river cleaner featured in the same video to remove smaller trash items providing jobs for a different offshoot of sanitation worker in both cases. Then if you want to keep bigger items car tires, entire cars, refrigerators and the like out of rivers, streams, oceans and all waterways you must stop charging people a fee to remove them, stop making it hideously expensive to dispose of a wrecked, no longer operational cars, vehicles (I saw from personal experience as the back lot of my grandmother’s acre and a half property became a family parking lot) because they couldn’t stay in the city and the family member couldn’t afford to have them hauled off.  Post accidents pull the car, truck, SUV, motor cycle, out of the lake, river, stream or ocean for more than forensic needs, cities, towns, states go down to the bottom of these things periodically and remove these things and the bicycles exc. that sink to the bottom and people can’t remove on their own. Dismissed too readily is the waste generated from making items like steel straws, the excess water used in washing all those reusable containers in dishwashers or sinks, washing machines for cloth snack holders those canvas bags we’re supposed to buy at the store then bring with us apt to spread disease if not washed routinely and separated for meats, vegetables and other items to keep E.coli, salmonella and Listeria at bay; our present paper straw craze not only leads to a dysfunctional mess, people with disabilities needing the flexibility of a bendable plastic straw versus a steel one with the bend at a fixed place but kills added trees which is already a problem in need of solving, creates more recycling we  can’t keep up with now, why make more and try to call it saving the planet. Water blobs incased in seaweed extract may seem cool but what happens when you run out of seaweed, have pulled to much of it from the oceans, lobster shells for plastic alternatives ok but it’s not an infinite supply though you’re using restaurant food waste now were it to catch on would demand exceed supply, and we don’t want to see the animals murdered for their shells when lobster populations are declining it at least parts of the U.S.? Will there be enough cassava starch for the biodegradable bags that dissolve in water, when it comes from a plant; secondly with it being a wood-like shrub is it a good idea to start removing them from the environment if it is collecting CO2 and releasing oxygen and on the large scale needed to supply bag needs for it’s native South America?  Ditto the shampoo pods, what’s that film made of and could we run out of it forcing us to revert back plastic, will there be enough millet rice and wheat into the future to support edible spoons, barley too for the edible packing for beer cans saving marine life when they aren’t getting tangled in 6 pack plastic rings. The compost bin turning trash into gas, better for the planet maybe, still holding major explosive risk to people and putting more toxins in the air from the fires started, assuredly making things worse Charcoal balls from human excrement, that’s a hard no, probably even in the developing world.  Plus it is the 21st century and we can do better, science fiction writers have been showing us the way for years perhaps it’s time we followed their best ideas, the ones that didn’t lead to dystopia.      

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About Natasha Sapp

Proclaiming an edgy voice of reason to America,while bringing back the common sense to social issues.

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