Houstonians are wading in waist deep water. Chemical plants are exploding. Devastation is the order of the day. Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan write:
Houston, the Petro Metro, is home to one-quarter of the petroleum refining capacity in the United States. Include the entire Gulf Coast, and the percentage increases to half. In the midst of this massive storm, sprawling petrochemical facilities were forced to shut down abruptly, ejecting millions of pounds of toxins into the air, impacting most heavily the poorer communities of color near where these plants have historically been built.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump, peddler of the lie that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese to hurt the U.S. economy, made a predictably superficial visit to Texas. “What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump boasted as he landed in Corpus Christi. He made no mention of the victims.
Climate denial in the face of Harvey’s devastation is incomprehensible, ignorant and immoral.
Harvey has sent a message which can't be ignored. NASA scientist James Hansen says it should be as obvious as the noses on our faces:
“With the beginning of changes in atmospheric composition, caused mainly by burning fossil fuels, the planet is getting warmer, and sea level has begun to go up, because the ocean is getting warmer and because ice is melting.” He continued: “The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is increasing because the atmosphere is getting warmer, and therefore the amount of water being dumped during these storms is larger because of human-made global warming. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms all get their energy from the latent energy of water vapor. There are substantial human-made effects on these storms.” Larger storm surges. More rain. Stronger storms.
Most tragically, the victims are primarily poor and people of colour. Those in power have no idea how these people live -- and they have no desire to find out how they live. It won't be long before more than chemical plants explode.
Image: USA Today