Hurricane Ike, the sign for CHANGE

As I survey the news this morning on the horrible devestation wreaked by Hurricane Ike, I’m struck by the words uttered by people fleeing from the storm. Words like we used all our bill money and all our savings during Hurricane Gustav a few short weeks ago, now we’re in our car just driving, with no place to go. Words like we left shelters to get some fresh air and had to stand in lines to get back in. Words like we have no money, our house was all we had and now it is gone.

This hurricane made landfall at 2:10 am, and now is inland, and is still packing winds of hurricane force. It is not expected to dissipate for some time as it treks its way inland. Tornados are spawning from the rain bands all across the six hundred mile diameter of this storm.  I grew up with hurricanes. My father moved us to Florida when I was seven, from Chicago. All through my youth, survival was a key issue for us. My father had been in WWII, in the Pacific, and knew what to do. I can still remember the smell of the kerosene lanterns, and mother cooking over a sterno can. When the storms were over, dad would take the boat out, and scour the waterfilled streets, looking for ways to help. Ike is huge. There is not much chance to get help out to people when the winds are in excess of 90 mph and there is nine to ten feet of water spewing all over the place.

Global warming is a reality. Climate change is happening. We are responsible for inducing the problem. There is no “new normal”, this is a rapidly decaying situation that some people refuse to acknowledge.  People, not just in the Galveston/Houston area, are suffering, with no savings against emergencies like this. They are losing money, property, time, sometimes suffering breakdowns as a result. These are not the “little people”, “the middle class”, or the “dirt poor”. These are American citizens, for whom the last eight years of our federal, state, and local responsiveness to emergencies have meant deprivation and now, torture, as they struggle to escape nature’s ravages, and are met with cobbled together (improved over Katrina, admittedly) minimalist and costly responses to some of the worst wind and water problems we’ve yet faced as a nation. True, some have ignored warnings, and risk their own peril by not evacuating, but I think many of those who have now been through Ike will reconsider, if they are even still alive tomorrow morning. For those who had to hunker down and ride it out, there will be property damage, weeks without power, and who knows what else to face in the coming time.

There is a group of people still left in this nation who wish to support more of the same in the coming election by bringing in a Republican ticket which not only promises more of the same whitewash as the incumbents, based on nothing but their stubborn pride and belligerence in face of the facts. The last eight years have seen nothing but difficulties for a great majority of Americans, across many sectors, and have been compounded by lies and distortions only a few brave members of the media have been willing to talk about. It is time to seriously put country first and bring into office people who can restore some sanity to Washington.

This video, which directly addresses the lies and distortions we are hearing from candidates in the current campaign, says it better than I can.  Let us remind ourselves once and for all that only by working together as an adhocracy we can face coming struggles with the climate. For those who still do not believe we are in trouble, I pity you your ignorant arrogance. You are so willing to gloss over reality, one wonders how you can stare yourselves in the mirror each morning.

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