This is the first major storm that I’ve experienced where I’ve had a direct connection to victims that I know personally. I don’t have the experience to even start to imagine what they’re going through right now on the ground in Texas, Houston especially. The videos, pictures, first hand accounts and emotional posts to Twitter don’t even come close to conveying what all those people are now having to endure. People are saying this is a historic storm that has shattered records since we’ve been keeping detailed weather reports, well that’s not quite right. We’ve had category 4 storms in the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico before. We’ve had devastating damage from winds before too. What truly makes this storm, as opposed to others, is the sheer volume of water that has fallen in such a short period of time.
Yes, I’m going there. Climate change. The Gulf of Mexico is unusually warmer than in previous years. Is that an anomaly or is it getting warmer and we’re on the start of the trend upwards? The weather pattern that is holding what’s left of Harvey, currently a Tropical Storm, is odd for this time of year. Is that an anomaly or are weather patterns now starting to slowly change because of increased temperatures and moisture in the air? This country is on a dangerously slippery slope with our withdraw from the Paris Accord, a climate change denier is now heading the EPA and has already started rolling back regulations. Fossil fuel companies are getting more subsidies than ever before and have been making record profits despite a glut in crude oil prices.
I don’t think this will be the last storm that will redefine the record books and in fact, I think it is the first of many that will increasingly demonstrate that we’ve been complete idiots in this country for ever believing any of the crap that climate deniers have been shoveling for years. We’ll get our chance to make a difference soon enough. Gasoline prices in the United States are going to spike significantly in the aftermath of Harvey. 40% of crude oil refining is based along the Texas coast and those refineries are months away from full capacity. Oil platforms in the Gulf are largely undamaged, but they have nowhere to send the oil even if they did start extracting again as they’re fitted for pumping crude to shore via pipelines.
Be a human being, do whatever you can to help the victims of Harvey. My company has pledged to match any donations up to $1,000 and I’m going to scrape together exactly that amount. My company has an office, or did, in Houston that is now damaged beyond repair. My co-workers house is gone, he was south of Houston. Another friends house is sitting in 7 feet of water. With an unprecedented storm comes unprecedented support in all forms from first responders to aid workers. Do what you can to help.