In my last post on the Great American Eclipse on 21 August, the impressive gif of the moon’s shadow crossing the entire United States, hurricane Harvey was already lurking approaching the Yucatán peninsula. The devastation in Texas might be a major blow for te American economy and a backlash of Donald Trump’s plans to make America great again. But, if even reported in American MSM properly, what is happening due to the annual monsoon in South Asia would probably be beyond imagination of the common people in the US. Harvey is not the “epic” storm or “historic” as president Trump as usually exaggerates with pride when he and his très chic wife Melania inspected the devastation on Tuesday.
For about twelve years the American coastline had been spared from the destruction hurricane landfalls may cause (while, during the same period of time archipelagos in the Pacific had been battered by several super-typhoons).
The reason for the current disaster in Texas is not man made in the first place. Of course, sea waters in the Gulf of Mexico have become warmer, so possible hurricanes, finding their way from Africa’s East coast to the Caribbean for centuries, contain much more steam water to be poured on vast areas after moving inland.
Harvey, eventually a category 4 hurricane, was special for something else. Just before hitting Texas’ coastline at Rockport near Corpus Christi at 3 am UTC on Friday, 26 August, it had rapidly intensified. But it didn’t move inland. After hours of pouring water it bounced back like a billiard ball, lingered about the coast line, gained strength again over hot Gulf waters, made another landfall somewhat east. Than stalled for almost two days. Flash flooding and enormous destruction was seen in Houston as largely sealed areas prevented rapid drain of waters. Chemical plants were releasing huge amounts of toxic substances, explosions were seen.
Hurricanes and typhoons are not man-made. They are not caused by climate change. But their increasing intensity and the possible disastrous effects on societies is. The next is on its way in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean, Irma. All indicators forecast that it will develop into a super-hurricane. Whether and if where it will hit, Florida or North Carolina, is uncertain at the moment.
Climate change denier Trump may be resistant to scientific evidence, but his supporters, many of them evangelical protestants in America’s Bible Belt, in Texas and elsewhere. They shall remember the diluvial catastrophe described in Genesis due to Almighty’s wrath over human sinfulness, and may eventually turn away from supporting POTUS.
Nature strikes back, as always.
2 September 2017 @ 7:59 am.
Last modified September 2, 2017.