Harvey, Irma, the Wall and thinking about the Who
This and that about this and that:
Harvey’s gone. By the time these lines are read forecasters will know more about Irma’s course. The trouble with hurricanes is that most of the time, and every time one gets into the Gulf, they are going to make landfall somewhere, and there’s no good place for them to go. Late last week, as this is being written to allow early Labor Day printing, there is a chance that Irma could make a north turn sharp enough to miss the southeast U.S. coast. That’s the best case scenario.
Back to Harvey: Early indicators are that it will be the costliest hurricane in history. It will take several years to fully tabulate the cost of losing such a big chunk of this country’s petrochemical and related production. These are not — for whatever reasons, global warming, rampant development along low-lying shores, etc. or all of the above — the hurricanes of the 20th Century. Hurricanes going forward are likely to be more powerful and devastating.
And the Wall? President Trump will have to forget about his wall and rebuild southeast Texas instead.
For that matter, we had better forget about stopping illegal immigrants if we want to get Texas rebuilt. If people from Mexico and other Latin American countries had not swarmed into New Orleans following Katrina in 2005, much of what got rebuilt would still be waiting. This is such a perfectly designed conundrum for this country that when you stop to consider Who designed it, your thinking must go large.
Another tabulation that I’d like to see would be how much of the rainwater that Harvey brought us fell into the watersheds that lead into the Mississippi River? I wonder how much rise we will see in the river levels at this normally low-water time of year. Not that I am worried about the Mississippi River flooding, but if we should go into an unusually wet fall followed by an even wetter winter in 2018, life could get increasing interesting in New Orleans by next May.