It was the most disastrous hurricane in recent memory. It is difficult to gauge the sheer ferocity of what could potentially be the most costly hurricane in U.S. history.
With near biblical levels of flooding and catastrophic damage to Houston and surrounding areas, it demands that we come together to help our fellow citizens. It is a shame that which should be obvious is not.
At the moment, the Trump administration has taken steps to ensure that disaster costs are covered, with the White House demanding $7.85 billion towards relief funds.
This is good, but it does not silence the fact that House Republicans were more than willing to chop $876 million from the disaster relief budget for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) a couple of weeks before Harvey hit the states. All to finance Trump’s border wall with Mexico, a monolith that Mexico has repeatedly stated they would not pay for.
Nevertheless, there are thousands of other businesses and companies doing their part and relaying goods to mitigate the damage including Wal-Mart, Dow Chemical Company, Dell, Walgreens, and more.
This is, of course, one end of the spectrum. On the other end, we have witnessed the wrath of some political figures on the right, insisting such things like Hurricane Harvey being the punishment for homosexuality.
Science be damned. For most people on the political front, this rhetoric can be dismissed as nothing more than a joke. Yet it is a distraction from the serious issues behind climate change. As it applies to Harvey, national political figures, mostly on the right are doing a great job at denying the severity of climate change.
It is this cognitive dissonance between what has been proven and what has not that will drive more of those on the right to challenge the facts with their preconceived notions.
It does not help that Trump’s Cabinet is laced with officials that have either questioned, or outright denied the possibility that these disasters increasing in intensity could be our fault.
On the local level, this can and will be detrimental. It begs the question, when will our two melodramatic political parties sit down for some coffee and talk the big issues? It is a lesson to be learned by everyone. As the Gulf of Mexico continues to warm and foster stronger hurricanes, we could only hope for the best.
Graphic: Rachel Futterman | The Oswegonian