Weather Terrorism is Too Often Weather Reality

Adaption Climate Change Personal Writings Utilities

From: December 25, 2022

            Baja California           We knew the weather was going to be bad.  As the holidays closed in on us, we were running from the forecasts, not just to Mexico for the first time in four years, but to Baja, where the temperature this time of year in the arid desert between the Gulf of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean is just about perfect.

The forecasts had been the devil’s brew of sound advice on common sense preparation and outright Weather Channel-style, weather terrorism.  That was in New Orleans where freezes were projected to hit 25F. We had turned off water and put Styrofoam hats over faucets, while draining hoses and the like.  Dogs were brought inside to kennel and under constant surveillance.  Water was allowed to trickle at the office.  Emails from utilities and co-operatives asking us to conserve and educating us on the Southwest Power grid seemed too little too late.

We didn’t complain.  We were the lucky ones.  Our retreat to Baja was orderly, but we read about the 8000 flights cancelled behind us.  My cousin living in Wyoming posted on Facebook his grueling journey to Rock Springs after his flight was cancelled in Denver.  He managed to rent a car, but had to pull over a few hours later in the blizzard, fortunate to find a motel for a couple of hours before going at it again, and so it went over an epic journey.  We weren’t in Wyoming, nor were we in Toronto or Buffalo or so many other areas in the northeast United States, where snow was expected at eyeball level in some places and thermometer breaking levels in many areas.  We weren’t in Britain, where we read of doctors prescribing emergency heat from utilities in the freeze and nonprofits giving out blankets and wool socks.

Last night we stood on the Malecon, looking at the sunset over the rock formation called Land’s End at the tip of Baja.  A little later we saw several sea lions swimming ahead of boats racing to the marina to beat nightfall, then barking loudly between those docked while children imitated their roar.  We were the lucky ones, but we wondered why nature’s reality now, manifest as weather continues, to be such a tragic surprise in so many places.  The work of ACORN’s Louisiana affiliate to secure counterflow in the event of hurricanes has been a hard slough with bureaucrats arguing for business, as if more and worse killing storms are not inevitable, despite their denials.  I had an old friend and comrade who ran Boston’s Logan Airport for some years.  Under his watch they had ten snowplows to keep the runways open worth more than $100,000 each, while many airports in the northeast and Midwest had hardly half of many.

It’s going to get worse, not better.  Why are we still counting everywhere on luck and shortcuts, rather than doing what we need to do to prepare and protect people against weather’s emerging realities?  Adapting to change is actually more important than survival of the fittest.  That was Darwin’s real lesson of evolution, not the brutality that capitalism has accepted as their gospel.