If complaining is an art, I am Picasso. If it’s bullshittery, I am Ferdinand.
So please excuse my latest deposit, whatever its contents. I can’t help myself.
But why the oxygen-depleted approach to Hurricane Harvey when it comes to a connection with global warming? Has this somehow become a political issue, too?
Last night, NBC’s Lester Holt gave the entire NBC Nightly News from Houston. Apparently, Texas is god’s downspout. Or anus. Regardless, the boss was having major runs: By the end of the newscast, Holt had to move to higher ground, the currents invading so quickly.
Yet nowhere in the half hour did he mention global warming. Indeed, most networks have avoided the issue like a Category 4, lest they incur the wrath of dullards. Apparently that’s a key demographic. And a frighteningly large one.
Last month, Gallup did a poll of Americans and found 81% of them believe there is a scientific debate over global warming. In truth, Gallup later noted, 97% of scientists agree that global warming is a man-made dividend on ill-advised investment. That is as much agreement as you’ll ever get from the scientific community, which still debates the nature of gravity.
To their credit, some smaller outlets have attempted a connection. At the Houston CBS affiliate (which has become a YouTube star overnight), a University of Houston professor estimated that 20% of the rainfall was due to global warming. USA Today ran a piece Tuesday entitled Is There a Global Warming Connection?
Both stories added fascinating components, from nature’s cyclic tendencies to our ever expanding carbon boot print. But there’s a must simpler story here:
This is what global warming will look like.
For all the data Al Gore drops on us, for all the wisdom Neil deGrasse Tyson offers in baritone, nothing matches the images we digest. We are watching coastlines alter live. Those Houston homes now have new owners: brine. And they don’t pay rent.
Trump, of course, used the opportunity for political expedience — and to let us know he chose the timing of a political pardon because the storms would get great ratings. If nothing else, we know how to ferret fortune out of nature’s indifference. The guy will pardon Harvey the moment he realizes most of the victims are minorities.
We have seen this before, with Katrina. In a tsunami. If you’re looking for work, here’s a suggestion: Google Earth is going to need people just to update its maps.
But when the debates are over, when we’ve given up on the notion that this is all a “gotcha!” from the Far East, we will be left with these images. What we do with them is the only real issue to come from Harvey, as is its only lesson: