Much like a baseball player taking a steady regimen of steroids and then hitting more home-runs, the Earth’s atmosphere has received an increasing amount of energy since we started burning fossil fuels, and the increased power and irregular behavior of the recent hurricanes is one of the results.
After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and now Nate, the places where the storms made landfall are forever changed. There has been so much death, destruction, and suffering in such a short period of time. No one can hold the consequences of these storms in their mind without becoming overwhelmed by the complexity and devastation.
I grieve for the people who have lost their lives or loved ones as a result of the hurricanes. I grieve for the people who lost their homes. I grieve for the pets who were left behind, injured, killed, or lost in the chaos. I grieve for the dead and displaced wildlife. I grieve for the countless people who are going to suffer a lifetime of health problems because of the pollution that infected the air and water as chemical plants, oil refineries, sewage systems, and other infrastructure broke apart. I grieve for the people who will contract diseases like malaria and dengue fever, spread by the mosquitoes that will multiply in the stagnant warm water for months.
There is so much death to grieve, but the story is not over. Rebirth is coming, and in many ways is already here. We are at a critical moment for Houston, Puerto Rico, and the other places that have been forever changed by theses hurricanes – how are we going to move forward?