06 Jan 2013

The local government of New Orleans (Katrina Land), New York, and New Jersey (Sandy Storm) are eagerly awaiting, reconstruction funds, and in fact angry at what they view as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) foot-dragging.  They have come to expect that the USA Federal Government will come to their rescue with funds to re-build their severely damaged infrastructure, and even homes. Question is: For how long can the USA Federal/State governments afford to fund the reconstruction of our sea-side (littoral) cities and towns? Beach erosion, and recent storms have even damaged the Boardwalk beyond repair.

WASHINGTON POLITICIANS DON’T YET WANT TO “TELL IT LIKE IT IS”. It is not “politically correct” to tell such local governments: Sorry but “uncle Sam is out of funds”; Let alone recognize sea-level-rise, and climate warming, are not a temporary condition, but rather a presage of things to come. That accounts for the current intense funding negotiations regarding the budget. Local governments of New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, as well as many seaside communities in Alabama and other places are all expecting massive reconstruction help to “rebuild”. PROBLEM IS: Our USA government officials are not yet willing to publicly recognize that sea-level rise, and climate warming are not a temporary condition, but a clear and present/future danger.

SORRY, “WE TELL IT LIKE IT IS” On this publication. We peruse the news daily for significant events and trends in an attempt to connect the dots.  Mainstream data does not do that; the only “report”, and often miss the significance of such events/trends. We have said it before, that “recognizing the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” (no hoopla, misinformation, propaganda or lies) is very important toward planning for the future, and to survive and prosper.

NATURALLY THEY ALL HAVE THEIR HAND OUT “FOR A HAND-UP”- really? The local governments of New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, and many other impacted coastal areas are expecting massive reconstruction help to “rebuild” their severely destroyed infrastructure, and even people’s homes. Sorry folks, that is not likely. Just ask the people of New Orleans how much help they have received. They will tell you they are still waiting for the USA Corps of Engineers to defend them against future incursions by the sea and future storms. At least that is their business community desire. Most of the people of New Orleans have realized that moving elsewhere is a better solution.  We have many of their younger, dynamic citizens in our San Antonio, TX community, and glad to have them.

FEMA WAS NOT CREATED TO COPE WITH NATURAL DISASTERS OF SUCH MAGNITUDE, but rather to minimize human suffering among those in dire need in the aftermath of such natural and man-made disasters (the type of help they have already provided New York), and are not funded or equipped to help people “rebuild”. Hell! – even insurance companies will not insure those who insist on building on sea-side localities, and are hence vulnerable to the elements. But some say:”not to worry, we like the sea, and me and my ancestors have always lived near/by the sea”. Problem is: such attitudes belong to those that want the sweet, but not the sour, and now want Uncle Sam to pick-up the tab for their disdain. WISH WE COULD, BUT THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT FOR SUCH NEEDS, OR MONEY IN OUR TREASURY TO FUND IT; It is no wonder the Washington scene is plagued today with how to appear politically correct, when they know dammed well we cannot afford such help.

THE CLIMATE CHANGE ALSO AFFECTS OTHER MANY AREAS of our country, not just our coasts. Prolonged droughts in the central USA have produced severe agricultural shortfalls, transportation problem created by now non-navigable rivers, etc. Many lakes and dams are sorely depleted, and seem on the brink of extinction. Just north of San Antonio, TX is Medina Lake and dam. The lake now has about 6% of its traditional water level. This is tragic because it is located in an area that has traditionally served as an  absorption zone for our Edwards Aquifer, primary source of water for nearly 2 million people. Naturally, our San Antonio Water System (SAWS) is doing all it can to pipe water from other places, and even to desalinate saline underground water. Fortunately our citizens have responded well to the SAWS plea for water discipline. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT: CLEAN AIR, CLEAN WATER AND SUFFICIENT ENERGY ARE THE TRIAD ON WHICH ALL MODERN COUNTRIES WILL SURVIVE/PROSPER OR SUFFER.

THIS BLOG ENJOYS READERS IN SOME 65 COUNTRIES ALREADY WITNESSING THESE GLOBAL CHANGES. The people living in desert or semi-desert areas, already know full well the indispensability of water, and have much to teach many countries of the world where “water is cheap”-today.  We in the USA have much to learn from these folks, and there is no time to waste. Reconstruction of sea-level impacted areas needs to be viewed as “nice to do”, but with a sober assessment of future major changes.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)