Archive | Disastrous

Florida Keys

Heard last night they were sending “mass mortuary teams.” Doesn’t sound good.

First responders sue Texas chemical plant for gross negligence

Harvey's aftermath: more fires expected at chemical plant

Seven first responders filed a lawsuit Thursday against a chemical company whose Houston-area facility exploded after Hurricane Harvey. The lawsuit against Arkema and three of the company’s executives is seeking over $1 million in monetary relief, and alleges that the company did not adequately warn law enforcement and public health agencies about hazardous materials at the… Continue Reading →

FL sheriff orders ID checks at hurricane shelters so he can jail people

Sheriff Grady Judd and Dad

A Florida sheriff stirred up controversy this week after he revealed that deputies would be checking IDs at local hurricane shelters and arresting anyone with an outstanding warrant, which can be issued for something as common as a traffic ticket. In a tweet on Wednesday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd warned that “sworn LEOs will be… Continue Reading →

Billionaires who own GOP are stopping action on climate change

Irma Is Getting Stronger

Climate change is an issue that should not be partisan, yet in the United States, acceptance and belief in action on the issue are split down Party lines. This is because the wealthy interests who own the Republican Party don’t want action on climate change because it could cut into their profits, and they are the… Continue Reading →

Water, water, everywhere?

I live about a half-mile from the Delaware River, in a part of the city called the Riverwards. It’s very, very flat here.

I also live a half-mile south of a former chemical plant, and about a mile northwest of a major gas facility that stores liquified natural gas. (They call the ships that carry LNG “floating bombs.”)

I’m about three blocks north of Frankford Creek.

And now there’s this new hurricane, Hurricane Irma. Looks like it’s going to be a Cat 4, just like Harvey. They’re saying it might hit the East Coast in a week to ten days, although it’s still too early to tell.

As we just saw in Texas, an awful lot of people in America live sandwiched in between all kinds of potential threats. The less wealthy you are, the more likely it is. The job providers who get rich off these facilities live nowhere near them.

Bless their hearts.

Irma might turn out to sea and become what weather geeks call a fish storm. I hope so. But it does seem likely to hit the coast; we just don’t know how far north. The models are scary, but models aren’t the same as forecasts. If this was a forecast, I’d already be in my car and heading west:

Unzoned Houston

This is what happens.

As a reporter 30 years ago, I covered stormwater politics. What I learned is that flood maps aren’t updated, and that’s for a reason. As long as the official map says it’s okay to build, a politician can sign off on development that means campaign cash in his pocket. Then officials are interviewed after massive floods, saying “it’s a once-in-500-year event.” Only if you go by their old maps!

I also remember when Bill Clinton tried to pass a FEMA regulation that if your house was destroyed more than 50% by flooding, you would not be permitted to rebuild in the same place. Well, all those wealthy Republicans with beachfront properties were furious, and kicked up a major fuss. Their politicians got Clinton to withdraw the change.

This is what I hate about Republicans. They have completely abdicated any pretense of working for the common good, it’s all about their donors. Period. That’s why nothing was done about all the climate change warnings, and it’s why one of the first things Trump did was rescind all of the executive orders on climate that Obama put in place because Republicans refused to allow anything substantive to happen.

Now we have someone who hates environmental protection in charge of the agency charged with protecting the environment. Even Richard Nixon cared about the environment!

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