Camille, Andrew, Katrina, and Harvey are names that evoke horrible memories. Names that evoke images of presidents and politicians pontificating, “We will rebuild.”
What no politician said was that most of the rebuilding would be done to pre-hurricane standards. Sure, people in certain high-risk areas such as the Florida and Gulf Coasts and in New Orleans have been required by regulations and insurance companies to build to new standards. However, cities and states received scant help from the American taxpayers to rebuild to tougher standards. Few local politicians were willing to raise taxes or utility fees to rebuild to tougher standards. Images of houses on stilts, once common only along east coast beaches, now grace many residential areas in New Orleans. Most of them don’t look nearly as elegant as this one.
For the most part, however, roads, sewers, chemical plants, electrical infrastructure, have been rebuilt with no heed taken to future weather-related disasters. And, it looks like Houston will fare no better.
Trump is right about one thing: the American infrastructure of roads, bridges, canals, electrical production and transmission, oil and gas pipelines, water and sewer systems, and other elements needs a shot in the arm. The Federal Government is best equipped to deal with this, especially where infrastructure elements cross jurisdictional boundaries.
However, just in time for Harvey, Trump cancelled an Obama-era order dealing with federal emergency aid. By doing so, he virtually guaranteed no federal aid to build infrastructure elements such as bridges and roads to higher standards. As a result, they will fare no better when the next storm hits.
Remember, that Trump believes Climate Change is a hoax created by the Chinese to destroy American business. Remember that Trump’s staff immediately after his inauguration purged the whitehouse.gov website of climate science information.
Remember that the Trump version of reality at www.whitehouse.gov, especially the “America First Energy Plan,” is in part, “…Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and Waters of the U.S. Rule… committed to shale oil [“fracking”]… clean coal technology… reviving [the] coal industry…”
There is no such thing as “clean coal.” It is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, and rebranding it “clean coal technology” doesn’t make it any cleaner. Action on climate change and to protect the waters of the United States is neither harmful nor unnecessary. Saying so doesn’t make it so. Perverting the Bully Pulpit to say it so doesn’t make it so.
Trump has also called climate change a “con job,” a “hoax” and “bull ---t.” His appointments of former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator show clearly that those words are what he believes. His attempts to walk back his opposition to the Paris climate pact, the role of the Chinese, and the anthropogenic component of climate change are only attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people. His beliefs have not changed.
It appears to me that Trump’s desire to make America great (again) is being buried under bad decisions on many fronts, including his orders and positions denying the reality of Climate Change.
Months before Trump was elected, I wrote about this notion, and predicted the “H” hurricane (in my case, Hillary) and the devastation because utilities had been rebuilt only to pre-hurricane standards. Check it out on the home page. The book is available from Amazon.com. The “Hillary” report is on Page 366 of the printed edition. If you’re reading the Kindle edition, search for “Hurricane Hillary Hits Hard.”
The Obama Administration’s June 2013 “Climate Action Plan” no longer appears on whitehouse.gov, but a .pdf copy is available at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf
www.whitehouse.gov A search of the site using the word, “climate” got two hits from history (c. 1933 and c. 1961 in the biographies of two First Ladies). The only current hit was from the “America First Energy Plan,” in the sentence: “…Trump is committed to eliminating…the Climate Action Plan…”
Trump on “clean coal,” climate change denial: See Blog Posts of 2016-12-13
Trump on climate change and cabinet nominations: See Blog Posts of 2016-11-18, 2016-12-19
Trump on Paris Agreement on climate:
Republican Party platform on fossil fuels and climate change: Blog Post 2016-11-18
The science and reality of climate change:
Blog posts of 2016-12-07, 2016-10-21
Rebuilding to pre-flood standards: https://apnews.com/e3dd6ec99f9546eaa9f736d6fc2ad0a1
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.