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Denial’s Grim Fruits — Actual Puerto Rico Death Toll Probably Near 500; May Climb to Over a Thousand

Massive disruption which results in cascading failure of basic services such as food, water transport and power. That’s the primary catastrophic risk coming from human forced climate change. And we are now in the process of multiplying the potential for such extreme events by continuing to burn fossil fuels and to dump carbon into the atmosphere.

Maria’s recent landfall in Puerto Rico and resulting unprecedented disruption can be seen as a microcosm of the kind of damage that might ultimately be inflicted upon a whole region or nation. And the various failed responses by the Trump Administration and related denial-based attitudes within the Republican Party do little to inspire confidence in the ability of at least one major party to effectively respond to a rising danger it pretends does not exist at all.

Excess Death Toll

Weather forecasters are often quick to point out that the most dangerous direct impact from a major hurricane comes from either storm surge or flooding rains. However, for days, weeks, and, in the case of Puerto Rico, months following a disaster, the major cause of loss of life is disruption of food, water, power supplies and a related increased risk of exposure to infectious diseases.

Due to a sluggish and lackadaisical response to the worst storm to strike Puerto Rico in 85 years by the Trump Administration, it appears now that hundreds of lives have been lost. According to reports from the New York Times, 472 more people died during September of 2017 following Maria’s strike than during September of 2016. Such an abnormally high monthly death rate is an outlier in statistics that epidemiologists call an excess death toll. And the primary likely cause was damage to infrastructure, power, food and water by Maria followed by an inadequate emergency response effort.

Many of the 3.4 million people still living in Puerto Rico have been forced to go without reliable access to water, food, and power for 54 days now. Trump Administration failure to mobilize a major effort to respond to the largest power outage and infrastructure disruption in U.S. history has been coupled with the allowance of vulture capitalist firms like Whitefish to prey on Puerto Rico by charging excess fees for power restoration.

Digging into these glaring failures a bit more, it took more than two weeks for Trump to mobilize 5,000 troops to send to Puerto Rico to assist in aid efforts. And Maria was a disaster that required a force ten times this large to be pre-positioned and then sent in immediately following the disaster, according to emergency planners. Vulture firm Whitefish has been reportedly charging 4 to five times what it is paying power installers on an hourly basis. An obvious level of price gouging that has caused the firm’s contract to be canceled. But not before this company of two permanent employees bungled a power line repair that again resulted in much of Puerto Rico falling into darkness.

Incompetent Governance

Whitefish’s most recent failure resulted in total power availability for Puerto Rico again dropping below 20 percent last week. With PREPA stepping in after Whitefish dropped the ball, the line has been repaired. Yet 52 percent of Puerto Ricans are still without power.

(Climate Change amplifies hurricane impacts. What this means is that as the world warms, hurricanes produce more damage. If this is the case, then governments are going to have to step up and act responsibly to prevent loss of life. Republicans and the Trump Administration have done exactly the opposite in Puerto Rico. Images source: Climate Signals.)

Lack of power itself can be deadly. Such a loss results in a critical shortage for medical equipment necessary to save people’s lives even as it removes key infrastructures like street lights and communications. Incubators, defibrillators, respirators, pulse monitors and a hundred other life saving devices all go dark when the lights go out. Furthermore, lack of clean water and ready access to food increases instances of infection. And damage to roads prevents access by emergency personnel to people falling into harm’s way.

Vulture Capitalism + Climate Change Denial = Failed Responses and Profiteering in the Face of Rising Disasters

This is why Maria’s blow has now become so hurtful. Why the Trump Administration’s neglect is so glaring. And a thousand or more people may have perished as a result. The role of the U.S. Government as the first responder to major disasters was sidelined. The sacred trust to Citizens of the United States violated. But, outrageously, such a lackadaisical, laissez faire attitude is not simply limited to Trump. It is an unfortunately endemic feature of today’s republican party. A party that is now doing its best to cut taxes for the rich while cutting medical coverage for 13 million Americans.

A party that has also done far, far more than its fair share to deny and prevent responses to the human caused climate change from fossil fuel emissions that made Maria far, far worse. For the storm emerged from warmer than normal oceans that helped to pump up its peak intensity. It was one of many storms made worse by climate change — for studies now indicate that at least 63 percent of all extreme weather events have now been pumped up in a warming atmosphere or over a warming ocean. And with just 1.2 C worth of warming achieved, the worse is still to come.

With the republican party both causing these disasters to worsen and ensuring that their damaging impacts are amplified by delayed responses, irresponsible choices for firms contracted to bring infrastructure back up and running, and overall malfeasance, it’s pretty clear that only a numb-skull would vote for such mouth-breathers. But here we are.

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27 Comments

  1. Suzanne

     /  November 13, 2017

    I was just reading an article at MJ…”Rebuilding Puerto Rico will cost $95 Billion, Says Island’s Governor”
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/11/rebuilding-puerto-rico-will-cost-95-billion-says-islands-governor/

    Reply
  2. Suzanne

     /  November 13, 2017

    And this article at MJ …one the same page…
    “The Republican Tax Plan is an Assault on Renewable Energy”
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/11/the-republican-tax-plan-is-an-assault-on-renewable-energy/

    The tragic irony is not lost…

    Reply
  3. Vaughn Anderson

     /  November 14, 2017

    I have read several news articles about Elon Musk and his offer to help Puerto Rico. With all the bs in the news about different companies taking advantage of this human caused disaster I am not sure if Mr. Musk is trying to be helpful in this situation or is out to make money from this disaster like some of the other leeches.

    This article has the slant that Tesla along with several other companies have provided equipment with a different way to to restore the electrical and communication infrastructure. The idea is that only a small portion of the old electrical infrastructure would need to be repaired and by changing the way the electrical grid works most of what was destroyed will no longer be needed:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/09/elon-musks-offer-to-rebuild-puerto-ricos-electricity-grid-is-a-game-changer-commentary.html

    Again, I am wondering about the validity of this article. I know that the commenters on this forum will have more insights regarding this information. Also, thanks Robert for writing this article.

    Reply
    • So, Vaugh, Tesla actually donated solar panels and power packs to help a hospital in Puerto Rico. This was gratis. Yes, it was likely to also demonstrate that Tesla was actually capable of providing aid to PR in a way that’s superior to traditional utility work. So part of it can probably be viewed as a marketing demonstration. But it was all above the level and managed in a fashion that was ultimately helpful.

      Nothing at all equivalent to Whitefish which appears to be a pay for play arrangement by an incompetent firm. Tesla can harden PR infrastructure to climate change, and won’t over-bill to do it. PR ends up with more resiliency and gets much more service for the money invested. Win, win, win.

      So you have zero reason to suspect that Tesla is anything like Whitefish. So I have to ask you, why make the false equivalency argument/comparison in the first place?

      Reply
      • Vaughn Anderson

         /  November 14, 2017

        I had no reason to suspect to suspect Tesla, however with all the bs going around, I needed to be sure they were doing the right thing for the right reasons, thanks for the confirmation.

        Reply
        • Jim

           /  November 14, 2017

          Vaughn,

          Nothing wrong with questioning what you read in the media. So much is skewed, omitted, slanted, or an outright lie.

          I headed up a strategic marketing group for many years. One of the first skills you learn – and look for – is the ability to question. Question what you believe, question and challenge your assumptions, and look at things from as many angles as possible. One major take-away from that time was that all of us seem to be hardwired to accept the current situation as it exists, and see all alternatives as unlikely or unobtainable. I believe that in 10 years most people will look at Internal Combustion Engines, their 16% well to wheel efficiency, their toxic air pollution, and the cost of fuel + maintenance, and say: “What the hell were we thinking?”.

          As for Tesla’s motives, I think Robert is correct. There’s certainly no indication they are trying to be vulture capitalists. Elon Musk has contributed $250,000 of his own money to PR, and I believe the solar+battery project is intended to show the advantages of distributed generation & battery storage, while simultaneously helping the people of Puerto Rico. There’s no way Tesla is going to be able to restore power to the Island in the near term, but Tesla can certainly help them – and the rest of us – to think about how to plan for the inevitable future.

        • Greg

           /  November 14, 2017

          Vaughn,

          If you follow Elon’s history, and read Elon’s vision, which he has shared for more than a decade, it has nothing to do with making money other than to further the transition to a sustainable energy and transportation infrastructure and then to expand human’s reach into our solar system beginning with Mars. The main criticism of him is that he is NOT profit motivated and therefore he raises concerns for shareholder value. He also is bad with his own declared deadlines which, to his credit, are often nearly impossible to meet. He has risked everything personally, on more than one occasion, to following this vision. If we lose people like him to pure greed then we will have lost our moorings indeed. If, and until then, we desperately depend on him and very few like him.

        • OK. Fair enough.

          Tesla is not a perfect company. But it is so much in a different league than vulture firms like Whitefish, that I found the initial question to be difficult to stomach.

          What we see from Tesla is a hard charging aspirational firm that produces very high value, high quality products for its customers and is a trend setter globally when it comes to renewable energy. Some of Tesla’s actions as a firm can be viewed as altruistic in that it is taking a very serious risk by pursuing renewable energy in the way that it is. RE has powerful political opponents that are doing everything they can to prevent RE development. And this results in situations where certain markets have been effectively shut off to Tesla through regulatory capture.

          That said, there is some reasonable question with regards to the firm’s treatment of employees. Not to say that this issue has risen to an extreme level. But there is clearly a conflict with the auto worker’s union. Part of this is likely due to the fact that Tesla is both not a traditional automaker and not a fossil fuel vehicle producer. However, I do believe the other part is that Elon as a CEO both demands a lot from himself and his employees. Some of these issues are probably unavoidable given the goals of the firm.

          Tesla has been maligned by certain parts of the media. This is primarily due to fossil fuel interest based publication attacks against a renewable energy industry leader. Part of it is due to publications who are loyal to traditional automakers, who are freaking out, weighing in. Part is just due to typical reactions to anything new and disruptive. As a result, there are a lot of false impressions going around. But as both writers and as readers, we need to be able to understand that this conflict is happening not because there’s any truth to various forms of misinformation surrounding Tesla, but because there is now a larger power struggle at play between traditional fossil fuel based energy and non traditional renewable energy.

          In the context of changing the world for a better place, we should be clear that vested powers will tend to do anything they can in the media space to create doubt that positive action is actually positive. This includes spinning up false narratives or over-inflating reasonable concerns. In the political sphere we see this today between republicans and democrats on a load of issues. In one example, we can look at climate change and we find that broadly democrats pursue far more rapid responses to climate change, support the science, support renewable energy, and support policy goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Republicans broadly support climate change denial, support the coal industry, which produces a load of harmful emissions, attack policy measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, go to bat for the oil and gas industry, and otherwise try to let the polluters pollute. Because there is a moral difference between the two positions, there is political value in republicans painting a false equivalency narrative between democrats in republicans by pointing out minor flaws or failures in democratic positions on climate change. In doing this, Republicans rely on simplistic and unrefined perceptions among their audience members to help spread this cloud of doubt they are creating.

          Going back to Tesla, similar narratives have been attempted. Tesla has been falsely painted as a polluter (Lithium mines, vehicle manufacture) in an effort to create this impression of false equivalency. So you can understand why I’m very sensitive to it.

  4. Vaughn Anderson

     /  November 14, 2017

    Robert and Jim, thanks for the confirmation. There is a bit more to my reason for needing this confirmation. Some of the people I interact with do not understand the mechanics of quantum physics well enough to understand how greenhouse gasses keep additional heat in the atmosphere so they question why we are doing anything. I get arguments from a few of them that electric cars are pointless. If I tell them what I see going on I need the confidence that I am on the right track. Hearing that Tesla is doing the right thing on your forum, Robert, gives me the confidence to continue to to provide accurate information to a few of these people. Yes, I have convinced a few where we need to be headed and have provided support to others who think about human caused climate change like you do and I do.

    One book i recommend is “The Dancing Wu Li Masters” by Gary Zukov. I read it and it gave me a number of new understandings about the mechanics of climate change. It is from 1979 so quantum physics has come a ways since then, however, the way atoms gain and lose energy is explained in a way that I think most people can understand how it works…with some notable exceptions of a few in the White House who do not have a clue.

    https://www.harpercollins.com/9780060959685/dancing-wu-li-masters

    Reply
    • Thanks for the clarification, Vaughn. Haven’t read that particular book yet. So I will add it to my list.

      If you’re out there actively engaging on the topic of climate change response, then more power to you. I would, however, try to harden yourself to various mental misconstructions. It helps to understand fallacies and fallacious thinking. Will try to give you some basic definitions.

      1. Fascination with the single object. Often times, people don’t have the mental energy to take in an entire concept. Minds, in other words, try to simplify to comprehend. Since climate change is a large topic with lots of variables, focus can easily fall upon a single object. Often the most likely object is that which conforms to the person’s world-view.
      2. Laissez Faire bias. The word laissez faire means to ‘let be.’ Politically, this view is promoted by actors who don’t want to be held accountable for harms done. In the climate change context, laissez faire bias fallacy manifests in a number of ways.

      A. There’s nothing happening so we shouldn’t do anything. I call this blanket climate change denial.
      B. It’s not really that bad so we shouldn’t do anything. I call this soft denial. Same outcome.
      C. It won’t happen in my lifetime, so why do anything. I call this narcissistic denial. Only my time matters, so why do anything.
      D. It’s happening, but I’m just a person, so I can’t do anything about it. I call this lazy denial. Note that from B onward the focus steadily shifts away from the argument about climate change validity to the argument over action/inaction. In my opinion, climate change denial itself is just simply a construct of laissez faire bias in that it is directly aimed at shifting responsibility, blame, and preventing action.
      E. It’s happening, but there is no valid technical solution. You can’t replace fossil fuels with renewables. I call this fossil fuel centric worldview denial or renewable energy denial.
      F. It’s happening, but the situation is so bad that our actions will ultimately be ineffective. We are doomed to extinction. I call this doomerism based denial.

      These are pretty simplified and you can see numerous variations on theme. But it does give us a general picture of the arguments in play. To be very clear, this is not at all about proving the various arguments correct. Because they are biased by a flawed worldview and related reinforced behavior, they are more political/social arguments aimed at providing cover for a failure to act. In other words, they are constructed to support laissez faire bias or do-nothing bias.

      Where does laissez faire bias come from? It comes from various politically convenient notions and related logical fallacies. In the present context, a major effort has gone in to convincing people that only individual action is effective, that governments are corrupt, and that only we can help ourselves. We are, in other words alone, isolated, it’s us against the world. All responsibility is on us. And because corruption cannot be helped, then we shouldn’t or can’t really do anything about it. So why involve ourselves in government at all? Better to just stay safe at home and do what we can to survive.

      Ultimately, the view creates cover for bad action in that it believes that nothing can be done about it anyway. Ironically, it’s both individualistic and lazy. Individualistic in that it creates unrealistic expectations for the individual which the individual cannot then possibly achieve and then lazy in that all roads lead to ineffective action, so why act at all?

      It all ultimately comes down to doing nothing. That’s laissez faire bias. And today it is the opium of the masses. Those captured in the view are essentially addicted to a kind of social political depression and will do anything they can to rationalize it. Not the depression, but the inaction and lack of social responsibility that generates the temporary euphoria of disconnection. Of freedom from the troubles of the world.

      How do you knock a person out of this mindset? How do you rationally deal with an addict of any kind? When a person will rationalize bad behavior by any means necessary, at some point, you’ve got to realize it’s a lost cause. Ultimately, a person needs to show some initiative in pursuit of actual facts and in understanding that actions (not just individual, but group) determine outcomes. And herein lies the conundrum of communication in the age of necessary action. I think the more effective response is to develop circles of the active — to engage with people who are open to action and to empower that action. In other words, focus on the people who show capacity for positive change. Eventually, the laissez faire thinkers, if they are still aware, will start to feel left behind and this can create an opening. But I wouldn’t waste efforts on the hardest nuts at first. Go for the undecideds. The ones who are more likely to be attracted to a positive influence and to facts. And empower those who support action by providing positive feedback. This creates a cycle of action as opposed to a Sisyphian attempt at rolling the same rock up the hill a hundred different ways.

      Some people will not change. And, on the net, a number of them are also robots or paid agents aimed at muddying the political discourse. So do not waste your time on these. If, after a few attempts, it’s nada — don’t waste time feeding trolls. Go back to growing the elfin forests of a better world.

      Ultimately, laissez faire bias leads to F as an outcome if society at large cleaves to it in the present day and in the present situation. It won’t happen as soon as F lack-thinking imagines. But doing nothing is a self fulfilling doom prophecy. For failure to act in the face of danger is a great way to cut life expectancy — individual or societal — short.

      I could go into a hundred other fallacies that support laissez faire bias. Bandwagoning, or antecedent denial, or historical revisionist thinking, or various racial biases, or various sexist biases, or various other underhanded hot bottons that have been tied into laissez faire bias. But it wouldn’t explain the source.

      The center of the problem is a bias to do nothing. And the cure is action. Boiled down to that, it’s pretty simple.

      Reply
      • Vaughn Anderson

         /  November 15, 2017

        Thanks for the advice especially on how to handle climate change deniers. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way. Now I ask them to explain energy loss/gain and energy transfer between atoms on a quantum level. When they can’t I suggest they read the book I mentioned earlier, “The Dancing Wu Li Masters.” Not that I think they will, however, a few times I have had others who are trying to figure out human induced climate change ask me for some explanations and it gets conversations started with people who are trying to learn more like me about how we as individuals can do more to solve the climate change problem.

        On a positive note I am seeing more people changing their view from your point, “E. It’s happening, but there is no valid technical solution,” to “Gee, there are more electric cars and wind power and solar power are cost effective; what can I do to tap into renewables?” That’s an oversimplification although you get the idea.

        Most of the people in my world are taking small steps like home energy conservation, driving more economical cars, etc. They don’t see quite the urgency you and I see. I have mutually beneficial conversations with these people who also want to do more.

        So again, thanks for all your insight.

        Reply
  5. Abel Adamski

     /  November 14, 2017

    An Australian disaster in the making, especially if One Nation and the LNP win power in a coalition government.
    May I suggest that if any reader knows someone traveling to Australia to holiday in Queensland, look out your plane window
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/13/queensland-land-clearing-could-become-tsunami-say-conservation-groups

    A dramatic land-clearing surge in Queensland could turn into a “tsunami” in the coming year, say conservationists, the rate of notifications of planned clearing rising 30% in the past year compared with the previous three-year average.

    If that translates to a 30% jump in land clearing, Queensland – a region already marked as a global deforestation hotspot – could experience rates of land clearing seen just twice since detailed observations began in the 1980s.

    Since July last year, 1,608 properties in Queensland have notified an intention to clear a total of almost 945,755 hectares of land. Almost all of it is “remnant” forest or bushland – a term used to describe forest that hasn’t previously been cleared. There was also an additional 80,200ha of “high-value agriculture” land approved for clearing, making a total of 1.02m hectares of clearing in the pipeline.

    If it goes ahead it would undo the work of more than $1bn the federal government has spent paying other landholders not to clear their land, in order to cut carbon emissions under the Coalition’s Direct Action policy.

    The rise in planned clearing – which could be a sign of “panic clearing” before a planned crackdown if Labor is re-elected – would also cause a spike in sediment washing onto the Great Barrier Reef, which the United Nations has warned is threatening joint Queensland and federal government plans to improve water quality on the reef.

    Only a small fraction of land clearing in Queensland needs to be notified, meaning the actual amount of planned clearing is much larger.
    Two thirds of the proposed clearing is being done under contentious rules over “thinning”, which allow clearing of 75% of the trees on a site without approval.

    Plesman said: “Deforestation in Queensland is a national disgrace. Queensland now ranks alongside the Amazon, Borneo and the Congo as a world top 10 deforestation hotspot, and will likely move further up that unwanted ladder if this proposed clearing takes place.”

    Queensland is Australia’s Deep North, being Southern Hemisphere it is closest to the equator, like the US’s deep south.

    Apart from major centres the population tends to be sparse and incest and inbreeding far from rare, their kids are the farmers and their kids move into the towns. I went on a road trip through Queensland in the 70’s and we were warned don’t camp out in the bush or step out of your car in the outback in some areas, true Deliverence country

    Worth reading the comments

    Reply
    • I think we can be very clear that republicans in the U.S., LNP in Australia, and general right-wing government everywhere in the west is afflicted with this same view in that whenever they get into power, resources are handled poorly, forests are cut down, pollution increases, and environmental devastation ramps up. We vote for them and we vote for our own destruction.

      Reply
  6. Greg

     /  November 14, 2017

    Shameless plug for Tesla so they can be the most profitable dang company on Earth and help save our sorry butts and show Puerto Rico and the rest of us a better way forward.

    Reply
  7. Kassy

     /  November 14, 2017

    Quoting from above:

    Years of below average rains in the Kurdish region and Nineveh governorate, the only parts of Iraq where rain-fed agriculture was historically possible, had increased the country’s dependence on the Euphrates and Tigris, the Fertile Crescent’s two great rivers. At the same time, upstream Turkey and Iran were relentlessly damming them and their tributaries. Turkey has built over 600 large dams, including dozens of major ones near the Iraqi and Syrian borders. The Tigris and Euphrates’ combined flow in southern Iraq has subsequently shrunk so much that the Persian Gulf now barrels up to 45 miles upriver at high tide (the rivers used to project freshwater up to 3 miles out to sea).

    Ouch…of all types of green energy hydropower is by far the most disruptive and it is not a resilient resource either.
    -If feeding the dams depends on rain changing rain patterns can cause trouble
    -If fed by snowmelt lack of snow will kill them over time
    -And if the amount of water feeding into them remains the same but temperatures rise then evaporation will ramp up

    And we have enough power from the sun which we just fail to harvest.

    And we have enough money too but we just waste it on subsidizing fossil fuels, squander it on wars & tax breaks for the rich, rebuilding in bad spots etc etc.

    Reply
  8. bostonblorp

     /  November 14, 2017

    I spent the first half of this month in the Virgin Islands. Arriving six weeks after Maria meant the roads were open (though you drove over downed power lines a lot), grocery stores were open and life was limping along. Flying in you can see the island is dotted in blue thanks to FEMA’s blue-tarp program.

    Line crews are busily putting up new poles and stringing lines. Re-electrification is happening at a steady clip thanks to all the extra help. While everyone agrees the main lines should go underground that is a longer-term effort. As to whether it happens at all is another question. There was an op-ed in the local paper exhorting “the feds” to appoint a special overseer of all the various federal money arriving on the islands. The fear is that cronyism, nepotism and general corruption will result in large portions of funds being misdirected and simply pocketed. I spoke with one individual in construction who felt that if you gave the government $50M to bury lines you’d end up with 5 miles underground after which the effort would cease. In the meantime the sound of generators is omnipresent.

    Solar arrays – with one notable exception – seemed to have weathered the storm quite well.

    In a perfect world we would see the electric grid being broken up into a collection of solar-powered micro-grids but, again, that is unlikely. As with AGW as a whole, we have the technology and the resources to transform but we are hampered on all sides by greed, ignorance, and various forms of tribalism. The societies that have figured out how to tame those tendencies will be far more liable to successfully adapt to CC. Those that do not will suffer. Civilization is fragile and becomes increasingly dependent on social capital when it is stressed. Cherish that electrical outlet we all take for granted.

    Reply
    • Nothing a little oversight and enforcement couldn’t cure. Of course, republicans are ideologically opposed to actually enforcing the orderly rules that, in the end, make it better for everyone.

      Reply
  9. The only semireliable way to estimate the death toll will be to compare mortality rates for the months and years after Maria to the ones preceding it. And even this will require records to be updated, including cases of deaths that went unrecorded in the chaotic aftermath of the hurricane, and will need to be adjusted due to the post-hurricane diaspora to Florida, New York and other states.

    The response of Puerto Rico’s governor to Trump when asked how many had died because of Maria (“Sixteen, certified”) was profoundly stupid. Assuming he even listened, that number will never get out of Trump’s head, nor will partisan Republicans update the tally in theirs.

    What would have been hard about saying “We haven’t been able to start counting the dead, and people will keep dying for months”?

    Reply
  10. Paul

     /  November 14, 2017

    It’s very important that this information get out. The last year of watching the Trump administration has been especially eye-opening. By documenting what Republicans are doing now, the overwhelming evidence in the future may eventually cripple the Republican Party as the effects of climate change intensify. I only hope that it doesn’t take too long for public opinion to turn against them.

    Forums like this and actions and communicating by all of us are key to making that change in opinion take place, hopefully before sea levels rise and desertification progresses beyond our (or the natural world’s) ability to adapt.

    As a former Republican, it’s upsetting to see what the Republican Party has become. My family is hard-core Republican, although a number have expressed some concern over climate change (others remain firmly in extreme denial). Yet when I speak to the ones that are open-minded about climate change, even they look at me like it just doesn’t compute. As long as they don’t see how climate change affects them, the interest level just isn’t there. That’s why we need to keep communicating about this issue and uncovering the real puppet masters who are currently in control of the Republican Party, the fossil fuel industry.

    Reply
  11. wharf rat

     /  November 14, 2017

    Thank you for continuing to cover this ongoing tragedy.
    Mike

    Reply
  12. Greg

     /  November 14, 2017

    What does Puerto Rico and other areas that lose critical communications infastructure do? One technology, that is working, still takes advantage of phones, without cell service, and uses small solar chargers. “goTenna underestimated how hungry people were for a resilient, user-powered mesh network: thousands of dedicated nodes now populate cities across the country, and volunteers are using them to get Puerto Rico back online”
    https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/14/a-mesh-network-spontaneously-erupts-in-the-us-and-helps-connect-puerto-rico/

    Reply

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