By Roger Caldwell
On January 20, 2015, at his State of the Union Address, Ex-President Obama made a statement that the environment (climate change) would be the number one challenge in America and the world. I personally thought he was incorrect, but I was well aware that the environment was something that human beings could not control. The devastating climate change had the power to create was indescribable, and I knew it was necessary to do more investigating and studying to understand the significance of the ex-president’s statement.
“No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. We’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it,” states the Ex-President Obama.
I have written articles on the destruction of uncontrollable fires in the west, and droughts in the south and the middle of the country, but hurricane’s destruction levels cities in 5 or 6 hours. Islands and costal line cites have always had challenges with storms, but when a tsunami erupts as undersea volcano, thousands of people are killed changing the world.
In the last week in August 2021, climate change has proven to the citizens that, when the environment speaks, America and the world must listen. Even though there was a category 4 hurricane that hit New Orleans, the city did not flood, because the levees were prepared to withstand the rain and the winds.
The Federal government and army engineers spent $14.5 billion to create a flood protection system around New Orleans that worked. The recovery will be a different challenge, because there is no electricity, no running water, and the sewer system has been destroyed, but the city is dry.
With fires raging in the country, and droughts in other locations, massive unprecedented flash floods, tornadoes across the northeastern states, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In these states, there were record amount of rain, flooded out rivers, subways, bridges, cities, and there was nothing anyone could do, but shake their heads, and say it never was done before.
Destruction is the essence of climate and environment events, and it is the greatest challenge in the world today. Hurricane Ida has been registered as the 5th most destructive hurricane in the history of America. It has impacted over 7 states, and the recovery will cost America Trillions of dollars, and millions of people will be displaced, and must start again from the beginning.
The toll is likely to rise as the survey of the damage continues, and reminds America, the climate crisis is here now. Ex-President Obama was correct in his assessment of the greatest threat to future generations was climate change.
Andy Horowitz, a Tulane University historian told Vox on Monday, the day after the storm swept through his home in the city of New Orleans: “I think that should basically scare the shit out of us.”
“Coastal communities urgently need to shore up infrastructure, from levees to sea walls to subway systems, in a time of worsening storms, and much more drastic steps of relocation. These conversations can’t be restricted to Gulf Coast, but we’re talking about Staten Island as well,” says Professor Horowitz.
Disasters will become a reality in the age of climate change. Recovery will become the challenge after the storms, and science will become the secret to our survival, and our sustainability