Climate

Dangerous trend – elective amnesia on climate consequences

Grist put out a couple of articles today that show who we (especially Americans) choose to forget (not remember) tales of natural disasters and what makes them worse / more frequent … oh, change MY behavior? You must be kidding, right!

#1 – The impact on mental health and the resources required to help https://grist.org/climate/disasters-are-driving-a-mental-health-crisis-the-only-federal-program-to-address-it-is-underfunded

#2 – Amnesia about hurricanes https://grist.org/climate/hurricane-amnesia-why-we-might-forget-the-lessons-from-hurricane-laura

Here’s the gist, quote from #2 above:

After Laura hit on Thursday, smoke billowed across the sky from a chemical fire from a plant a few miles away from Lake Charles, where the poverty rate is almost double the national average. Residents were told to stay indoors and close up their houses — as much as was possible given that the hurricane had peeled off roofs.

Why are local governments so unprepared for hurricanes? For starters, the threat is changing: The hotter climate is making storms wetter and more intense. Real-estate development has left many towns more prone to flooding, with rain pounding down on concrete instead of on marshes that absorb water.

It’s also hard to convince people living in vulnerable places to spend time and money preparing for a catastrophe that’ll strike who knows when. Maybe they’ve managed past hurricanes without many problems besides shattered windows. Some people make a habit of riding out storms with friends. Before Hurricane Sandy struck New York in 2012, for example, Dolin said that many residents interviewed said they weren’t as worried about the storm because Hurricane Irene, which hit the area a year earlier, wasn’t as bad as the forecasts. People paid for that mistake with their lives, Dolin said.

My point here, ask yourself … what are you choosing to forget that may just be inconvenient to you but critical for the health of community and beyond?

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