Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Houston Food Bank

Some readers may want to know how to help those most affected by Hurricane Harvey.  There are many good organizations.  My choice is the Houston Food Bank because: 1) It was rated high by www.businessinsider.com and 2) It was recommended by www.charitynavigator.org which noted "please consider Houston Food Bank [ . . . ] located in the most-affected areas and [ . . .] providing support to individuals and animals."  I understand flood waters are hurting operations there, but their Facebook page noted "When it is safe to travel to our Portwall location, we will need volunteers and donations." The page also noted "The Houston Food Bank has a strong track record of supporting the community during floods, hurricanes and other emergencies, and we want you to know that we are committed to providing food, water and other help to the people who need it most."

I saw CBS News updated today "The storm was generating an amount of rain that would normally be seen only once in more than 1,000 years, said Edmond Russo, a deputy district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers."  The video at the top of the page has a good overview of the situation.  This once-rare kind of storm, leaving an estimated 30,000 homeless, complements the recent worst storm to hit New Zealand in 500 years,  and 700,000 recently homeless in Peru from floods. It was reported "millions of people are being affected" from floods in Bangladesh where multiple sources note "one third of the country is underwater."

The physics are simple. James Hansen made the links to climate change clear.

Other scientists noted as the oceans warm, the extra energy adds power and moisture to storms. This problem has affected many, and will affect many more.  Another CBS News report noted, "While scientists are quick to say climate change didn't cause Harvey [to form] and that they haven't determined yet whether the storm was made worse by global warming, they do note that warmer air and water mean wetter and possibly more intense hurricanes in the future. [ . . . . ] When Harvey moved toward Texas, water in the Gulf of Mexico was nearly 2 degrees warmer than normal, said Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters. Hurricanes need at least 79 degrees F as fuel, and water at least that warm ran more than 300 feet deep in the Gulf, according to University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy."

This global situation reminds me of a quote by Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), a Protestant pastor who spent seven years in Nazi concentration camps:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— 
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

This is not to say Mother Nature is a Nazi.  Instead, it is to say get involved while you can.  I will offer a Hurricane Harvey Benefit Poetry Workshop Sunday, September 3, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at PB Yoga in Pacific Beach, California with all proceeds going to Houston Food Bank.

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