Photo: Reuters


God help the poor people of Houston (and Port Arthur, Beaumont, Lake Charles, and more at this writing. All I could do was think about them yesterday on the anniversary of the Federal Flood (aka Hurricane Katrina). I read an article about a poor family (one of many, I’m sure), who were flooded out by Katrina and who resettled in Houston, only to have the same thing happen to them again.

Wonder if they’ll end up back in this area—where we’re below sea level and our pumps are so antiquated that they were broken when the city was under threat from Hurricane Harvey. We indeed dodged a big bullet, people.

But I’m pessimistic because I think that it will happen again; it’s just a matter of time. Hopefully, it won’t be in my lifetime, but I have children and grandkids, friends and loved ones, and a city and musical culture that I love and cherish. We are all in imminent peril.

What’s truly awful about this is that the entire Gulf Coast of the US is endangered, as is clearly demonstrated by the tragedy that’s unfolding in Houston. When Katrina struck we heard (idiots in) Congress question why New Orleans even existed—we were obviously expendable. Can they now say the same about Houston, the fourth largest city in this country (behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago)?

Our federal government is either clueless or criminally negligent by not creating a strategic plan to protect this part of America. Moreover, it’s pretty obvious that storms—and rising sea levels, as glaciers continue to melt—are going to have an even more devastating effect on the U.S. Gulf Coast over the next decade. The climate is changing, and we’re going to pay a price, and really soon. The people in Houston are already doing that.

It’s taken us 12 years to get to where we have now. Twelve years. It will probably take at least that long for Houston, and probably longer because of the city’s immense size.

One thing I’m hoping is that since the blessed oil industry has a serious presence on Texas, these corporate behemoths will be required to fund protection for the Gulf Coast. Build a wall across Mexico? Dumb idea in so many, many ways. Build a wall to protect the Gulf Coast? Now that’s a dog that will hunt.

Call on the Netherlands—once again—and this time, actually get something done. We can’t afford this anymore, physically or emotionally.