Random thoughts on the storm that has devastated Texas.
First, the obvious. The average people chipping in to help save their neighbors. The first responders from other states who headed towards the disaster to save lives. The TV news outlets showing us remarkable pictures (some via camera-equipped drones) and heart-breaking stories of loss. The use of social media to send rescuers to people trapped on their rooftops and elsewhere.
One story that caught my eye was of the two women who had managed to get out of their house before the flood waters rose, but their mother had stayed behind. Fortunately, some good samaritans in a boat found her and transported her down a flooded highway to the sisters who were waiting on the side. When she exited the boat, the woman exclaimed, “Thank you, God, for saving me!”
Um, no, lady. You were saved by the two humans who rescued you. Your invisible sky friend is the one you should blame for all the water he dropped on you and your neighborhood. How come no one ever shouts, “Thank you, God, for ruining my life!”
I’m reminded of a cartoon that showed a surgeon in an operating room, standing over a patient while holding a mass of tissue he’d just removed. The caption: “I swear, if anyone thanks God, I’m going to put this tumor back where I found it!”
Amid all the meteorological fallout, I wish there were more discussion of the impact of climate change. We’ve witnessed more severe weather events like Harvey for years now, and there’s a scientific explanation for it. Of course, I can’t expect the residents of a Trump-loving red state to believe mere scientists and their forecasts — have you noticed how many Texans refused to evacuate even when the most dire warnings were issued? — but I’d expect more media outlets to try to explain the connection.
Finally, I can’t decide who came off as the bigger scumbag this week — Ted Cruz or Joel Osteen. Let’s call it a tie.