Let it Rain

Evan Farley, ‘20

Recent flooding in the American Midwest has proved devastating to residents ruined by rain. Other severe weather, like a series of tornados, have also wreaked havoc around the same area, further complicating rescue efforts. In the usually sheltered regions of the midwest, the cataclysmic effects of climate change are coming to fruition. While no hurricane could reach Oklahoma, the global rise in temperature leads to more extreme weather and damaging such as the torrential downpours. This is middle America represented by vast swathes of red in recent elections. Hundreds of thousands of square miles that send climate change deniers to Washington DC. The middle of the country has turned blue, no thanks to the Democratic wave that swept the country last fall but because of the much grimmer ripple of reality.  

This is not to say I or anyone should rejoice in the ruin brought about by the storm, but is it not fitting for communities who have sent representatives to Congress and support an administration who all deny human involvement in climate change? States that are experiencing the worst of the rain are the same that send uber-conservative men to the Capitol who they feel represent their values best. Some of these public servants come straight off the bench of Big Oil, like Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson nominated by a president who remains popular in the Midwest and pushed through the Senate by their representatives.

These are states that are typically sheltered from the worst effects of climate change. They are not isolated islands in the middle of the ocean that watch water creep up year after year, slowly sinking sandy beaches and washing away everything the islanders called home. Missouri is a far cry from Puerto Rico and has yet to experience the utter wreckage of back to back Category 5 Hurricanes.

If the three thousand Americans who died from Hurricane Maria was not enough to catch the attention of Joe Wisconsinite, maybe the nine mainlanders dead to date will do the job. Shelters don’t do much good when the rain gets to you.

Is it ever ok to wish harm on people so they learn a lesson? Even when that lesson would work towards helping millions, hundreds of millions of people worldwide? Probably not, but what will it take for the country to realize that now is already too late for an immense push towards green energy and a reduction of greenhouse gas output? The Green New Deal, or something similar, won’t stop natural disasters, of course, but rising temperatures have led to more frequent and more destructive storms like the hurricanes and flooding. Urgent action needs to be taken, and for whatever reason, we need the whole country, or at least half it, onboard.

Katy Perry in all her sageness once noted: “after a hurricane comes a rainbow.” Perhaps it took billions of dollars in damages and the loss of human life, but maybe folks will start to realize this climate business is no joke. We have an obligation to our planet and to future generations of beings on Earth to keep our home hospitable. If flooding is the great motivator, let it rain.