Here’s a chilling account of what it was like to be in Houston during Harvey. It points out that this was a disaster exacerbated by you-know-who — Republicans and their stupidity.
Texas is run by Republicans, many of whom have disavowed climate change. About six or seven years ago, when Governor Greg Abbott was the Texas Attorney General joining a climate change lawsuit against the federal government, I was still science reporter at the Chronicle, and we spoke for about an hour on the telephone. What was most striking to me is that here was a lawyer, with practically no science background, arguing against the scientific claims of scientists. How did he know more about atmospheric science than they did?
If Houston is to remain the prosperous, vibrant, great city that it was before Harvey, we are going to have to take a hard look at our unfettered development and willingness to let almost anyone build almost anywhere, including in floodplains. Our state officials are going to have to recognize that these events will be possible again, especially in a warmer world. I’m not holding my breath for all that to happen. And as dark as these last five days have been, that may be the biggest tragedy of all.
There’s also more information about disastrous policies that had disastrous effects on the region’s ability to respond to disaster: wetland destruction, uncontrolled urban development, bad zoning, etc. The people of Houston just turned their homes over to greedy developers who got their money and got out.