Since Asian disasters do not get much attention in our First World, 2015 is a good time to review climate history. Eighty percent of our news sources flow from the affluent world journalists – Reuters, Agence France or US news services. Those in the USA know Katrina overwhelmed New Orleans, killed over 1800 people, cost billions in damages and is still considered the worst natural disaster to hit the nation.
April 29, 1991 a cyclone packing winds of 155m.p.h. was a vicious storm that killed 138,000 in Bangaladesh then left ten million people homeless. Katrina is etched in our memories forever. Who remembers Bay of Bengal storms outside of people in Asia?
April 25, 2014 another storm rose from the Bay of Bengal which took 300,000 lives. Sad climate events do not get much attention in the USA. Such information does not “sell newspapers.” Educated citizens in the past twenty five years have chastised me for speaking of climate change, global warming and loss of coastal cities due to “climate events.” Having grown weary of discussing climate issues with family or friends, I simply suggest we all study Pentagon reports which warn: “Global warming is a greater threat than terrorism”. Norfolk, VA hosts the largest naval base in the world. To where will the US Commander-In-Chief move this mighty outpost as Commodore Atlantic invades softly, silently?
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (October 2015) follows several previous scientific articles about a rising ocean by presenting a map of Florida in 2100. Miami and other coastal communities of Florida will be inundated. Miami is not alone among threatened cities. Two thirds of Earth’s largest cities totaling over five million people are located in low lying regions hauntingly similar to communities in Bangaladesh.
John Van Leer is a researcher from the University of Miami who continues stressing the importance of reducing greenhouse gases and preparing for the inevitable rise of our warming ocean. He predicts the next generation will wonder “How could you let this happen without taking some kind of action?”
Thousands of refugees from war, poverty, homelessness in 2015 are pouring into European nations. Hapless victims are spending precious resources paying “transporters” for escape from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and North Africa to strive for a better life in other nations. . The entire European Union has not known any situation so overwhelming. Older citizens recall disruption and mass migrations that occurred after WW II. Heads of state globally in 2015 are on edge in trying to alleviate the misery of so many people. Winter is approaching and the threat of freezing to death might be the only reason suffering people will remain in their faltering Asian or north African countries.
Pope Francis had the courage to speak of climate change in his September visit to the USA. One elected official, Paul Gosar chose to boycott the pope’s message in Congress. How dare Pope Francis speak of something not “purely religious”? Is not the physical survival of millions a spiritual matter? It is foremost an issue of common sense. Thousands fleeing violence globally is a foretaste of climate refugees escaping the rising ocean by the millions in 2100. When D.C is flooded in 2100 will we act?
India perceives our coming climate threat and is building a wall on its southern border to prevent climate refugees from entering. Walls are tokens of our blindness. “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”