Hurricanes


Life has been a bit of hurricane lately. Too much happening together and I can seem to do justice to all my emotions all at once. Especially for me, my complete ignorance and non-empathy towards the Katrina has been has been utterly strange. Inner turmoil taking precedence over the outside? Now that someone I know and really care about is in that part of the world– I wonder, if I should start getting fearful. What all should I worry about- racism, distance, money, bombs, wars, attacks and calamities….

I just finished reading Frijitof Capra’s Hidden Connections— and what with all the disasters; Tsunami, Bombay floods and now this hurricane… I’m not superstitious but I think there might be a message. As the flood waters begin receding, I’m thinking how many such events before we understand the deep connections that man and nature share. We have a place, a niche, but a fragile one. Not too long after the Tsunami, I pointed out that the scope of the disaster had much to do with environmental concerns– a fragile coastline, a denuding beach rock and such…. I remember someone saying that was a blithely cast ‘eco angle’ on a human tragedy. I’m not sure what to make of that reaction. Do we not know that one hurts the other?

I’m going to say the same thing again. The reason that both the Tsunami and now Katrina could do as much damage as they did has to with the systematic concreting of wetlands. These wetlands carelessly almost stupidly classified as wastelands are the first to lose ground to urban built-environments. It is common ecological knowledge that hurricanes are linked to global warming. How? The warmer the oceans more will sea levels rise and much more intense storms will be.

Ironically, the poorest neighborhoods of New Orleans are drowning in a hazardous cocktail of fuel, sewage and chemicals. The point is that all of this is still undo-able… Do we want to undo, that is the question.