Everywhere you look it seems the pillars of modern civilization are collapsing. Climate change is causing mass chaos the world round. The same rising temperatures that instigated the recent record-breaking droughts in places like Syria, California, South Africa and Brazil have now begun to manifest themselves in the worst Hurricane season in recent memory.
Hurricane Harvey is the wettest Tropical Storm to hit the United States in history. Leaving behind up to $200 Billion dollars in damages, it is clear that some regions of Texas will simply never recover. Hurricane Irma, one of the largest and most powerful storms ever recorded left a path of destruction through the entire Caribbean before making landfall in Florida.
While the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean were still recovering from these mega storms, Hurricane Maria has left in its wake a completely destroyed Puerto Rico. The entire island remains without power more than a week after the hurricane made landfall. The estimated economic destruction will set the US colony back 26 years.
To put it in perspective, the Great Recession of 2007-09 decreased the per capita GDP of the United States by 9 percent. Maria will decrease the per capita GDP of Puerto Rico by 21 percent— a cumulative $180 billion in lost economic output.
Millions of people remain without food and water. In some areas, morgues are literally overflowing with dead bodies. The lack of electricity means that the elderly and others who depend on modern medical technology, are dying en masse.
As President Trump flounders, lashing out at mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz on twitter, the death toll is expected to sky rocket into the hundreds.
“If we don’t solve the logistics, we are going to see something close to a genocide,” she said at a press conference.
“We are dying here. I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out the logistics … for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles,”
“So Mr Trump, I am begging you to take charge and save lives. If not, the world will see how we are treated not as second-class citizens but as animals that can be disposed of. Enough is enough.”
“This is an island, surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water,” Trump said, excusing his administration’s inaction in an attempt to save face while Americans die. The ‘big water’ never seemed an obstacle when Trump threatened genocide against the people of Korea, more than 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. So why is it an obstacle when our people are dying in our own backyard?
Are we witnessing the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina unfold once more? The similarities are uncanny. From the apish and irresponsible behavior of the United States leadership to the poor, mostly non-white demographic of those affected. It is clear that the ultra-wealthy elites of the world are happy to hide in their mansions while the working class is left to die. The responsibility of climate change and global warming can be completely levied to just a handful of mega corporations, yet it is the most oppressed and poor people of the global south that are faced with the most dire consequences of the Anthropocene. For how long will people allow capitalism to destroy the environment, poison our atmosphere and destroy the homes and lives of the working people of the world? For how long will the top 1 percent escape justice for their crimes against humanity?