After the Storm

After the Storm

First of all I want to thank God, family, friends, and all the helpers who have worked and prayed and protected so many during these last few days. GeorgiaJanet had some inconveniences, but nothing serious. My heart goes out to those who have experienced losses in the last few weeks due to storms, fires, earthquakes, and any other number of tragedies.

I did not take the warnings about Hurricane Irma lightly. I knew hurricanes could affect us all the way up here in Atlanta GA. Don’t remember the names of the storms but there was one back in 93 or 94 that flooded many roads, damaged bridges, canceled schools, and caused power outages. I know I drove to my night classes at Mercer in Griffin only to find out class had been canceled. No Facebook, cell phones, or even widespread email/internet in those days to help spread the word. I remember my oldest son was with friends at St. George Island when they had to evacuate. They liked to have never got home! I-75 was not only choked with traffic, just like with Irma this time, but it was flooded and closed in places. He and his friends ended up going into Alabama and winding around on back roads to get home. Again in September 95, torrential rains from another storm forced schools to close and flooded roads.

Kevin Riley, Brooke Gladstone, Wesley Lowery, Carolyn Ryan

Lots of folks have claimed we are in the last days of earth as we know it, citing Bible verses and prophetic predictions of the end of times. I’m not too worried about that because I am more than ready when that time comes. But I have been thinking about a discussion that took place during the keynote panel of the DBF on Friday evening September 1. Atlanta Journal Constitution Editor Kevin Riley moderated a panel of noted journalists. They discussed coverage of Hurricane Harvey in terms of the human factor of journalists and those affected by natural disasters. (Irma was still a baby brewing out in the Atlantic.) I honestly don’t remember which panel member brought it up, but someone stated that many disasters aren’t really “natural.” The premise was that there are natural events such as earthquakes, storms, fires, and avalanches, but these things only become disasters when they take a human toll. It was pointed out that if such a thing happened in a remote, uninhabited location, it would not be labeled a disaster; even though it might be a powerful natural phenomenon. One went so far as to say that if the Houston area had not replaced marshlands with concrete, subdivisions, shopping centers, golf courses, and roads during its rapid growth, Harvey would not have been a disaster. The same could be said of those who build homes and resorts on barrier islands and waterfront property, only to have it blown away and rebuilt again, over and over, with FEMA funds.

I must say this has been on my mind these last couple of weeks. I have never been ashamed to call myself a tree hugger, and I cringe when natural areas are destroyed. Are we, especially the human populace here in the good ole’ USA, inviting disaster to our doorstep by being poor stewards of our environment? I’m not even opening the can of worms on climate change! I am not enough of a scientist to weigh in on that aspect. I do know that our Earth has gone through millenniums of change and will continue to do so until the end of time. We cannot stop or control natural evolution. However, I do believe we can and should control mankind induced catastrophe before we hasten our own ultimate apocalypse.


What do you think? Have people created disastrous environments? What steps could be taken to avoid this in the future? Should we correct environmental planning errors that invite disaster? Would love to hear your thoughts. Please share in a comment.

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7 Responses to After the Storm

  1. Nancy says:

    Climate scientists almost unanimously agree that we are the driving force in the climate change currently underway, and that we’re going to experience more and bigger storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events because of warmer and wetter air. The disaster in Houston with the extreme amount of rain fits right into that pattern. However, the flooding was much worse than it could have been because of bad zoning decisions. Houston at one time had acres and acres of wetlands that have mostly been filled in and built over. There was nowhere for that 4 feet of rain to drain away because the natural absorption of wetlands and bare ground was gone. The impact of Irma would have been much less if there had been less building in south Florida. Irma would have been much smaller if the water she traveled over had not been so warm. So, short term and long term, human activity is firmly to blame for the extreme nature of both those disasters.

    • georgiajanet says:

      Nancy, I have no doubt that man has contributed to the weather issues over the last few decades. I’m just not up on the latest research. You are right on target about the Houston area overdeveloping. Sad to think of the human losses
      and heartache caused by such havoc. Not to mention the financial aspects!

  2. Dan Pendley says:

    WOW!!! Well said “Bro”. Covered a LOT in a short amount of space.

  3. Dan Pendley says:

    WOW!!! Well said “Bro”. I saw this yesterday and sooooo many thoughts / opinions were generated. Not enough spare here to share all of them but “Bro” sure did a fantastic job in covering a lot of territory in a short space here! LOL

    Try to end with a quote and found this on web site by mistake (or was it on “divine” purpose?!!!) from: Ask Dennis -Living Waters – Asia .

    “God gave man free will even if He knew it will cause problems through man’s wrong use of it because He also knows the solution to it… Jesus. When God finished making this world on the sixth day, He looked on the whole of His creation and saw that it was all good, including the free will He gave man. “

  4. Bro says:

    My tree hugging sister, I do believe GOD created the perfect world. I believe it to be his design to have been a place where things lived, died, coexisting in a natural balance where there is a designed food chain. There are rabbits and there are lions. One to eat, one to be eaten. Each of GODs creatures, which humans are included, holds a place from the tiniest microbe to the mighty whale all designed in perfection to fit in a finite area of that creation. Over time there have been many extinctions of those designs. There is evidence that there have actually been more creatures fall to extinction than are alive today. GOD created an ever changing circle of life. In his design I am convinced he saw change as an intricate part of the flow he envisioned. Don’t confuse change with evolution in the sense most think of evolution but to me clearly things do change. Creatures all live in their coexistence with one exception……. humans. We take more than we need, we’ve raped the land we are blessed to live on, we literally change landscapes to make them more applealing to what we consider to be better. We can’t stop it. We try to perfect GODs perfection. The lion kills the rabbit to survive, by design he sees no wrong, but the rabbit knows no wrong in his own losss. Humans are the only example where a creature is trying to improve GODs own work.

    Thus,,,,the golden rule,,,,, “we always know the difference in right and wrong. In life, Sometimes we choose wrong, but in doing so we accept the consequences”.

    Never in any action that we partake is this not enforced. My son can quote the golden rule because I expressed it to him throughout his life and I think he will to his son.

    My point to this ramble, the Bible speaks of apocalypse, fire, end war, and eventual total enialtion of what we see today as our world. We cannot stop it, we are predestined to live it. It will eventually befall us all. I pray not in ours or near lifetime, but it will. So sister….. go hug that tree, you will never be closer to GOD on earth than by standing next to it. Love always, Bro.

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