Tuesday has arrived, and with it the chances seem more and more likely that we will be getting some impact from Hurricane Matthew here in the DC area by this weekend. There is no prediction for a real hurricane here, just lots of wind and rain. It seems somehow ironic that it is forecasted to ruin the long weekend unless things change. If that is the worst thing that happens, it will be nowhere as bad as what the people in Haiti will have to endure from the hurricane.
Haiti seems to be a magnet for disasters. I don’t say this to demean the people there, but they cannot seem to catch a break. Whether it is a corrupt government, completely inadequate infrastructure, grinding poverty, or natural disaster, Haiti just seems to move from one tragedy to another. I was reading about the expected impacts of Hurricane Matthew being amplified because so much of Haiti has been deforested as people burn wood for fuel. This leaves the hillsides and mountain slopes susceptible to landslides, and this can add another disaster to the list.
As much as I feel for the people of Haiti, I cannot but help being critical of all of the “help” that arrives there only to end up lining the pockets of corrupt politicians and businessmen. That makes Haiti just like the totally developed nations, at least in the sense that the people are the first ones to be ripped off by the rich and powerful.
There will always be hurricanes. As the population of the planet continues to grow, more and more people will, by necessity or by choice, live in areas that are prone to damage from these storms. A lack of preparation and resources to protect these people insures that there will be more and greater tragedies. At this point, I could not conceivably care less about the property damage because that is replaceable. Human lives are not replaceable in the same way.
Those who bemoan property loss are the same ones who bemoan property loss in this country when riots break out after decades/centuries of continued injustice. So long as people place property over lives, nothing will improve. Property has become a way of ignoring the suffering that goes on all around us because of the totally misguided notion that somehow poor people deserve to be poor because “they don’t work hard enough”. I would love to see any of those who feel that way work as hard to just survive as far too many on this planet are forced to do on a daily basis. It would certainly weed out the spoiled, greedy rich bastards among us.
I only have one voice. All of the things that I say mean the world to me, but until enough people agree that the system we have is failing, nothing will be done. Even if enough people agree, those in power will never give up their privilege without a terrible fight and tremendous bloodshed. Not a pretty picture, but a real one as we sit here comfortable, awaiting the inconvenience that a hurricane can bring while ignoring the real suffering that the same storm will inflict on others.
I hope that the storm is not as terrible as the forecasters want us to believe it is, but as it moves closer to the US, we can rest assured that the inconveniences suffered here will get much more coverage than the devastation that will happen in places like Haiti or Cuba.