Disaster preparedness

I write almost daily about Mutual Aid. Mainly because I’ve experienced what an effective and moral way this is for people to care for each other.

One of the most common reasons Mutual Aid communities come into being is in response to disasters. Yesterday’s post, Usefulness of Mutual Aid Against Our Failing Government, was about one of many unfolding disasters.

My lifelong experience has shown people will do anything they can to avoid acknowledging, let alone doing anything about disasters. I’ve often shared, many times and many ways, my inability to convince a single person that I know of, to give up their cars. The farm boy moving to the big city (Indianapolis) and being horrified by the clouds of noxious fumes visibly shooting out of the exhaust pipe of every car. This was in the early 1970’s, before catalytic converters hid the exhaust. I learned how quickly people stop listening to warnings like that.

So here we are. I don’t need to enumerate all the consequences we now see from refusing to deal with greenhouse gas emissions. People can no longer deny the environmental chaos. And yet they continue to refuse to do anything about it. Rather than work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, emissions continue to climb. People are beginning to panic, to demand someone, somehow fix the problem. Even asking people to think about their children, and their children’s children, hasn’t worked, which is truly shameful.

Now it is far too late. The time lag between the time a certain amount of greenhouse gas enters the atmosphere, and when the warming that results from that amount are seen, is over 10 years. The loss of ice means sunlight that once reflected off it, is absorbed instead by the exposed dark water. The oceans have already absorbed enormous amounts of heat but are now heat saturated. Which has been fueling worsening hurricanes, extreme rainfall, and flooding. Another environmental disaster is the rapid increase in methane concentrations. Massive amounts of methane are frozen beneath the ice but are now being released as water temperatures rise.

Methane is the second most abundant anthropogenic GHG after carbon dioxide (CO2), accounting for about 20 percent of global emissions. Methane is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. 

Importance of Methane, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Severe drought will impact food production, hydroelectric power systems, and clean, or ANY water supplies.

Electrical power supplies and grids will fail. Try to imagine having no water or electricity.

I knew this environmental chaos would trigger the collapse of our economic, political and social systems, which don’t have near the resources or will to recover from these cascading problems.

Unfortunately, there are other disasters that I didn’t anticipate, or how they are evolving.

Although there are predictions of disease from microbes released from melting permafrost, I didn’t foresee the distrust of science. Or that public health would botch the response to the current pandemic.

I didn’t think about how people would blame increasing fuel prices on efforts to switch to electric vehicles, which many can’t afford.

I didn’t anticipate the polarization of the Supreme Court. I thought we might always be able to count on the balance of power from that branch of government.

I thought the governmental collapse would be from inability to deal with environmental chaos. What I didn’t foresee were politicians and parties actively subverting what we have called the democratic process. The naked grab for power and not even a pretense of working for the people. Of armed groups intimidating state governments. Threats to election workers.

Support for the armed insurrection of the US Capital. To the normalization of political violence.

Of the mounting evidence of the political crimes of the last president. Of the even greater polarization and violence likely to occur when the case is presented to the public. Between those who demand justice, and those of the large political base of the last president.

I don’t think any of this is news to people today.

What prompts this now is my belief that we will never again have a free and fair election. Not even looking to the 2014 presidential election, but this year’s midterm elections. There will not be even a semblance of a functioning government when there is conflict regarding who won the elections at all levels. Social safety nets, Social Security and other benefits could cease.

And who will control the military? How will all of this affect the standing of this country on the global stage? Couldn’t this political chaos be exploited by other countries militarily? Of course other countries will have these problems themselves.

I admit I could be wrong about some of this. But most of these things are playing out now.

That is why I believe it is urgent for us to prepare for disaster. Building Mutual Aid communities is the way to do so.

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