Monday, May 18, 2009

Thoughts on Hurricane Bubba

On May 8th, Southern Illinois was hit by an inland hurricane. I was huddled in my room with my son, waiting for it to blow over, but it seemed to last forever. We kept hearing horrible ripping noises from the roof, and eventually it occured to me that we were possibly going to be refugees, so we needed our shoes on. We went into the other room to get our shoes. The room has windows that showed up scary things outside, like trees blowing over. Boy, did we run back to the other room!
It all ended well, for us. The ripping sound turned out to be shingles, not the actual roof. The trees landed around our house, not on it. We are not refugees. Our water, gas and phone stayed on, and our electricity was only off for 3 days. We had food.

The people of Iraq were subjected to 24 hours a day terrorism by US bombs in March 2003. What kind of horrific people would deliberately subject other people to such misery? To openly attack infrastructure, as the US did in Iraq and Yugoslavia, is a war crime for the very reason that it is uncivilized and cruel.
Not only does the US terrorize civilians, innocent men, women and children, with bombs, it destroys the electricity that makes life pleasant, and the water and sewage treatment plants that make life safe, and the hospitals that treat the wounded and the bridges that help people travel, and the schools for the children and the media that reports on it all.
This country is barbaric and I am ashamed to live here. Going through the terror of the hurricane, and the inconvenience of no electricity makes the hell the Iraqis have lived through for six years more immediately outrageous to me. And that is no small feat! I have been outraged the entire time.

The destruction here is unbelievable. The winds supposedly hit over 100 mph. The wind monitor broke, so they don't know for sure. There are giant trees down everywhere. Every power line seemed to have a tree on it. I didn't think we'd have electricity for weeks. But there are power crews everywhere, and tree cutting crews.
Enormous four and five foot diameter trees are being chopped into 4 foot pieces and hauled off to be burned! Are they crazy? It's like burning money to destroy all this potential lumber. They could chop them into 8 or 10 foot pieces and haul them to the sawmill. They could use them in any number of other ways, as the Shawnee Green Party statement that I posted points out. It's not like trees spoil, and have to be disposed of immediately. Aging is good for them.
So now I'm coughing from the smoke, and distressed at the giant waste.
What is wrong with these people? It's not the workers. I found a young man at my door a few days after the storm. He had few teeth, but many tattoos. I thought he was going to ask me for food, but he was cutting my neighbor's trees, and wanted to know if I wanted some woodchips. He said "They're just going to burn them. It's such a waste".
So this young man can see clearly what the city manager getting paid the big bucks can't. I called the EPA to complain about the burning and they said it was the city that OK'd it. I called the manager, but he didn't bother to call back.
I believe that the reason we had the unprecedented storm is the extra energy from the carbon dioxide we're dumping in the atmosphere. And now there are hundreds of years of stored carbon from these trees being added to it. Heck of a job, Gillie!

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