First let's dispense with the obvious. There is no good way to protect all life and property in a city from a Category IV hurricane born in the Gulf Coast of Mexico. A well prepared populace can mitigate the loss of human life. But debates about who is to blame for the misery is a pointless exercise. Yes, increasing urbanization of a city at sea level does make flooding worse. But people living in Houston, Tampa, Miami, or New Orleans for the most part understand and accept the risk of a natural catastrophe as a trade off for a good job and usually enjoyable weather. And I don't buy for a minute that Hurricane Harvey, and its historic flooding, is the direct result of man-made climate change. Anyone who opines this needs to explain then why there have been NO major storms damaging the Gulf states or the Southeast in 12 years. Having lived without power for 10 days in 1979 following Hurricane Frederick in Mobile, Alabama, and walking home up to my hips in water during a flood in Houston in 1978, I understand and appreciate the full force of Mother Nature.
What I am seeing now however is an incredible coming together of Houstonians, Texans, and most of our country to help each other out. No one being rescued is asking if the first responder in that boat is black, white, brown, or what their immigration status might be. No one cares. And nor should they. Flood waters and high winds do not discriminate between rich and poor, liberal or conservative, or who you voted for in the last election. The silver lining to this storm, and monumental flood for the ages, is that such a disaster tends to distill out most of the nasty and unpleasant aspects of human nature. Suddenly most of us want to know how we can help, and are willing to open our check books for our fellow citizens in need. The Neo-Nazi's and Anitfa's, and other lunatics, are now on the back pages of the news, where one can only hope they would stay.
It is sad that it takes such a natural catastrophe to bring out the goodness in all of us. My takeaway is that when the flood waters recede, and it's time to rebuild, we should all remember how small and unimportant our political differences are in the grand scheme of life and living.