Natural and unnatural disasters

Make text smaller Make text larger

On Hurricane Maria’s first anniversary protesters marched on Trump Tower to protest federal inaction and neglect. Many Puerto Ricans are still without power — imagine. And given how these natural disasters are now considered the new normal, we should all be marching to protest this administration’s unbelief in climate change and its rollbacks of anti-pollution legislation. The federal funds earmarked for reconstruction of the island, said to have been redirected, must be restored.

That will take time, but the most critical issue is how we unaffected humans need reminding not to forget the ongoing suffering recently wreaked on the Carolinas.

Not that many have loved ones in the Carolinas, so no great push to keep remembering the unspeakable and continuing havoc wrecked on these two states. And let us now just talk about homes, which next to losing a loved one, can be the most traumatic loss, especially where affordable livable homes are in such short supply — that in itself a most unnatural disaster.

And just imagine how forsaken the countless thousands of Carolinians still living in shelters or away from their homes must feel to see business as usual on the TV screens. And how it would help if media in general frequently, even briefly, addressed these devastating conditions. And especially should people celebrated at events such as the recent Emmy Awards and within professional sports address them. So needed are high-profile people stressing the horrific conditions of these towns, cities and rural areas, including farms.

And the school year recently begun so smoothly here, how very helpful, if their curriculums now include students reaching out to Carolinas and students in other disaster areas — letting them know they care and want to help. Ah, just letting people know they are cared for is such a fundamental human need. If ever a subject needed to be taught in general and role-modeled ...

About that so all-important reaching out, yes, kids could set the example for other age groups. And elders, too, need to reach out to their peers in disaster areas, who are too often alone and unable to fend for themselves very well. Ideally, what’s most needed are multigenerational support systems now quite hindered by age-segregated social systems.

Until the revolution, elders must urge their political leaders (this paper’s Useful Contacts has phone and address information) to help this most vulnerable and often invisible group. Senior groups must also be pressured to enable the reaching out. Elders have no trouble doing mailing letters to, say, Carolina newspaper editors, but going viral, using social media power is now so essential. Another unnatural disaster where intergenerational help is so needed.

And surely remembering how helping disaster victims transcends partisan divides. Maybe you too recall John McCain’s funeral where former presidents and first ladies sat in the front row, differences overcome at least for the occasion. And how extremely helpful and also uniting if they were seen helping at these disaster scenes and repeatedly speaking about the victims’ ongoing needs and also the help a caring citizenry must also give. And so much more - your ideas are needed. Ah, and also, the neighbor in need next door must not be forgotten.

Make text smaller Make text larger



Image A shifting landscape
From the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the outskirts of Rome, Pamela Talese captures stories of cities in transition on canvas
Image Territorial dispute over cleanup program
Doe Fund protests UES sidewalk-cleaning funds allocated to another reentry nonprofit
Image AMNH expansion lawsuit dismissed
Court ruling clears path for museum to move forward with $383 million Gilder Center project
Image An author and his alma mater
For Tom Barbash, life is what happened when he returned to Dwight
Image Holmes Towers project faces questions
Debate continues over private residential building to be built on NYCHA campus


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters


Best of Manhattan 2018
  • Dec 6, 2018
Best of Food & Drink
Best Desserts
  • Dec 5, 2018
Local News
A shifting landscape
  • Dec 11, 2018
Local News
AMNH expansion lawsuit dismissed
  • Dec 10, 2018