“This event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced,” the National Weather Service said about Hurricane Harvey.
This comment by an agency not known for hyperbole is an apt description of not only the Texas tragedy, but also other world events.
The climate is rebelling from being used as a sewer for CO2; Kim Jong Un is accelerating his acquisition of deadly new toys; and the United States, “the last best hope of Earth,” is led by a petulant demagogue with the diplomatic subtlety of a chain saw.
As the residents of south Texas continue to struggle with heart-breaking loss of life and homes, the residents of South Asia are also facing catastrophic rains and floods, with 45 million people affected.
At least 1,288 people have died, and 16 million children now need lifesaving support, according to UNICEF.
There’s nothing unusual about hurricanes in Houston or monsoon seasons in Bangladesh, but the increasing intensity of them is.
Climate scientists have long predicted that warming oceans would turn normal weather events into more severe ones, and severe ones into catastrophes.
Of course, people sweating in San Francisco from a record 106-degree day or fleeing the largest fire in Los Angeles history may worry more about North Korea’s methodical drive to be able to deliver nuclear explosions to our homeland and those of our allies.
As comedian George Carlin’s routine of the “hippy-dippy” weatherman once put it: “The radar tonight is picking up a line of thundershowers. … However, the radar is also picking up a squadron of Russian ICBMs, so I wouldn’t sweat the thundershowers.”
This threat from North Korea, which the last two administrations did nothing to alleviate, has now arrived as a Category 6 storm for the most ill-suited president of modern times to handle it.
President Donald Trump’s response to the latest North Korea provocation was to chide China and South Korea in a tweet.
This, the day after he said he is considering ending our trade pact with South Korea.
We had better hope that the soft coup taking place by the generals now surrounding Trump is hard enough to control him.
The only options on North Korea are tough, smart, relentless diplomacy.
True, diplomacy didn’t work before, but North Korea didn’t have the ability to launch a weapon with roughly eight times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb before, either.
That is an opportunity to focus, finally, the world’s attention on solving the problem.
The United States, backed by China, needs to be able to hold a calm stare until Kim blinks or at least fully appreciates that his only path to remain in power is to never actually use his nuclear toys.
Trump needs to forget trade wars with Asia and work with China, South Korea and Japan to prevent a nuclear exchange.
Trump has blustered that “fire and fury” may rain on North Korea if it continues to provoke.
Apparently, he has not noticed that it is already raining fire and fury all over the globe.
His job is to help make it stop.
Carter Eskew is a founder of The Glover Park Group who oversees the firm’s branding, corporate reputation and creative services groups. Before forming GPG in 2001, Carter worked as a political media consultant and corporate strategist.