05. November 2004 · Comments Off on Thar she Blows…or Not… · Categories: General

Just saw Dr. Paul Epstein on FNC, talking about hurricanes. It seems Dr. Epstein is a big mucky-muck with a conference going on this week at Ha’vaad Medical School, trying to determine if hurricanes are going to increase naturally or decrease naturally, or if us bad old humans are responsible for the evil things causing global warming, or just what in heck is going on. Just moments after another, probably just-as-smart-professor said that we shouldn’t worry, these things run in cycles much too long for us to affect, the great Dr. Epstein let forth with such wisdom as I’ve never heard. First, we have to kill off anyone who disagrees with him, then do further work on thinning the population until there are miles between humans, and we start all over again. Oh, along with all this, we have to come up with clean energy and cease and desist from using oil. Er, I don’t know at what temp bear grease loses its viscosity, but I’d certainly have to give up the old sky steed. The Chevy, however, could at least be hauled around by dogs or mules.

Really, I think right now that I’d encourage Dr. Epstein to go spend a year or two at SP Station, Antarctica, studying deep core ice samples. He might even do us some good. I’ve had the honor of working rescue/recovery post several hurricanes, such as Frederick in 1979, and Hugo in 1989. Both of those were horribly destructive, and we had occasion to shed tears along with more than a few residents who lost everything. I don’t have a lot, but losing it all is almost beyond comprehension to me. My heart ached for those folks, and we did the best we could to get their lives going again. And ya know what? Most every one of them today has healed and gone on, rebuilding homes, businesses, and family. I love those people in McClellanville, SC, where Hugo charged onshore with a 25-ft wall of water, nearly wiping the town off the map. They lost all their fire engines, and one indication of the damage, their ambulance was found in a TREETOP! I took at least five rolls of film, the destruction was mind-boggling. Shrimp boats (the big steel-hull ones) about a half-mile inland, houses moved off foundations, or just plain smashed. Thankfully, no one lost their life in this small, tight-knit fishing village. And we made lifelong friends.

And, sob sob, here I was, after Charley last September, getting my stuff ready, the van loaded, all prepared to head south, waiting to get my assignment, when dang it, I fell and rebroke that obnoxious left foot! Well, no hurricane relief this year, like a high school football player with a twisted knee, I had to watch from the sidelines as other ham radio operators, medics, and others headed south to help those poor, dazed Florida folks. Maybe next year, but I’d rather not having to go at all.

My own personal experience with hurricanes goes back to one that hit south Florida in 1948. I was just 5, we lived in Miami, and from what my small brain picked up afterward, it tore things up pretty badly. But, as my dad drove us around, we saw folks helping each other all over, recovery starting probably even before the winds died down. If you ever doubt the goodness in people, or if you just want to see a good indication of the human spirit, go down and watch folks get back together after a hurricane or tornado. Of course, I have to mention the other side – the dirtbags who go into the area trying to line their filthy pockets by sticking it to helpless residents. Yeh, they’re there, but the law will get ’em and thank God for that. I’ve been in hurricanes that didn’t scare me, and a couple that had me wishing I was ice fishing in Alaska…..Just like everything else, there’s big’uns and little’uns. I have an aunt who lives in Ft. Meyers, FL. She’s about 90, but when a hurricane gets named, she hightails it to GA. This year she ran right into 3 hurricanes that way!! But she’s real sweet, and we love having her come up.

So, if things warm up, and all indications are that they will, the storms will be more frequent and stronger. No problem, so we’re warned, and knowledge is power. It doesn’t matter to me much one way or the other just how the environment got warm, it did, and we have to live with that. Now, I’m not a slash-and-burn type who ignores sound environmental policy. Far from it. We all have to share this planet, so we should get together and do the best we can to protect it. But let’s not go off the deep end. The operative word is “sound” environmental policy. Let’s figure out what works, and do it. And hang on to something when the wind blows!


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