Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pitfalls of Migration


June 23, 2015

A pleasure to hear from you (a Flickr friend in San Francisco).  One's physical environs does shape the content of our work.  You have the pleasures of one of the most architectural rich environs on the whole planet.  I have the violent and always changing atmospheres of Global Climate change.  We just had a month of flooding  within the backdrop of severe long term drought.  May shattered all written records for total rainfall; but that isn't unusual even within the context of recorded droughts.

Oddly, flooding during sever droughts is common, not an exception as one might think.  Perversely, it gives people a false sense that the drought has been broken, when in fact it does not, even without the background of Global Warming.  Ironically, the heavy rains set us back, as people and governments are less likely to prepare for the inevitable running dry, so we continue to overuse fossil fuels to stay comfortable in the summer heat.  The heat is amplified by high humidity, which is also being experienced in Southern Cal., which state of the art water reserves estimations predict that will run out in about 10 months.  A mass migration of 20 million or so Southern Cal people will occur in less that one year, and most of those migrants will pass through Texas before turning north to the Great Lakes region or continuing east to the southeast; two areas that have adequate water, but depressed economies and can offer little in terms of housing for the enormous mass of migrants.

Texas major cities are in the midst of a housing boom, so many will choose to stop here, causing a dramatic increase in real estate prices, similar to that of Oregon and Washington.  Children of natives of these states will be priced out of the real estate market and will be forced to live with their parents, and many retired people will be forced to leave these states because they will be unable to afford the real estate taxes.  We have several friends in Washington that are face with this very problem.  Having to move away from family and friends in one's late 60's or 70's is a crushing emotional blow.  Call this group, secondary forced migrants.  The complexity of the social disruption boggles the mind and the minimal resources (that reads zero) ear marked to deal with the situation. 

To date no politician has even mentioned these issues.  Our collective heads are buried in the sand, and distracted by issues of a totally trivial nature.  That's how the super rich ruling class wants it, because all sensible solutions, decreasing fossil fuel consumption means less profit to ad to their obscene hoard of nearly a trillion dollars in wealth.  Specifically, I am speaking of people like the Koch Brothers in Kansas.  Since, these same people own all the major media outlets, it will not surprise me if following the coming migration catastrophe will depend on alternative media.
Cutting diagonally through the Rockies is a more treacherous route to the Great Lakes, because of the sparse population and dearth of services (water and gasoline) and the stress of long elevation changes on all but very new model cars.  Whichever route taken will be littered with abandoned vehicles, many containing dead passengers from dehydration.  This will put tremendous stress on the states where peoples journeys end.  Pathetically, even though this scenario is oh so very predictable, no Federal, State or local governments or NGO's (non-government organizations) even have a plan to make a plan to deal with this catastrophic event.  It will demonstrate the total failure of government and societies ability to deal with the mass migrations that inevitably come with climactic change due to Global Warming, which is 100% due to our own behavior.  The only good that can result, is that watching this unnecessary catastrophe will wake us up to meet the challenges ahead.  This is simply our first test of how we can adapt to Global Climate change, and we will fail miserably.

Sorry that this news is so bleak on the surface, but underneath the gloom is an opportunity to awaken the nation to what has been done to them over the past 25 years, and awaken to revolt against a system that does nothing to help the 99% of the population.  Some big changes must happen, and must happen soon, or we are doomed to mass extinction at our own hands.  A kind of sleep walking suicide.
A gentleman and a scholar

Austin, Texas