Friday, October 26, 2018

Why are so many in the press so quick to write off the southeast coast of Florida?

Or worded another way . . . putting the ‘red tide’ and other challenges from Mother Nature in context.

Remember last year as Hurricane Irma approached? Recall when the pundits and naysayers were writing us off suggesting it was nature’s way of telling us to pack up and leave South Florida and never return? One such missive was published in September 2017 as Irma was churning west across the Atlantic Ocean written by journalist Michael Grunwald and was titled: “The thing is, it’s really nice here [in South Florida], except when it isn’t.”

Sometimes, however, it’s better to wait a little while before penning a “Requiem for Florida. . .”

Further down below is an excerpt from that ‘requiem’, a requiem is also called the “Mass for the Dead”.

Here in Palm Beach County and in coastal cities such as the little City of Lake Worth, just days away from a hurricane the so-called ‘experts’ kept on predicting would pummel the Atlantic coast, there were already local, regional, and nationally-read pundits predicting death and mayhem and suggesting we all should have found somewhere else to live and we deserve a massive hurricane to teach us a lesson.

And did you get the sense there were ‘experts’ here also in Palm Beach County disappointed we didn’t get a direct hit from Hurricane Irma?

Or at least have taken much more of a
“punch” from that storm?

And do you think some people thought, or maybe still think, that 10, 20, or even 30+ days without power would have been better to teach us a lesson or that the storm surge expected — that never did impact our City of Lake Worth — would have wiped out Bryant Park and the municipal golf course forcing neighborhood residents into canoes for days or weeks after the storm?

Most of the public here in this City only went 4–6 days without electricity, had to endure some nights under curfew, looking for ice daily and every few days the trek for gasoline to fuel the generator.

Was that enough to teach us all a lesson that we all should be living somewhere else? I would guess not considering no one left and people are still relocating in droves to South Florida.

Now all this begins to get interesting.

Do you remember just days after Irma when the venom and all those “disgusting” things were said about our City and Electric Utility as our City officials and workers were getting more and more people hooked back up to electric? For example,

“I do not normally post, but decided to do so due to a lot of complaints I have read about electric [Lake Worth’s Electric Utility].”

and. . .

     “The negativity I have been reading on my phone is disgusting. I myself am grateful that I only lost my fence, tree branches and power. How about positive help for those in need!”

Possibly it sounds inconceivable to you there were some who were wishing us more harm and damage from Irma. But would you believe an environmentalist actually suggested in 2016 that if the Herbert Hoover Dike collapsed it would “fix everything”, as reported by journalist Peter Schorsch,

“But the benefits to the environment would be ‘immeasurable,’ [the environmentalist] concludes, drawing a line in the sand. ‘Question is … Which side are you on? Human or nature?’ ”

To this Peter Schorsch wrote,

“When forced to choose between living with humans or going down with Mother Nature, I may be selfish, but I’ll side with humans.”

Now back to the “Requiem” as Hurricane
Irma approached.

Shouldn’t the ‘requiems’ have waited until after a complete analysis had been completed of Irma’s impact? What you’ll read below is very interesting, some might find compelling and others may find tasteless and crass, considering the timing just a few days prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irma:

“A Requiem for Florida,
the Paradise That Should
Never Have Been”

This piece by Michael Grunwald in Politico Magazine was subtitled, “As Hurricane Irma prepares to strike,
it’s worth remembering that Mother Nature
never intended us to live here.”

Below are the first two opening paragraphs from this latest “Requiem”. There’s really nothing new in this article that hasn’t been said 10,000 times before — but it is very well written and excellently composed — and for that reason it’s certainly worth reading.

However, the timing of this “Requiem” is a bit unsettling, don’t you think?

A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead (Latin: Missa pro defunctis) or Mass of the dead (Latin: Missa defunctorum) . . . is frequently, but not necessarily, celebrated in the context of a funeral.

The opening two paragraphs:

ORLANDO, Fla. — The first Americans to spend much time in South Florida were the U.S. Army men who chased the Seminole Indians around the peninsula in the 1830s. And they hated it. Today, their letters read like Yelp reviews of an arsenic café, denouncing the region as a “hideous,” “loathsome,” “diabolical,” “God-abandoned” mosquito refuge.
     “Florida is certainly the poorest country that ever two people quarreled for,” one Army surgeon wrote. “It was the most dreary and pandemonium-like region I ever visited, nothing but barren wastes.” An officer summarized it as “swampy, low, excessively hot, sickly and repulsive in all its features.” The future president Zachary Taylor, who commanded U.S. troops there for two years, groused that he wouldn’t trade a square foot of Michigan or Ohio for a square mile of Florida. The consensus among the soldiers was that the U.S. should just leave the area to the Indians and the mosquitoes; as one general put it, “I could not wish them all a worse place.” Or as one lieutenant complained: “Millions of money has been expended to gain this most barren, swampy, and good-for-nothing peninsula.”

This latest ‘requiem’ for all us here in South Florida won’t be the last. We’ve been through this stuff
many times before. . . . But remember:

“Together we can make it through whatever comes our way,
we are Lake Worth!”