Two weeks ago, in a foreshadowing of what we can expect to see happen more and more often as we destabilize the global climate, this city received 37 inches of water in one day. I cannot begin to fathom what that must have been like to experience -- more than three feet of water falling in a single day. One friend said it was like a river falling straight down from the sky.
Reactionary economists tell us it wouldn't be cost-effective to take preventive action on global warming. Well, this city generates 40 percent of the tax revenues for the whole government of India. For three days, no buses ran and the stock market was closed. Multiply this tragedy by a thousand, by ten thousand. Would having cars and trucks that accelerated a little less quickly, installing more modern equipment in factories, sealing leaks in houses, or building windmills in the Dakotas instead of importing oil from Saudi Arabia really be too high a price to pay to avoid such disasters?
For the people of Bombay, the unwillingness of my own government to act responsibly is, literally, a matter of life and death. I sometimes wonder why they are so nice to us.
Link: A River from the Sky