Look out the windows, boys and girls at Exxon Mobil headquarters in Houston. Mother Nature may be trying to send you a message!
Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, is arguably the capital of the American energy industry, which has argued that climate change is just a theory that scientists cannot establish beyond a shadow of a doubt.
That’s true. They can’t establish it beyond a shadow of a doubt. But the evidence is piling up–sea levels are rising, big chunks of ice are breaking off permanent ice sheets located at the planet’s opposite poles, the Russians are able to exploit sea routes in waters that used to be frozen, heat levels are soaring in places like the Middle East and Pakistan, and weather patterns are shifting so abruptly that agriculture in some parts of the world has been disrupted. That disruption is one reason that 65 million people have left their home countries in pursuit of better lives.
Another piece of the emerging pattern is increasingly destructive storms. I was speaking to an insurance guy the other day and he noted that more storms these days are “convective,” meaning more destructive in layman’s terms. The official description is deep, moist convection, or DMC.
I haven’t heard anyone call Hurricane Harvey a convective hurricane, but you get the point: we’re witnessing more bizarre weather, like Hurricane Sandy that rendered Rita and me homeless in late 2012.
I’m not holding my breath that anyone’s mind in the energy industry will change, but I appeal to you to look out the window and ponder what Harvey’s greater significance might be.