Hurricane Maria: An Even Bigger Problem

Hurricane Maria battered few of its victim islands in the Atlantic more severely than it did Puerto Rico. The damage there has been described as ‘apocalyptic’ and to witness it, even if only in photos, leaves no room for any sane person to argue with that assessment.

Yet, there has been widespread criticism of U.S. aid in the region, with many claiming that medical support, food shipments and other vital emergency services haven’t been forthcoming enough. This has inspired certain people to action, including Puerto Rican native Roberto Clemente Jr., son of legendary baseball player Roberto Clemente Sr., who urged the people Pittsburgh to donate to relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

While ordinary citizens standing up for those who have lost property, possessions and even loved ones to Maria is certainly inspiring, the general concern with U.S. aid still remains. President Trump has been criticized for waiting too long to turn his attention to the hurricane’s aftermath and allocate federal funding for relief. While Trump has scheduled a visit to the island for Tuesday, October 3rd and stands behind press secretary Sarah Sanders’ assurances that large amounts of aid money are being directed at the matter, many feel that this is still too little, too late.

Trump has also come under fire for fostering the United States’ exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, a decision which makes his stance on global warming crystal clear. With the world’s average temperature increasing little by little each year, many environmental scientists believe that hurricanes such as we’ve experience in 2017 may become much more common occurrences.

Perhaps then the concern is not just the U.S. government’s sluggish response to the disaster in Puerto Rico, but also its long term stance on climate change under leadership that gives such matters no credence. If the extreme weather the world witnessed this year continues to become more frequent, it won’t be long before relief efforts and funding will not be able to keep up with the amount of desperation these calamities create.