Reading about the disaster in Houston, I’m so moved by the way that ordinary citizens are coming out — in boats and on foot — to help their fellow residents. The media is reporting that these informal efforts are equal in size to government rescue activities.
At the same time, the government’s role is so important. After this disaster, people will need disaster relief funds to rebuild. And, the flooding in Houston has been so bad because of unregulated development, which has destroyed wetlands and prairie that could hold water. Climate change also makes storms more powerful and frequent — it leads to so-called “extreme weather.”
In Ohio, elected officials such as Jim Jordan and Bob Latta often oppose government regulation, believing that the market — and individuals — can solve all problems.
Individuals are important. But if we are to prevent and recover from disasters in the future, more government involvement is necessary.
In the light of events in Houston, I hope that our elected officials will reconsider their opposition to common sense regulations on climate change, in particular. If we don’t act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to existing climate change, we’re likely to see more dangerous storms and floods across the country.
Maya Fischhoff, Ada