Hurricane Harvey On My Mind

Houston, Texas during Hurricane Harvey
Houston , Texas flooded due to Hurricane Harvey
Photo Credits: CNN

I’ve got Hurricane Harvey on my mind. He is on my mind not so much because this mother of all storms bears my name, but because this is a storm that could have been prevented.

This is a storm like none we have ever seen. It is hard to imagine that Houston and other Texas cities in the path of Hurricane Harvey can come back; and yet we know that the spirit of the American people is unconquerable. Texas will rise up and overcome this flood.

Harveys, at least the ones that I have know most of my life, have a tendency to sound the clarion call when danger is in the air. Sometimes Harveys use hurricane like force to make an important point.

The earth has been telling us for years that if we did not do something, and do something in a hurry, about greenhouse emissions, the earth will be inundated with fires, heavy winds, and more water than our homes can withstand.

Victims of Hurricane Harvey awaiting rescuee
A Texas family waiting to be rescued following flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey

Last year the nation had a presidential election that featured one candidate, who eventually won the race, denying any claims of global warming or any of the issues raised by environmentalists

He told his supporters not to believe the environmental experts because they were just trying to raise money on a fake issue.  One of the first things that the winner did upon assuming the office of the presidency was to appoint someone to head up the Environmental Protection Agency who had pledged to eliminate the EPA.

Then this Secretary of EPA promptly pushed out most of the scientists in the agency. He replaced them with essentially lay bureaucrats. Non-scientists, who do not have a scientist’s sense of the gravity of the impending doom that will occur, if we do not tackle what the leader of the free world says is fake news.

To paraphrase that paragon of presidential leadership, “One thing I can tell you,” Hurricane Harvey is not fake news. Hurricane Harvey is real, devastating and relentlessly stubborn. Hurricane Harvey, I regret to inform you, is probably the last warning we will get before the ultimate storm.

Warnings are not the danger we should fear. Warnings are designed to alert us to take precautionary action. There is still time to get control of the environment.

Yet getting control of the environment cannot be done without an American President who fears the destruction of our ecosystem more than making money for corporate buddies. It will take leadership willing to spend money on prevention rather than rebuilding after the storms have wounded some, killed others and destroyed our property.

It will take spending more money on federal regulations of the environment and less on-site presidential visits with Eastern European models in high heel silhouettes to calm the raging storms blowing off the coast of Africa enroute to America.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at


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Published by Michael

Harold Michael Harvey is a Past President of The Gate City Bar Association and is the recipient of the Association’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award. He is the author of Paper Puzzle and Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, and a two-time winner of Allvoices’ Political Pundit Prize. His work has appeared in Facing South, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Black Colleges Nines, and Medium.

2 replies on “Hurricane Harvey On My Mind”

  1. Well said. I just had an argument with a preacher who told me to “pray” but got angry when I said, “How can you call yourself a believer and not want to clean up the earth. You didn’t create it, remember?” I might add to this wonderful blog that we have to stop runaway building. Every time a building is torn down and another building is built in its place, it reduces the soil’s capacity to absorb water. Refurbishing, rather than tearing down, is also something we can all push for. Every little bit helps. Thanks for this piece.

    1. You are so right about refurbishing rather than tearing down buildings. As you have pointed out saving the planet is really not hard to do, as “every little bit helps.”

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