A storm is coming!
You watch the news, you listen to the radio, and you check Facebook for updates. The air is heavy and still, it is quite literally the calm before the storm.
The children are contented as they’ve gotten an unexpected day off from school, their blissful ignorance a juxtaposition to your anxiety. You peep out of the window periodically, waiting for the first drop of rain. Finally, the sky breaks and everything becomes wet. For a minute you’re almost soothed by the constant patter, but your anxiety gets the better of you and you begin to worry.
Will this be the storm to ruin us? Will this be a repeat of 2013 Christmas Eve? Are my friends and family safe? So many questions plague your mind, you feel like a caged animal.
Every time there is news of a tropical storm or hurricane we all go through the motions of impatient waiting and worrying. We all anticipate a storm that will ruin us, even if we don’t voice our concerns out loud. We’ve seen it happen to Puerto Rico and we’ve seen it happen to Dominica; the question hangs in the air, “are we next?”.
Could you imagine life without running water or electricity for two weeks, or even two months? How will we survive? The worst part is that we are helpless, just sitting ducks waiting for the bullet. We did not create this mess, but we are living in it. We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature.
The Europeans and the Americans have stripped this earth bare of all it has to offer. My ancestors have paid for their greed with the blood and bone of slavery, and now we must pay for their greed again. We did not benefit from their industrial revolution, nor were we treated as equal human beings. The murder of our brother Botham Jean is evidence.
It is not an option for us to believe in climate change, as we live in it. The sun is so hot that 15 minutes outside gives you a tan. The rains are so heavy, that every rainy-day results in flooding. Each year an island suffers from a long and unusual drought. Unusual extreme weather has become our norm. Yet the Americans are happy to stick their heads in the sand and pretend like it’s all fake. I’m sorry to say, this is not fake news, this is reality.
I wish I could scream at the rich Republicans who degrade and waste our resources, but what’s the point in that? They will only learn their lesson when their money can no longer save them. When the last tree is cut, and the smog is so thick you can’t see your neighbour. Only then will they learn. Until then, the vulnerable will continue to suffer. A storm is coming Vincentians, and when it comes God help us all.