The Lord God has poured out His wrath against the United States for our godless and Satanic capitalist society. Hurricane Harvey is the instrument of His sanction.
The category 4 hurricane has already killed nearly 40 people and caused billions of dollars in damages to southeastern Texas. Thousands have been displaced, and the disaster is far from over. Amidst all of this, we are told endlessly not to politicize the tragedy, to focus on the victims and worry about the politics later. But doing so only ensures that we do not act in time to prevent the next Harvey.
Western civilization has long ago turned away from God. What did we expect would happen? Did we really think we could escape His judgment? Did we think that we could abandon stewardship of Creation and not have its Creator destroy us for our folly?
This isn’t only about climate change, but let’s start there. It is already evident that anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change exacerbated what should have been merely a “tropical wave.” Harvey was tapering off and by the accounts of most experts should have been much weaker than it was. Instead, it intensified.
Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions has warmed our planet and caused ocean temperatures to rise. Warmer water near sea level feeds hurricanes, but this process is usually mitigated by strong hurricane winds that push warm water lower and bring cold water to the surface. Unfortunately, the water below the surface that Harvey churned to the top wasn’t cold – this is a direct consequence of climate change.
Kevin Trenberth, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, estimates the human contribution to Harvey as high as 30%. That is a disastrous number, and climate change is only getting worse.
My Constant Readers understand that I am not literally saying a divine being caused Harvey to punish us for climate change. We created Harvey – not the storm itself (except for that 30%), but the damage, the misery, the loss of human life. That is on us, and a result of our dedication to the Satanic system of capitalism.
No matter how hot the oceans get, or how many record-breaking heat waves we experience, we are unable to mount any serious action against climate change. Capitalism will not allow it. The oil and gas industry in the US has already spent over $64 million in lobbying in 2017, which is not even an election year. Since fossil fuels make up 65% of global emissions, their stranglehold on government and business makes the task of combating climate change seem laughable.
Efforts made by the liberal governments of this world – such as the Paris climate accords – will not stop the march of climate change. No matter how bad the effects of climate change get, companies still must be able to make a profit. Saving the world is literally secondary to the profit motive.
That is the ultimate evil of capitalism – as I always say, capitalism only solves problems when/if it becomes profitable to do so. Even some of the best and most tireless advocates for solving climate change, such as Bill Nye, are stuck on free market “solutions.”
We cannot wait for the free market. The market is fundamentally unable to provide a solution in time – not without the loss of millions of lives to catastrophic weather events like Harvey, or any of the myriad of other disasters climate change directly or indirectly brings: drought, famine, political unrest, and if we wait too long, the annihilation of civilization as we know it.
There is a dramatic and poetic irony in the fact that Harvey hit Texas – one of the worldwide centers of fossil fuel production. Numerous oil refineries and rigs have been shut down due to flooding – a sign from God if there ever was one.
And the aftermath of Harvey lays bare the sick exploitation of capitalism for all to see. Desperate people, many of whom have lost everything and are quite literally fighting for their lives, were gouged for basic necessities like food and water by the beloved free market. Hotels doubling their rates, cases of water bottles being sold for nearly $100, gas at $20 a gallon – and the demons of capitalism have the audacity to defend this horrific monetization of human suffering.
I understand how markets work. That is why I am not stopping at demonizing the businesses that did these things – I am demonizing the entire concept of free markets and capitalism. The above-linked article smugly quotes “the laws of supply and demand” and says that price gouging is needed to slow demand in a crisis. Yes, the demands of those desperate people for shelter and clean water must be curtailed somehow.
And nothing more perfectly encapsulates the perversion of Christianity than antichrist preacher Joel Osteen shutting his doors to the least of these who sought refuge in his megachurch – until public outcry forced his hand. Capitalism and its associated greed has poisoned Christianity as surely as it has poisoned the air we breathe.
It is past time for Christians to heed the call of the Kingdom of God and throw off the oppressive chains that bind us all to the “free” market. The same chains that tie our hands to keep us as a society from stopping climate change before it destroys us.
My heart breaks for all of the innocent people who have died or had their lives destroyed. But they are just the latest casualties of a system that makes a virtue out of avarice, a worldview that buys the needy for silver and the poor for a pair of sandals. There will be many more victims to come.
Harvey is only the beginning – a sign of things to take place. Words spoken long ago by Rosa Luxemburg – “We stand at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism” – are no longer a rallying cry but a sober reminder that we are facing destruction that we have brought upon ourselves by turning away from the loving communism of God and to the putrid greed of capitalism.
Heed the signs. Repent. The Kingdom of God is drawing near.