All right, this is bad, and yes, climate change is almost certainly a factor because hotter temperatures allow air to hold more water and increase the likelihood of higher winds, but I want to talk about what will happen afterwards.

When Sandy hit New York and New Jersey, it sucked, but the real damage happened afterwards. Poor people couldn’t afford to fix their homes and were forced out. In New Jersey, beach front properties owned by poor people, which had been in their families for generations, wound up on the market to be bought up by rich people.

Aid was systematically diverted from poor people to their “betters” and the poor parts of town were allowed to rot.

Every disaster like this is an opportunity. When New Orleans was hit, the aftermath was used to destroy public education and bring in charter schools, for another example.

When disaster strikes, the vultures are ready. Harvey will be used to buy up poor people’s property for cents on the dollar and force them out.

That, in America, is what disasters are for.

It is nice to see everyone getting together to help, but the real co-operative action we’ll needed when the government fails (as it will) will be that of people helping each other survive and keep their homes against the efforts of those who want to take advantage of their misery.

And, American civil society being as weakened as it is, except for some efforts on crowd-funding sites and a few overwhelmed community orgs, that cooperative action will not occur on nearly a wide enough scale.

And the rich will get richer, and the poor, poorer.

This is a long-term dynamic. It has been de-facto government and social policy since Reagan.

And it will only change when neoliberalism falls, and only IF it is replaced by something better.

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