It wasn’t very long ago that people would talk about the weather in order to avoid discussing contentious topics like politics and religion. But, like the Black Rhino, those days are long gone. Daily dumping and pumping tons of pollutants into the world, our political economy is now known to significantly influence meteorological phenomena; and the once anodyne subject of the weather has become a highly charged, political one.
In spite of this, mainstream political thought continues to treat environmental disasters, such as the “historic” flooding inundating North America this summer (in Wisconsin, Maryland, West Virginia, and, most recently, in Louisiana and Mississippi), as natural, or inevitable, as opposed to political and economic, events. Indeed, while climate change is one of the most pressing social concerns of all, aside from what Jill Stein has been saying about climate change, serious discussion of the issue is practically absent from the ongoing presidential race. And though recent events, such as the one-in-10,000 year rain storm that inundated Houston, Texas this past April, are widely reported, journalists typically neglect the basic question of why when reporting on what, when, and where the latest ecological calamity struck.