(Illustration found here).
Beyond the mournful images of Hurricane Harvey’s staggering-impact on southeast Texas, the narrative could spin into a scenario of the worse kind of nightmare. Along the coast are a way-shitload of chemical plants now underwater, or near-about, and possible explosive events that could be really, really bad.
Charles P. Pierce at Esquire this afternoon examined this sort of a behind-the-scenes calamity-in-waiting — along with all kinds of chemicals being produced at various plants, there’s this: ‘Item: And this one may be my favorite, which is to say, the one that pushes me under the bed the furthest. On Galveston Island, there is the Galveston National Laboratory, which is part of the University of Texas Medical Branch. This laboratory contains some of the most deadly biological agents found in the known world, many of them of the airborne variety. It contain several Bio-Safety Level 4 labs, which are basically the places where plagues are studied.’
Reportedly, ‘nobody knows what’s going on there at the moment‘ with the biological lab, though, if the generators run out of fuel, some ugly shit could hit the fan, literally.
The spell, of course, in this case, was cast 30 years ago, when it became political death to increase anybody’s taxes who had any political influence at all.
It was cast 30 years ago, when conservative movement politics pitched deregulation as a panacea.
It was cast 30 years ago when the fiction of a “business-friendly” environment overcame Republican governors, and more than a few Democrats as well.
It was cast 30 years ago when conservative movement politics declared that important decisions on things like the environment and public health were better left to the states, despite the fact that many states, like Texas, were unable or unwilling to pay to do these jobs properly.
It was cast 30 years ago when conservative movement politics consciously moved away from empirical research and science, beginning the long march that has ended with a Republican party committed root and branch to all of these fanciful propositions, and to climate denial. It has filtered down through all the levels of politics, from the White House and the Congress, to the state houses and the local zoning boards.
Once, long ago, the conservative activist Grover Norquist famously said that he wanted to shrink “government” to a size at which it could be drowned in the bathtub.
Well, people actually are drowning in Houston now, and so is the political philosophy that reached its height when Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural that government wasn’t the solution, but the problem itself.
We all moved onto a political flood plain then, and we’re being swept away.
Read the whole piece, one of the scariest so far.
Hurricane Harvey has turn into a monster-watershed event…