Now Is The Time To Think About Others (not get into silly debates)

A view from the patio.

A view from the patio.

Darkness was starting to fall on the patio around us as the sun slipped behind the tall glass buildings of the city.

M finished her drink and we made our way back inside toward the exit at the front of the restaurant. The place was called Union Social Eatery in North York (pretty good burger, great patio) and we stopped before the large TV on the opposite wall.

It was CP24 News and obviously the channel was giving constant updates about Hurricane Irma and its impact in the Caribbean. The TV was at chest height and I traced my finger over the hurricane’s path as it’s projected to rake across Cuba and curve up toward Florida in the coming days.

My finger slid down a mere inch to the island of Jamaica where M and I have plane tickets booked in 23 days.

Irma will be long gone by then, broken apart like glass as it makes landfall. However, just like broken glass it will do some damage as it shatters and leave behind quite the mess to clean up.

Firstly, I want to offer my thoughts and well wishes to everyone who is A) having to flee their homes that lie in Irma’s path B) those who have already experienced her devastating winds and C) anyone impacted at all by this storm (or Hurricane Harvey that hit Texas on Aug. 25).

Things are really starting to get a little scary down there, especially when the dramatic language starts to come out.

If you missed it, officials in the Leedward Islands of Antigua and Barbuda released a statement about the approaching storming, ending it with “may God protect us all.”

Now, it’s clear that climate change is warming our planet and could potentially be to blame for this devastating storm. The Atlantic water Irma has formed over has been one degree warmer than normal and warm water is FUEL for hurricanes.

I’ve also seen other posts on the wealth of knowledge that is the internet pointing to the sudden frequency of all these storms (Harvey, Irma and the approaching Jose, which appears to be on Irma’s tail). However, let’s not forget that this is hurricane season, and according to the New York Times, the months of August, September and October are the most active months of the six month season.

The Times article continues:

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So, let’s not all get caught up in debates about what is causing these hurricanes and take our minds away from the real issues here. These are real people, real homes and real lives that are being uprooted and destroyed, not to mention that some people may in fact lose their lives because of this storm as they either don’t have the means or the methods of escaping Irma’s wrath.

It’s terrible.

Here’s a great piece that Casey Neistat and the Beme squad put together on the impacts of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. If you follow Neistat on Twitter, you’ll know that his wife’s family in fact lives in Texas and had their home flooded during the storm.

 

The message here is clear though. It’s easy to stand there in a bar in North York, belly full of delicious burger and Stella (I ordered my usual Steam Whistle, but the server mustn’t have heard me), and see the news, blink my eyes and move on to the next thing.

However, I’d like to think I’m a better person than that. Now, being here in Oshawa, I can’t really do much more than write about it. But, I can bring it to the attention of my audience, and in my mind, spreading awareness and a positive ideology is better than coming home and doing nothing.

Below, I’ve shared some links to organizations that are providing support for those impacted by Harvey and Irma. If you can spare it, please send some spare dollars their way. It all helps.

Thanks for reading,

J.J.W.

How to Help

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (over $2.5 million raised)

All Hands Volunteers – Has committed to having volunteers on the ground for the next TWO YEARS to help families and victims recover from the storm. 

The Houston Humane Society – for the doggos in distress.  

P.S. Here’s a link from Vox that has a complete list of places where you can contribute!