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'Did Climate Change Kill … People in Ellicott City?'


'Did Climate Change Kill … People in Ellicott City?'

Will Bunch

On Memorial Day 2018, members of the Maryland National Guard and some residents of Ellicott City, Md., a historic mill town just west of Baltimore, were way too busy to honor fallen soldiers from America’s past wars. They were occupied instead with searching through the muck and debris from an almost Biblical flood the day before, praying with the increasingly dim hopes that a 39-year-old Air Force veteran and Guard member named Eddison Hermond might be found alive.


Pavement killed people in Ellicott City … again, and just as it did in Houston last year. If you don’t leave any place for the water to go into the ground, you get catastrophic flooding.


So we do not know whether climate changed killed people in Ellicott City. But we do not that if it did not, it’s apt to.

The Harvard estimate about deaths in Puerto Rico partially corrects a typical method of denying the effects of a catastrophe: deaths that might be attributed to multiple causes get ignored. And of course there are probably other ways that the official number was fudged.

The question is not whether, but what to do, no? Will bunch discusses, in large part, what government might or could do. That would be nice.

The Trump and Bush administrations were flamboyantly anti-ecological. But the Clinton and Obama administrations were quietly and suavely anti-ecological. I don’t mind people speaking well, but it makes no direct difference to an ecology.

The routine pathways no longer offer Americans a voice in government, at least not at state and national levels. Republican voters are not interested; Democratic voters are not allowed to choose candidates within their own party.

Therefore, we are not going to get an unforced change of government. Government will continue, for the present, with the plan of levering military control of hydrocarbons to maintain command control of populations.

Where does that leave us?

  • Inaction does not work.
  • Voting is cheap and does establish that some individual Tweedle-Dee or Tweedle-Dum may lose a job. So there is some utility there, but it is woefully inadequate.
  • The government is overwhelmingly well equipped to control violent uprising. Most of what have been called “wars” and “black ops” for a couple generations have been principally wars against populations, and only trivially against one or another government. The vast destruction of much of the globe in recent conflicts ought to tell us the response that will be given to armed insurrection.
  • Nonviolent mass resistance has been usually more effective than insurrection since somewhere in the middle of the 20th century. However government has armed itself against resistance in many ways: crowd-dispersal weapons, extended media control, surveillance and murder or other removal of key individuals involved in passing information, infiltration, abundant acts by agents provocateurs. To succeed, mass action needs an information service and some way to motivate government to avoid its more extreme acts of violence.
  • Dispersed acts of resistance may be effective if coordinated, but the tendency is that they are not coordinated, so that much of the results are little distinguishable from simple misdirected crime.

Again, an information service of some sort is necessary. One of the major benefits of mass action has been that it brings people together to talk, so that people cease to imagine that they are alone in our views or in our willingness to act. People have to work out ways to do this against advancing methodologies of surveillance and control.


Or Sandy, or Katrina, or Santa Rosa… How many events like this will it take before people start understanding? I asked Mama Earth and she said “Well, none of those seemed to get the message across. Mama’s gonna have to cook up a bigger casserole!”


Great post there bardamu and A descent article by Mr. Bunch…