Extreme Temperature Diary-February 11, 2018/ Corruption

Sunday February 11th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. Here is today’s climate change related topic: (If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Corruption

To my horror, although knowing human nature I wasn’t too terribly shocked, I learned that FEMA and an Atlanta company really botched helping to take care of those suffering in the aftermath of Maria in Puerto Rico. Apparently FEMA had awarded a $135 million contract to Tribute Contracting LLC to feed people, which should have used all the funds to help alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Tribute delivered only 50,000 meals while promising 18.5 million meals. The full New York Times story is posted here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/06/us/fema-contract-puerto-rico.html

The food delivery operation failed because FEMA didn’t thoroughly vet companies that could deliver the number of required meals, and one company, it would appear, took on a project that they were ill prepared for. When there are big dollars at stake greed and corruption become rampant. We saw this earlier in Puerto Rico when one tiny Montana company, Whitefish Energy Holdings, got a huge contract to help rebuild electrical infrastructure. A large hospital ship, the 894 foot U.S.N.S. Comfort, was sent to San Juan, which at one point only saw an average of six patients per day. The Comfort was also dispatched days after Maria struck, not hours when it was most needed. Poor government oversight is mostly to blame. 

—More than 1 million people still w/o power (28% of the island)
—One hundred thousand people still w/o clean water
—Still a humanitarian emergency

Also:

2 weeks after announcing the privatization of the electricity system, Puerto Rico’s governor just declared the school system will be privatized (charters, vouchers), just like post-Katrina New Orleans. Don’t let anyone tell you it was a success:

Time after time in human history some people have taken advantage of bad situations whether they be gun merchants in time of war, or those now supposedly battling the aftermath of climate change related events. I’m waiting to see articles assigning how much attribution can be placed on Maria and Irma, by the way, but I strongly suspect that these hurricanes were strengthened due to anomalously warm sea surface temperatures. In the future will government be sound and proficient enough to handle more major hurricane landfalls and the creep of sea level rise? If Maria was a test, I’d give the current U.S. administration a D at best. 

Residents of San Isidro, P.R., waited for food and water in October. Credit: Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

So, in future elections let’s keep in mind who can best operate the gears of government such that we get the most bang or help for each taxpayer buck. Future stresses on recovery resources will be enormous if those of 2017 are any indication. Too, those looking to score a quick, corrupt profit from climate change related tragedy should be held into account through courts whether they be contractors or “non-profit” charities. Check before you give.

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I’ll add any reports of ETs for 2/11 later today. 

Oh look what we have here. As of 2/11/18 there are more daily warm records than daily cold records for 2018. The “warm team” spotted the “cold team” a few points in January, but that global warming thing just rules baby. It will be interesting to see if the cold team can come make a come back later this year.

The Climate Guy

 

 

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