Yes, the loss in PR is greater than words can express.
Back in the 1980s I gigged on cruise ships for 3 years and San Juan was our long port. I met a lot of very nice people there, some musicians, some merchants, and I feel really badly for them.
Luis Angel taught me how to properly play Salsa music, and in return I gave him tips on North American music. Junior Laredo could play two keyboards, kick bass pedals, manipulate two drum machines at the same time, and sing so well he sounded like a Salsa/Merengue orquesta. I didn't have enough Spanish in my mouth nor did he have enough English for us to get very far in conversation, but we had a nice talk anyway. Ronnie, who worked a kiosk at the cruise port and was born in New York but didn't learn English until he moved to PR one day closed his shop for a while to drive us to a Salsa Festival in Bayamon where a dozen of the top Salsa and Merangue bands were playing, headlined by the Gilberto Santa Rosa Orquestra, and told us to call him if we couldn't get a ride back. Edwino took us to El Bosque Nacional El Yunque (rain forest) where we saw exotic vegetation, clouds forming as the wind blew through a mountain pass only to disappear at the other end of the pass, and when nightfall came, the chorus of the coqui frogs was overwhelming and delightful.
I suppose El Morro still stands, I hope the Pablo Cassals museum didn't lose it's collection, and I hope the coqui come back, but most of all, I hope the transitions of lives of the survivors is a quick and efficient as possible on their way back to normal.
As we know Irma set records on high wind speed duration making it the second most powerful storm ever, exceeded to only one typhoon in the Pacific. And the typhoons are generally a lot more powerful than the Atlantic storms because the Pacific is bigger and they have more time to grow.
It was also the most powerful Atlantic storm on record and the first time we had two storms of that magnitude in the Atlantic at the same time. Followed again by Maria and I've never seen a hurricane season like this one.
I know that isn't proof of climate change, but it certainly makes one think the scientists are right about it, since more powerful storms are one of the predictions they made as far back as the 1950s when they first started studying the long-term effects of this.
And now that we are one of only two nations that haven't agreed to the Paris agreement, we are no longer the leaders in this respect - and in the eyes of the rest of the world, we are no longer those "Nice Americans" but instead a scourge on the planet.
I saw an interview with a resident of one of those Pacific islands that are no longer habitable due to ocean rise, and when the reporter asked her who is to blame for this, her immediate response was "America".
Perhaps because I live in a hurricane zone and have survived over a dozen so far, or because I've seen the Indian River Lagoon rise, or because I've seen the over 90% decrease in wildlife in the Everglades National Park, I'm easier convinced than others about the human contribution to climate change. It's not a Chinese hoax or a liberal one either (even Rush Limbaugh fled the hurricane after trashing it as a liberal plot - they shouldn't have let him leave after that).
There is an overwhelming amount of good science that points to this, and yes, science can be wrong, but science is self correcting and moves towards better understanding of the world.
My clean up is almost done, the battery lanterns put away, the emergency radio recharged and put away, the storm awnings up, the storm panels down, most of the plant debris is in huge piles waiting for the socialist trash pickup to come and take them away (they're working as hard as they can), the extra generator gas slowly going into the car's gas tank, and for me, life is returning to normal. We even have non-cancelled gigs this weekend
For those in the Antilles and Houston, it won't be so easy.
Please think about global warming, do what you can to limit your pollution, and don't vote for climate change deniers from any political party. And that's as political as I intend to get here.
Insights and incites by Notes