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Oh, Houston.

What a mess. What a disaster. How horrible. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Houston had 50″ of rain fall in short order, drowning the city. While 50″ of rain was unprecedented, it was not unpredicted. We know that as the climate continues to heat up, we will have more severe storms, storms off the chart, storms that shut down, destroy whole cities. This time it drowned the fourth largest city in America.

50″ of rain would have drowned any city (it will drown many more in the near future), but Houston has been a poster child for the absence of big government in the form of any sort of zoning, absence of protection of green space to facilitate rain absorption rather than creation of run-off, and existence of massive destruction of wetlands via rampant, unregulated sprawl.

There are crazies that deny that any of this matters. I get that; there will be crazies always. But what gets me is all the rest of we adults in the room. We know better. We have a pretty good sense of what’s coming. Why are we in denial? Why are humans ever in denial?

We can predict the future. We do it every day. We take action each day because we know that action will impact the future. In that way, we bring order our future. But if the future is unpleasant we often pretend it doesn’t/won’t/can’t exist. Perhaps if we ignore it, it will go away. But it doesn’t go away; it just gets worse.

Of course, I deal with this in my practice with my divorce clients and potential clients who have seen the writing on the wall for years but have willingly donned blinders so that they don’t have to read it. “What I don’t know, won’t hurt me.” But it always does. And the longer the blinders stay on, the more it hurts.

Houston is hurting. Bad. And we have read that writing chapter and verse. This falls on us all. Time for us to take the blinders off. Time for us all to grow up and try to take charge of our future.

Michael Manely

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