Disaster comes in a variety of heartbreaking shapes and sizes, all of them unwelcome. Some, like global warming, are the work of nature; others are man-made. A little bit of rationality is all it takes to figure out which is which. But recent events suggest that the day they were handing out common sense some people stepped up to the nonsense window instead.
Floridians have just felt the deadly impact of Hurricane Irma, and join in common suffering with their distant neighbors in Texas who absorbed a devastating blow from Hurricane Harvey. Those were natural disasters, quite easy to distinguish from the man-made kind, like the disaster that lives in infamy on Sept. 11, with which it shares the date with the storm.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence blames the recent hurricanes on Donald Trump and the voters who elected him. Touting her new movie, “Mother,” she says the film has an “end of days feeling,” similar to the atmosphere she felt in America following the 2016 presidential election. “You know you’re watching these hurricanes now, and it’s really hard, especially while promoting this movie, not to feel Mother Nature’s rage and wrath,” she says. She thinks the nation is being punished for pulling out of the Paris climate-change agreement.
Hollywood denizens often remain trapped inside the fantasy of their art long after the cameras are turned off. After playing a modern-day Amazonian who takes on an inhumane state in “The Hunger Games,” Miss Lawrence has trouble getting her mind around the reality that the United States rejected the “inevitability” of a woman as president for an old white guy.
Along with a number of other fantasy-mongers, Miss Lawrence is persuaded that humans affect the weather and over time, the climate of the entire planet. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, according to this imaginative theory, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, at the direction of President Hillary, would have swerved away and devastated some other unfortunate land, perhaps Mexico, which suffered a deadly earthquake instead. Mother Nature is obviously a feminist, but who knew she’s an anti-Hispanic bigot?
Everyone complains about the weather, as Mark Twain observed, but nobody had done anything about it until Donald Trump arrived to direct the wind and rain to inflict natural disaster. This kind of fuzzy thinking draws attention and energy away from the catastrophes that man actually is accountable for, such as Pearl Harbor, wars and Sept. 11. Radical Muslims crashed two airliners into the twin towers in lower Manhattan, a third into the Pentagon in Washington, and a fourth into a field in Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump may have been responsible for those, too, but they’re still working on the theory of how.
The terrorists of Sept. 11 murdered 3,000 men, women and children and robbed the world of the optimism that accompanied the beginning of the new millennium. The mastermind of this man-made disaster, Osama bin Laden, could have been stopped years earlier, but President Clinton, distracted by fantasies of his own manufacture, chose not to act. As a consequence, the United States went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the fighting still simmers and sometimes rages.
Natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma can be laid only at the feet of Mother Nature. Rather than blame events beyond the control of mortal man, time is better spent helping the victims of the old lady’s wrath, and thwarting the disasters that scheming enemies yearn to visit on America.