L. Hunter Lovins
Or if it’s not, as Tommy Lee Jones observed in the movie No Place for Old Men, “It’ll do til the mess arrives.” That was a dark movie, and this is a dark time for 3.5 million American citizens. While Puerto Rico is not a state, its residents ARE Americans. They pay taxes. They vote for the President, although not this one. Now they are citizens in crisis, largely abandoned by therest of us. They will struggle without power and basic life support services for months to come; far too many will needlessly suffer and die.
Finally, the Navy has been dispatched with emergency generators, with hospital ships, with helicopters and some of the rest of the massive humanitarian capacity that the mightiest military in the world has at its fingertips. It only took 8 days for this to happen.
Why? Because Puerto Rico is broke. When Florida faced Irma’s wrath, tens of thousands of utility workers from across the South staged themselves and their gear so that they could restore power as soon as the winds subsided. But the Florida utilities are ready and able to pay for repairs—with, of course, hefty contributions from the Feds. Despite this, nursing home patients perished without life-saving electricity, their voicemail pleas to the governor subsequently deleted.