Monday, 21 January 2013


Surfing Wikipedia looking for cool pictures of monasteries, I found this picture after reading the article about the Ursuline order. It bears the title "Looking North from Ursuline Academy, Showing Wrecked Negro High School Building" (very direct language, don't you think?). The 1900 Galveston hurricane is the deadliest natural disaster ever to have struck the United States, with an estimated death toll of between 6,000 and 12,000 people.

While this was happening, Barack Obama's second inauguration was taking place in Washington, DC. (If you're bothered by me posting a picture with a title containing the word "negro" while writing about Obama, please remember that he's not any more "black" than "white".) Here, he finally spoke of the main challenge of this age in human history:

'We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries — we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.'

Although this picture was taken long before the scientific proof of climate change was established, please let it be a reminder of what lies ahead, if this generation fails to take action.

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