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Vancouver's sunny summer the cause of Texas trouble?

By Steve Burgess

Paul (didn't want to provide last name) steers his canoe as he looks to help people retrieve items out of homes that were inundated with water in an area where a mandatory evacuation is still under effect after torrential rains caused widespread flooding during Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey on September 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi on August 25, dumped around 50 inches of rain in and around areas of Houston and Southeast Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Paul (didn't want to provide last name) steers his canoe as he looks to help people retrieve items out of homes that were inundated with water in an area where a mandatory evacuation is still under effect after torrential rains caused widespread flooding during Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey on September 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi on August 25, dumped around 50 inches of rain in and around areas of Houston and Southeast Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

It's all our fault. The flooding in Texas, all the tragedy, and trouble — we did that.

Our weather did, anyway. The high-pressure system recently parked over B.C. — the one giving us so much lovely sunshine — was helping to block the movement of other weather systems to the south, meaning that Hurricane Harvey was stuck in traffic. Rather than do its damage and then move along it remained stuck over Texas. It had Noah to go, and the result was biblical.

We are being paid back for our treachery in some small degree at least. Vancouver area gas prices have climbed thanks to the shutdown of refinery production in the Houston area. A minor inconvenience considering the disaster and misery down south, but a helpful reminder that, as with the weather, far away events can have local consequences.

Of course, it wasn't so bad to hear U.S. President Donald Trump tell it.

“As tough as this was, it’s been a wonderful thing,” Trump said during his Texas visit. “It’s been beautiful. Have a good time everybody ...”

Well said, as usual, Mr. President.

I only hope Trump doesn't find out how B.C.'s sunny summer weather helped cause trouble for Texas. Actually, check that — I hope he does find out. I would love to hear his plans to do something about it. North American Free Trade renegotiations are currently underway in Mexico and the Americans could demand some new weather provisions. No more undocumented storms sneaking in from the Gulf of Mexico, for example. American-made weather for Americans. It would be every bit as realistic as most of the regurgitated pablum that dribbles out of his mouth.

It is not possible to maintain the Trumpy illusion that we can all live in national fortresses. Thick palls of wildfire smoke have been crossing borders north to south and vice versa this summer — cheap metaphors perhaps but necessary ones at the moment. Borders only do so much. We really are connected.

Those NAFTA negotiations in Mexico City are a crucial moment in the Trump era. The president has blustered and bloviated about scrapping this “terrible” deal. All the Trump threats mean negotiators face an even greater challenge than usual — not only must they update and tweak the NAFTA agreement in ways that will work for all, they must deal with a president who understands nothing about trade but plenty about pandering. Like parents on a long summer trip, NAFTA negotiators will have to give Baby Trump something to keep him distracted and happy while the adults do the driving.