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     People who truly care about slowing global warming should get out in front of a major public question which will need to be addressed, some day. This nation will need to do more and more, each year, to help severely damaged communities cope with the increasing number – and the increasing damage levels – of climate-related disasters, such as tornados,  hurricanes, and floods.

     Put simply, we will someday need to begin wrestling with the question of whether all citizens who have not previously served in the military should spend some amount of time – such as a year – working in some sort of public service, helping badly damaged communities clean up, after they have been hit.

     If environmentalists get out in front of that issue, we may be able to change a lot of minds, about our sincerity in wanting to actually help, and our level of commitment to the public good.

          Any discussion of a complex, difficult, potentially emotional, and/or hot-button issue, should start out based on facts, rather than just opinions. If all sides can agree on what the facts are, they will be more likely to at least try to respond to the question, "Well, then, what is our best response, to these facts, and this situation, and the challenge we are facing?"

          So, here is an "opening statement", of hard, real, undeniable facts:


Tornado damage,

Joplin, Missouri 2011


Tornado damage,

Kentucky, 2021

Tornado damage,

Mississippi, 2023

Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans  2005

Hurricane Sandy

Breezy Point, Queens

New York City  2012

HURRICANE IAN_Florida 2022.png

Hurricane Ian

Florida Gulf Coast


Paradise Fire,

Northern California


          It is hoped that the pictures above can help people reach a better understanding of just how much damage has been done, by tornadoes, hurricanes, and fires, just since the year 2005. Back in those days, if a tornado stayed on the ground for as much as 30 miles, that was extraordinary, and all the news reports would remark about how long it lasted, and how far it traveled. But today, distances up to 90 miles have begun to occur, usually once or twice each year.

         That is just one particular statistic, but it points out and illustrates something that EVERY serious climate scientist already KNOWS, to a point of absolute certainty. Each and all of those three types of disasters – tornadoes, hurricanes, and fires – have now entered a period where they will get worse, and worse, and worse, ON AN EXPONENTIAL CURVE, WHICH WILL CONTINUE TO GET EVEN STEEPER, AND STEEPER. As our climate and oceans get warmer and warmer, these types of disasters will not only get worse (in terms of stronger, more powerful, and more destructive), they also will become more and more frequent.

           In nature, both hurricanes and tornadoes convert heat energy, into mechanical energy. Therefore, as more and more heat energy continues to accumulate, endlessly higher, in warmer and warmer clouds, water, humidity, and air that ‘feed and fuel’ either a hurricane or tornado, then the hurricanes and tornados that result will have more energy that they must somehow “throw off, and turn into mechanical energy.” Similarly, as the atmosphere gets hotter and hotter, it will tend to breed, promote, and contribute to more fires, and larger fires. That is like saying, "The hotter something is, the worse it will burn somebody." That is just logic, and common sense; it's more or less a valid definition of what the word "hotter" means, plain and simple.

           And so, the pictures above need to be seen, not as ‘terrible disasters’, but as ‘merely the starting point, and the baseline, and the entry-way, to a series of even larger, even worse, and even more terrible, destructive, and horrific disasters than these’.  That is a basic, fundamental, baseline principle, which needs to be pondered carefully, by anyone who wants to seriously try to understand where global warming and climate change are going to take this planet, and the cities and towns built by humans, over the next several hundred years (or, more accurately, the next several thousand years).

And, that leads to an entirely serious question:

"What WILL America do, and what CAN America do, to try to get ready to rebuild, not just a few, but multiple dozens of towns, cities, and neighborhoods which have been damaged as badly as the neighborhoods shown in the pictures above?"

         That is an absolutely (and even deadly) serious question. Every voter – and every member of Congress – who has enough brains and courage to actually THINK, should try to answer THAT question, before turning and dancing away from hard facts and reality, and making false and empty speeches, pretending to offer comfort and assurance, while really just angling for a better chance to get re-elected, in the next election cycle.

         A proposal that we would like to get into the public discussion has several components:

          1. We need to begin seriously considering, and doing some advance planning for, some type of “Public Service Corps”, which can provide tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, to help do the clean-up, repair, and rebuilding work that will become necessary, here in America, as disasters such as major fires, severe hurricanes, and monster tornadoes become both more frequent, and more severe, due to global warming.

          2. Instead of putting people into just one type of assignment for a year, the assignments should be rotated every 3-4 months, to give people training and experience in a variety of useful, practical skills. Any team of skilled civil engineers could list at least 8 or 10 different types of work that people (especially recent graduates of high school or college) could be exposed to, all of which would be practical and useful in helping keep towns, cities, and societies functional, livable, and able to recover more rapidly from a disaster.


          To help get people thinking about the sorts of good things that could be done, three of the types of tasks we propose, for any public service group, would be as follows:

          (a) People should collect, and transport to processing centers, any wood that can be re-used, from among the huge piles of wooden debris from buildings that were destroyed or severely damaged, by tornadoes or hurricanes. There are substantial and growing efforts underway, in numerous cities and states, to begin making more homes and office buildings out of materials that are often called "manufactured wood", "engineered wood", "cross-laminated timber", and similar names. Most of those are made by using fire-resistant adhesives to glue together long strands and strips of wood. The strips and strands need to be long, so that materials made from them can be stronger, and can withstand high levels of tension and other forces; by contrast, the types of "sheetwood" materials usually called "chipboard" or "oriented strand board" are made from smaller and shorter chips and flakes (usually less than three inches long), and those cannot approach the same levels of strength that are found in "manufactured beams". Anyone interested in "manufactured wood" materials should do an internet search for "manufactured wood" combined with "office buildings"; and, there is a trade group called Woodworks Wood Products Council ( which can provide more information.

          We don't know what actually happened to any of the wood debris that had to be hauled away, after the tornadoes or hurricanes shown in the pictures above. However, that would be worth looking into, because of a basic and important truth: if you can salvage a piece of wood, and turn it into a building material, that action does every bit as much good as growing trees having the same weight as the wood that was reclaimed and recycled. Either act can help "sequester" thousands of tons of carbon, and prevent that carbon from going into the atmosphere, as carbon dioxide. By contrast, when scrap wood is burned, or buried (for termites and soil microbes to get it), it gets turned into carbon dioxide, which is released directly into the atmosphere. Therefore, creating ways to gather, transport, process, and re-use wood from demolished buildings, after a hurricane or tornado, is one of the best and most productive things we could be doing, today.

          (b) After a disaster, people also should begin gathering bricks (if not suited for re-use), chunks and slabs of broken concrete, and any other debris that will not dissolve in water in less than 20 years, and find ways to transport it to a barge-loading dock. The transport preferably should use vehicles which do not require fuel to be burned, such as converted buses or trucks that can have, for example, 20 riders on board, all riding stationary bicycle-type units, which can provide power to drive those vehicles (that also would begin building up an infrastructure and network of those types of human-powered vehicles, for future times when they may become truly necessary). The goal would be to get the chunks of non-soluble debris onto a barge, on a river, which would carry it to either salt water or a large lake, where that debris would be assembled (under skilled management by marine biologists) into artifical reefs, which fish and other marine life can use to begin building up their populations again (after years of severe over-fishing, pretty much all around the world).

          (c) People also should begin gathering old discarded car and truck tires, grinding them into small chunks, and  converting them into railroad ties, using either adhesives, or extrusion processing. Those types of railroad ties would be extremely durable, since the rubber will allow them to flex, rather than crack and decay over a span of 10-20 years (largely because even small amounts of water, which will seep into any cracks or fissures in wooden railroad ties, expands with great force, when it freezes into hard ice). Better railroads also would help reduce energy consumption; a train uses only about 1/17th the amount of fuel that a standard highway truck uses, to carry a ton of freight a fixed distance; and, sources such as the EPA report that trains use only about 1/2 the amount of fuel, per passenger, when compared to commercial airplanes, for a comparable trip between the same two cities. In addition, if chopped-up tires are used to make railroad ties, there would be no need to use expensive steps to remove the steel wires or nylon meshes that are used to reinforce the rubber in tires. And, finally, getting rid of mountains of old discarded car and truck tires can help reduce environmental and public health problems, since tires that sit outside make ideal catch-basins for small amounts of rainwater, which will then be protected and held stationary; and, those become efficient and prolific breeding basins, for mosquitos. We don't need so-called "bullet trains" which travel 150 mph; instead, we need once-daily train service between big cities, with only a limited number of stops along the way, so that they can average about 80 mph for the trip, to make them more attractive than cars, and as fast as (or faster than) airplane travel, for any trip less than about 600 miles.

          3. We also suggest that we should at least consider a system in which every American – regardless of age, up until, say, 75 or so – who has NOT previously served in the military, should be “incentivized” to become involved, as a way of ‘pitching in’ and helping their fellow Americans, their communities, their states, and their society, form of government, and civilization.
          Clearly, different types of tasks will be involved, for people of different ages. And yet, even someone who is, for example, 70 years old, can show up at a community kitchen, and help prepare and serve meals to other people who are doing other public-service work; or, they could help monitor, contribute to, and improve the quality of work and care that are being performed at day-care centers, or at after-school activities for kids and teenagers.
          The incentives would not have to be monetary; indeed, more could likely get done, if things such as recognition, honors of various types, reputation boosters, reduced-price fares and tickets for various things, and perhaps even marginally-reduced tax rates, for people who have contributed to society in other positive ways.  

           A great deal more can, should, and will be said about this type of proposal, as the need for it becomes more and more pressing, and then urgent, and then dire. Our goal, in bringing it up now, is to try to help get it added to the mix sooner, rather than later, during discussions and debates over how America should try to deal with climate change, so that we can start moving – sooner, rather than later – in a direction we will need to move in, some day, as the disasters grow even worse.​

           Please note, also, that it will take YEARS to actually develop, organize, plan, get Congress to create and fund, and create any sort of large-scale program such as this, before it can get started, for real. ANYONE who chooses to support it – and, anyone who chooses to oppose it – must recognize and accept that fact, and talk and behave accordingly. NO ONE should begin screaming and yelling things like, "We need to do this, NOW!!" That type of screaming and yelling can be (and will be) attacked, belittled, criticized, and dismissed by the powers-that-be, as ‘unreasoning hysteria’ and worse. So, we need to approach this subject, and discuss and debate it, calmly, maturely, and professionally.


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