“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” – Matthew 25:40
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: September 28, 2022 ~
This morning, the words “catastrophic” and “dangerous” and “life threatening” are being used to describe Hurricane Ian, a category 4 hurricane that is expected to make landfall this afternoon on Florida’s Gulf Coast, then rip through the central and northern parts of the state.
Those words are weighing heavily on the minds of Floridians this morning, as well as the words above from Matthew 25, verse 40.
It was exactly two weeks ago to the day that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lured desperate migrants, including children, who were seeking asylum in the United States after a treacherous journey from Venezuela, to board two charter planes that dumped them on Martha’s Vineyard as a political stunt. The food-insecure migrants were lured to sign a document to agree to the flights with $10 gift certificates to McDonald’s.
In reporting the story, the New York Times wrote this about the generous response from local residents on Martha’s Vineyard who had no advance notice of the surprise arrival of the migrants: “Officials and volunteers from the island’s six towns ‘really moved heaven and earth to essentially set up the response that we would do in the event of a hurricane,’” quoting Massachusetts State Senator Julian Cyr. The migrants arrived on Martha’s Vineyard around 3 p.m. September 14. Around 3 p.m. today, much of Florida will be a living hell from the “event of a hurricane.” Florida is the third most populous state in the United States with 22 million residents.
DeSantis is a three-term Congressman who resigned from Congress in order to run a full-time campaign to be Florida’s governor against Democrat contender Andrew Gillum. In a 2018 CNN debate between DeSantis and Gillum, when asked about climate change, DeSantis said he didn’t “want to be an alarmist” – the standard response from climate science deniers. Gillum responded that if he were elected, Florida would “have a governor who believes in science, which we haven’t had for quite some time in this state.”
The political action committee of Koch Industries, the fossil fuels conglomerate that is packing Congress and state legislatures with climate deniers and Biden election deniers, was the seventh largest career donor to DeSantis during his years in Congress.
Hurricane Ian is also expected to have a serious impact on Florida’s already destabilized property insurance market. The property insurance market was already expected to lose $1 billion this year.
With Florida having the highest property insurance premiums in the U.S., the issue is being used by Charlie Crist, who is challenging DeSantis for Florida Governor in November. (Crist is a former Republican governor of Florida who is now running on the Democratic ticket to unseat DeSantis.) Crist released a statement on Monday, saying: “Governor DeSantis let these insurance companies double Floridians’ rates and they’re still going belly up when homeowners need them most.”
For the most recent updates on Hurricane Ian, visit the National Hurricane Center here.