Prayers outnumber all other calls in catastrophe, the survivors flooded with gratitude for their physical salvation. God is always the hero - and the prime mover. An infamous Fox News anchor bully once voiced the prevailing conservative view - God controls the weather, not man.
As God rescues individual supplicants, believers sing God's praise but are hesitant to pose the 800-lb. question in the room: Why did God make Harvey hit Houston in the first place? What mysterious ways is God moving in now? Is there a reason God chose to teach Houston such a cruel lesson?
One escape for the divinely bewildered is to blame man. Many conservative conspiracy buffs believe all severe weather and earthquake events are deliberately man-made using secret, exotic tech in the hands of the evil elite, because God couldn't be so mean. Admittedly, the neat targeting of Harvey at Houston, the heart of the oil industry, certainly does smack of the intentional. But the power elite LOVES oil. Why attack what they cherish? This makes no more sense than a deliberately caused Fukushima, when the elite also love and cherish nuclear power as their go-to backup. This view makes the elites into self-destructive eco-terrorists out to ruin their own profit streams while completely dismissing and disrespecting the overwhelming reality and primal power of Nature, which is the all and everything a creator God has made and put in motion, including us.
However, what a spiritually blind science can unavoidably see, measure and confirm as certain as day is the cause of the massive rainfall, the bee in Nature's bonnet - hot air.
Science is so conservative, they're cowed into not connecting obvious dots until lengthy research compiles terabytes of history, by which time we may all be history. The laws of Chaos prevent any one event from being traced in detail to all originating factors. So they can't say the obvious: Global warming caused Harvey's record flooding.
Let's call it what it is and what it was before Big Oil shills attacked - global warming. Simple, succinct and accurate, the globe is warming fast from greenhouse gases we put in the air. Some who refused to accept the obvious suddenly acquired an education in planetary history and claimed that climate has changed in the past, so hey, it's natural. Expert brayers of their new-found knowledge (and well paid by their oil industry patrons), they succeeded in diluting the obvious wording to a more nebulous, generic and politically correct "climate change," leaving the cause open to question.
It's Global Warming, folks. The greenhouse effect. Excess carbon dioxide causes it, and methane, a hundred times more greenhouse-y, will be speeding it up very soon.
Atmosphere and oceans are heating up. Hotter air does two things: it evaporates more water, and it also holds more water, geometrically more water with increasing heat. Accelerated evaporation with expanding capacity means much more water is loading storms. Extremely hard and heavy downpours have been manifesting for years.
TURBULENCE OF CHAOS
Gas has the most freedom of movement of matter states, and is the most chaotic. Our atmosphere is a giant chaotic circulation system that had been ordered into a state of relative equilibrium primarily by Earth's rotation, distance and angle to the sun, atmospheric absorbtion/reflectivity, and the varying temperatures that result. Temperature, while variable, is vitally important in maintaining the balance.
Each hemisphere circulates sinking cold air near the poles down and towards the equator where heating raises and returns it towards the pole. Earth's spin puts a curving skew to these patterns causing spiral effects like hurricanes while the frigid poles are hemmed in by a laterally circulating rivers of air, the jet streams.
As everyone knows who's watched water start to boil, when the temperatures begin to suddenly rise, the whole system experiences turbulence until it finds new equilibrium. We are well into the era of turbulence, where the jet stream loosens, meanders, breaks and knots; where ordinary weather patterns and seasonal changes are chaotically disrupted in unpredictable ways causing extremes: droughts in wet climates, floods in dry ones; not just heat in colder areas but severe cold in warmer ones. Whenever peoples are being robbed of vital rain for prolonged periods, others are getting deluged relentlessly. All this and more is the direct result of man after all - not evil conspirators driving hurricanes, but evil conspirators burning oil and lying about the consequences.
The stats no longer apply. 100-yr., 500-yr. and 1000-yr. flood recurrence intervals are statistics based on a long history of equilibrium. Houston has now suffered three 500-yr floods in three years. All these actuarials are obsolete, and a massive insurance crisis looms as global warming disaster losses accelerate.