The very name of Hurricane Camille still strikes fear in the hearts and minds of Mississippians who lived through her fury and wrath some 48 years ago after she left more than 300 people dead in her wake.

One of the most powerful hurricanes to ever strike the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the scars of Camille are still visible nearly a half century later.

As far inland as my hometown of Madison, near Jackson, we had toppled pine trees due to her hurricane force winds that continued to churn eastward toward the Carolina coasts.

Just as with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the scale of human suffering was enormous.

Entire cities such as Waveland and Bay St. Louis were literally wiped off the map.

A photographer friend and his wife who worked at the nearby Stennis Space Center barely survived but were able to ride out the storm.

It is heartwarming to see the outpouring of support from members of the DeSoto and Mid-South communities to the hurricane-torn areas in Texas and Florida.

Faith-based organizations and churches large and small are stepping up to send food, supplies and manpower to help the affected communities rebuild.

Even the tiny congregation of which I am a part at New Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Nesbit is sending what they can to hurricane relief efforts.

It seems that more and more, natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and devastating drought are plaguing the globe.

Some have tried to politicize the issue to their own agendas and advantage while others are simply pretending there is no human culpability or responsibility to the undeniable problem of climate change.

The problem with rising sea levels, disappearing coastlines and melting ice caps is not a Republican nor a Democrat issue. It is a human issue.

It is far too soon in the wake of these most recent back-to-back killer hurricanes to be ascribing blame to the situation of global warming, or place fault on any particular political party, ideology or philosophy.

Over the past 150 years especially, the mounting use of burning fossil fuels has unavoidably contributed to higher ozone levels.

China, with its almost toxic, poisonous, unbreathable air is a prime example of how unhealthy our air can be due to human pollution.

Other counties such as our own, are grappling with the increasing problem. It is not a United States issue.

As a Baby Boomer, I can still recall the image of the crying Indian, Iron Eyes Cody, in those anti-pollution commercials of the 1970s.

A single tear rolled down the cheek of “Old Iron Eyes” as he paddled a canoe down a litter-strewn stream.

Tears alone and wringing of hands will not solve the problem.

Our solid waste landfills are filling up and available space for our human garbage is dwindling.

Here in DeSoto County, government officials and citizens alike are trying to do their parts, collectively, to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill.

County-wide recycling is now available in DeSoto County, with recycling recently approved in rural, unincorporated DeSoto County.

Let’s all do our part to help preserve the planet and leave it in better shape for future generations.

ROBERT LEE LONG  is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at or at 662-429-6397, ext. 252.

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