By Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes in Open Democracy - But the structural inequality and institutional racism that underpinned the Bush administration’s response is still there, a fact that President Obama noted on his visit to New Orleans this week. Moreover, the already bloated military and security complex that reflected these power relations has expanded enormously since Katrina – and is now using the spectre of climate change to grab yet more public resources. Two years after Katrina, in 2007, the Pentagon released its first major report on climate change, warning in no uncertain terms of an “age of consequences” in which, amongst other things, “altruism and generosity would likely be blunted.” This was followed up a year later by an EU security report that talked of climate change as a “threat multiplier” that “threatens to overburden states and regions which are already fragile and conflict prone.”
By Staff for Popular Resistance - Gulf South Rising (GSR) is a coordinated regional movement created to highlight the impact of the global climate crisis on the Gulf South region (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida). Through collaborative actions and events around strategic dates in 2015, like the 5-year commemoration of the BP Oil Crisis and the 10-year commemoration of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, GSR demands a just transition away from extractive industries, discriminatory policies, and unjust practices that hinder equitable disaster recovery and impede the development of sustainable communities. Gulf South Rising recognizes the roots of the environmental and climate crisis, it "acknowledges that the global climate crisis is rooted in economic theories that promote mass consumption of limited resources, laws that maintain inequity, and social hierarchies and governance processes that limit civic participation."
By Elizabeth C. Yeampierre in The Guardian - Those of us from low-income communities of color are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. US cities and towns that are predominantly made up of people of color are also home to a disproportionate share of the environmental burdens that are fueling the climate crisis and shortening our lives. One has only to recall the gut-wrenching images of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath to confirm this. At a time when police abuse is more visible than ever thanks to technology, and our communities continue to get hit time and time again by climate catastrophe, we can’t afford to choose between a Black Lives Matter protest and a climate justice forum, because our survival depends on both of them.
By Ruth Breech in Rainforest Action Network - With the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina around the corner — August 29th — I’ve been thinking about justice. What do environmental justice, and climate justice, mean to me? Who are my environmental justice and climate justice (s)heroes? When I think about justice, I think about communities living on the front lines. People living on the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Miami. People living near industrial facilities — mines, refineries, and power plants. Too many of these people are sick. They are physically ill with diseases like asthma, COPD, cancer, reproductive and neurological challenges. As weather patterns drastically change, these sick people are also bearing the brunt of climate disasters. From those suffering from the recent flooding in Houston, to the farm workers in California’s drought-hit Central Valley, to the families still living with the horror of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita — these people face injustice every day.
By The Laura Flanders Show - Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, a new documentary from The Laura Flanders Show and teleSUR English explores the race, class and gender outlines of the reconstruction of New Orleans. At least seventy-one billion dollars in federal money has been spent. But has every opportunity been seized to bring back not just the place, but its people, so they’re stronger and healthier than before? We explore, from the grassroots, systemic changes in housing, economic development, and policing. How have federal, state and city policies affected the people of New Orleans? Featuring interviews with Lieutenant General Russel Honoré, the commander of military relief operations during Katrina; former New Orleans city council president Oliver Thomas; current city council president Jason Williams; developer Sean Cummings; activists and former public housing residents Alfred Marshall and Toya Lewis; Brice White of the Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative; spoken word artist Asia Rainey; youth activist Milan Nicole Sherry; and Rosana Cruz of Race Forward.