Hurricane Maria Recovery: OECS moves beyond climate change to climate reality

By OECS

In the wake of Hurricane Irma and Maria, emergency personnel, food and other supplies are reaching critically affected islands with a focus on the stabilizing the injured and securing communication lines as the regional narrative now turns to climate reality.

“Regrettably these occurrences ominously suggest that as Small Island Developing States we have now moved beyond climate change to one of climate reality with the need for enhanced institutional and international frameworks of support to deal effectively with future hurricanes and other associated hazards”

Dominica Update

A Venezuelan search and rescue team departed for Dominica yesterday (Sept. 21) on the Express des Isles Ferry service with travel funded by Cox and Co. to locate the injured and missing while a specialist medical team was transported in by helicopter.

A Cuban contingent of emergency and medical specialists with sniffer dogs are due to arrive in Dominica shortly.

Concurrently, a specialist team from the Dominican Electricity Services arrived back home to a state of disaster after helping Anguilla in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules said solidary in the OECS was being galvanized after the region was pummeled by the unprecedented ferociousness and frequency of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“In addition to the crucial support being provided by the Caribbean Disaster Management Emergency Agency (CDEMA), the OECS is also grateful to our development partners and those nations that have come to the aid of affected Member States as they go about rebuilding their shattered lives and property.

“As information comes to hand we will be providing public updates as to relief efforts and I urge everyone to make a monetary or in-kind contribution to our rebuilding program which is going to take months.

“There is a need for many items and we are especially mindful of the most vulnerable and weak in the community including women, children the sick and elderly.

“Regrettably these occurrences ominously suggest that as Small Island Developing States we have now moved beyond climate change to one of climate reality with the need for enhanced institutional and international frameworks of support to deal effectively with future hurricanes and other associated hazards” said Dr. Jules.


Green Party of the United States
http://www.gp.org
@GreenPartyUS

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, August 31, 2017

Contact:
Scott McLarty, Media Director, 202-904-7614, scott@gp.org

Green Party: Hurricane Harvey is the latest alarm bell on climate change

• Talking points on the storm, global warming, and Green solutions

• Texas Greens urge support for frontline relief efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party leaders are calling Hurricane Harvey the latest alarm bell on global warming and said that President Trump and Congress must make solving the climate crisis the nation’s top priority.

Greens expressed sympathy and solidarity with people in Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana who are suffering the effects of the hurricane and have lost homes, belongings, and loved ones.

“Along with providing relief to those affected by Harvey, we need a reversal of the U.S. political establishment’s irresponsible direction on climate change. The only solution to the crisis is a Green solution,” said Wesson Gaige, co-chair of the Green Party of Texas.

Texas Greens are urging support and donations to several frontline relief organizations: visit http://www.txgreens.org/news and http://www.colorlines.com/articles/how-donate-money-and-other-aid-communities-color-houston. The Green Party of the United States held its 2016 Presidential Nominating Convention at the University of Houston.

The Green Party listed talking points on Hurricane Harvey, climate change, and Green solutions:

• The severity of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it wreaked in Houston must be recognized as an effect of climate change and an indication of similar and worse disasters to come. The planet’s climate functions as a system: there are no isolated storms, all weather is affected by global warming. The Trump Administration’s rejection of science is already having deadly consequences.

• Although rainfall from Harvey is unprecedented, 2017 is the city’s third year with severe flooding. The disaster in Houston is one of many floods around the world that have displaced tens of millions this summer, with more than 1,000 deaths in South Asia.

• Lowering the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is urgently necessary, otherwise increasingly unstable weather and the rise of sea levels promise a future of Katrinas, Sandys, Harveys, mass population displacement, and global social breakdown in the coming decades. Working class communities, the poor, and people of color are facing the worst effects. The only solution is a rapid conversion from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.

• The Green Party has called for 100% renewable energy by 2030. To achieve this goal, Green candidates are promoting the Green New Deal, a plan to reorganize the U.S. economy, expand the public sphere, and create millions of new jobs in conservation and energy conversion.

• The Green Party has compared global warming to the global threat posed by the Axis powers at the beginning of World War II and has called for U.S. leadership in a worldwide alliance to end the crisis that includes peaceful cooperation with currently perceived enemies like Russia and Iran.

• ExxonMobil and other companies that knew about the reality of climate change placed oil refineries and other toxic sites in flood zones. In the wake of Harvey, their irresponsibility resulted in a toxic brew that is now spreading over hundreds of square miles and contaminating water tables. Two explosions and fume injuries were reported Thursday morning. The poor and people of color who live in affected areas are suffering the most harm. State and local governments in Texas have refused to undertake any preparation or enact regulation in the face of predictable emergencies.

• Only the Green Party is taking the climate crisis seriously. Greens said that a political field limited to two parties, both of which accept money and influence from the fossil-fuel industry, has become a threat to future generations.

Republicans, led by President Trump, continue to deny that the crisis exists and are dismantling environmental regulations and agencies, including the EPA, even as the need for these agencies and for regulation has grown. Republicans are likely to use Hurricane Harvey to call for more drilling and refineries.

The Green Party has condemned President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change.

Democrats acknowledge the crisis but won’t take necessary action. The Obama Administration made sure that the Paris accords were not legally binding and President Obama boasted of increased oil production.

Hillary Clinton and her representatives kept carbon taxes, a ban on fracking, and other measures out of the 2016 Democratic Party platform.

Green Party leaders said that the “100 by ’50 Act” (Senate Bill 987) introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Oreg.) and Bernie Sanders (Ind.-Vt.) was “too little, too late” in light of warnings from scientists about the severity of the crisis.

See also:

Water Contamination a Concern After Hurricane Harvey
Bloomberg, August 28, 2017

We’re Nowhere Near Prepared for the Ecological Disaster That Harvey Is Becoming
By Charles P. Pierce, August 30, 2017

Why are the crucial questions about Hurricane Harvey not being asked?
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, August 29, 2017

The Uninhabitable Earth; Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.
By David Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine, July 9, 2017

Videos from the Green Party’s 2017 Annual National Meeting in Newark, N.J., July 13-16: Press conferences, plenary speeches, and more

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