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Disaster Recovery Should Heal, Not Divide, Our Communities


Disaster Recovery Should Heal, Not Divide, Our Communities

Richard Eskow

Houston has barely begun to recover from Hurricane Harvey, as Irma devastates the Caribbean and heads towards Puerto Rico and Florida. Its hard to imagine all the grief, effort, and cost it will take to rebuild from one of these thousand-year storms, much less two.

But we better get used to it. Climate science tells us more superstorms are coming. We should learn how to recover from them in a smart, humane way – one that promotes economic and social justice, so people, families and communities can truly heal.

Trump and the Republicans are about to do it the other way.


Richard Eskow quotes the TV show “The Wire.” I highly recommend “Treme.” This is a TV series that was made by the same writers, producers, and many of the same actors as “The Wire.” “Treme” highlights New Orleans culture and people both before and after Katrina in a way that both focuses on real people’s lives and culture, and the real crimes of the scam artists, both inside and outside government, who are the perpetrators of disaster capitalism.


The scam artists. Yes, let us identify them all. Where should we start? This will take some work because, as you say, they are inside and outside of every level of government. They are in our neighborhoods. They are of every color and size and shape imaginable. They can wear fancy uniforms with elaborate buttons and baubles, of
all manner. Their friends may wear white robes, or black, as well. Some have elaborate head gear.
They are very capable shape-shifters, too. So, they appear on our TEEVEE as good and enlightened human beings. In our history books as brave killers and vanguishers of evils. The best and the brightest of our nation. Honored and exalted, given medals and sometimes even statues in our most sacred, honored common spaces. They preach from pulpits and lofty podiums; praising predestination and more prosperity, often to packed houses of the already well to do.
The scam artists. Yes, let us identify them all.


I agree with everything Richard Eskow says in this excellent article! All of his points could be largely realized by simply getting out of Afghanistan, getting out of South Korea, and eliminating corporate tax loopholes. It is time to wake up to the fact that the poor and the lower middle class loses ground after every natural disaster, while the wealthy use the “recovery” as an opportunity to further enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

It is time for a (peaceful, but determined) revolution, as that seems to be the only way to make this a government “of, by, and for the people”. We are losing in this Class Warfare, and don’t have much more time to waste. Likewise, we are losing any chance at slowing climate change, or even adapting our policies to reflect its realities.


I could see the Gov of Texas licking his lips as he made clear Texas would need a lot more than Katrina-about 150b more. Then they keep playing these ads about Texas being self reliant???

  1. Public transportation
  2. Contnued federal and state tax credit for SOLAR & wind
  3. Federal & state tax credits for ELECTRIC vehicles
  4. No money for rebuilding in flood plains & other mitigating land uses; Houston
    must not be allowed to continue its devastating sprawl & devotion to oil&gas
  5. Cities must lead the way. Bothj political parties are in thrall to money. Koch
    brothers give to Public Radio&BP&other polluting industries also plaster their own
    names across the arts everywhere
  6. Listen to the young, who must live in the degraded geography of our Mother Earth.
    BROWERYOUTHAWARDS go to young folks demonstrating an ability to work in community
    to solve environmental problems.