Katrina, five years later
Katrina, five years later
Five years ago, our nation watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, taking more than 2,000 lives and displacing hundreds of thousands of others. In Katrina, concerned climate advocates like myself saw a vivid and disturbing preview of a future in which climate change continues unabated; a world in which more frequent and intense extreme weather events and natural disasters wreak havoc upon our communities, especially marginalized low-income communities and communities of color. Five years later, our government still has not taken the bold action we need to address the climate crisis, and the city of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have yet to fully recover from the hurricane’s destruction.
Then this year the BP oil disaster spilled nearly 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, again highlighting the consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels and adding insult to injury for an already struggling Gulf Coast. Yet despite taking repeated blows, the people of New Orleans remain resilient in advocating for the restoration and rebuilding of their communities. With the five-year anniversary of Katrina approaching on Sunday, 1Sky is honored to join our allies at the Hip Hop Caucus and over 40 other local and national organizations in endorsing this year’s Hurricane Katrina Commemoration March in New Orleans on Sunday, August 29.
The march will call for “a comprehensive plan to revive the economic and environmental health of the Gulf Coast.” That comprehensive plan must be matched by comprehensive solutions that address our climate crisis and move our nation to a clean energy economy. How many more oil spills, how many more hurricanes will have to happen before we get serious about addressing these challenges? How many more disasters will New Orleans and our world have to suffer? This year we saw a coal mine explosion in West Virginia kill 28 people and watched as extreme weather manifested itself all over the globe, from wildfires in Russia to floods in Pakistan to landslides in China. The consequences of our fossil fuel addiction are mounting every day, from the Gulf Coast to the Arctic Circle, and it’s time we do something about it.
If you can’t be in New Orleans this Sunday, you can still show solidarity with the Gulf Coast by adding your voice in support of a healthy recovery for New Orleans and the broader region. May the five-year anniversary of Katrina redouble our commitment to working for bold climate solutions, for a sustainable future and justice for communities across the world.