Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Environment and Justice

"...Poverty has forced many people into homes in neighborhoods that are vulnerable to everything from flooding to mudslides to toxic air - as if it isn't destabilizing enough to have to worry about safety on war-torn streets, get an education in schools with no resources, or hunt for scarce jobs.

Meanwhile, the stability of the relatively affluent is also under threat. The average American family has spent itself out onto a perilous perch. Credit card debt outstrips savings plans. A sharp economic downturn or the collapse of the U.S. dollar could toss millions overboard into financial crisis.

And of course we are also on the verge of environmental bankruptcy. That big greenhouse-gas bill is fast coming due - in the form of extreme weather events that could overtake more than just the Gulf Coast. Some say it could be Manhattan, and most of our cities are no more ready than New Orleans was. Our levees, dams, schools, and hospitals are crumbling or in poor repair."

On a larger scale, Katrina also shows the flaws of the individualist 'sink or swim' philosophy that dominates both major political parities. That political-economic worldview informed New Orleans's free-market evacuation plan, which ensured that only those with private car sand money could get out.

The Katrina story illustrates clearly the two crises we face in the United States: radical socioeconomic inequality and rampant environmental destruction."

"The Green Collar Economy -
How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems"

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good find...again.

Did you view the longer but more detailed interview on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL01v38aMu8.

It fills in some of the back issues and provides a more nuanced description of how greening the ghetto provides economic benefit to disadvantaged populations.

Gerald Britt said...

Thanks! I look forward to watching this. I saw the interview I posted on CSPAN2 and was happy I was able to share it. I haven't seen this one...