WASHINGTON - September 1 - Green Party members, rallying to
help people hit hard by hurricane Katrina in
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, began to ask
questions about preparations for the disaster and the
link between increased hurricanes and global warming.
Greens within traveling distance have offered rooms in
their homes for those displace by Katrina, while
Greens throughout the U.S. pledged to help keep the
Green Party alive in affected states at a time when
addressing humanitarian and environmental issues is
Green Party member Bart Everson, who escaped from New
Orleans to Bloomington, Indiana, established a
clearinghouse of information for Katrina victims and
those willing to assist them: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/katrina-refugees/
"Louisiana has a special place in Greens' hearts,
since the Green Party of Louisiana became the most
recent state party to achieve official ballot status,
in the face of difficult requirements," said Marc
Sanson, co-chair of the Green Party of the United
States. On August 8, 2005, the Green Party of
Louisiana became the first qualified progressive party
on the ballot since 1916.
Green Party leaders asserted that the Katrina disaster
raises some urgent questions about the environmental,
safety, and public health priorities of the Bush Administration, as well as state and local governments in the region affected by
. Will the Bush Administration and other skeptics
recognize Katrina -- the sixth hurricane to hit
Florida in the space of a year -- as a symptom of the human-influenced global warming? Will they acknowledge that the growing number of destructive hurricanes are a result of rising surface water temperatures, consistent with other manifestations of global warming around the world?
. What steps will be taken to conserve fossil fuel
consumption, in the wake of disabled drilling
operations in the Gulf and the role of greenhouse
gases in the generation of storms like Katrina? Does
President Bush understand that relaxing environmental
standards to provide more gasoline during the current
shortage and price surge will aggravate the conditions
that create killer storms?
. In the face of growing evidence that a hurricane
like Katrina was likely (especially after hurricane
Ivan in September, 2004), why did the Bush
Administration cut funding for the Southeast Louisiana
Urban Flood Control Project and other aid for
environmental emergencies? Given the likelihood of
more killer storms along the eastern seaboard in
coming years, possibly as far north as New York and
New England, what steps are being taken to ensure
public health and safety in population centers?
. What steps will be taken to reverse overdevelopment
along flood plains, which eliminated flood-buffering
wetlands and vegetation, and to end reliance on
levees, which cut off natural water channels and
increase water velocity?
. Will chemical firms and public officials be held
responsible for the notoriously haphazard storage of
toxic products near population centers --
disproportionally located near African American and
poor white neighborhoods in states like Louisiana --
which pose a public health threat because of Katrina's devastation?
. What prevented the National Guard of the Gulf Coast
states from helping with evacuations of the poor and
elderly as Katrina approached? Why is the National
Guard limited in its ability to assist after the
hurricane? To what extent was such assistance limited
by the deployment of the National Guard and equipment
in the war on Iraq? Why did the White House and
Congress consider and invasion of Iraq (which was
never a credible threat to the U.S., despite the Bush Administration's fraudulent claims) more urgent than an impending and predictable hurricane disaster in the southeast U.S.?