Green Party
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 1, 2005
3:16 PM
CONTACT: Green Party
Scott McLarty, 202-518-5624, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, starlene@greens.org, c. 916-995-3805
 
Greens call Katrina a Predictable Result of Global Warming
 
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 extremely crucial.

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 Katrina:

. 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.?

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