An overview of the economic and environmental issues after hurricane katrina in the united states

This report was mentioned on the BBC and other outlets for eerily being so accurate a prediction of what might happen. This report notest that funding does seem to have been diverted or cut, but it is not clear if the levees would have withstood Katrina. Nor is it clear if the damage would have been as bad or not.

An overview of the economic and environmental issues after hurricane katrina in the united states

Boyce, Alice Fothergill, Rachel Morello-Frosch, and Beverly Wright The southern United States has a long history of coping with weather-related disasters and a legacy of institutionalized racism against African Americans.

How consequential is racial inequality in environmental conditions? A Southern California study estimating lifetime cancer risk from air toxins shows, for example, that risk declines as income rises, but is still around 50 percent higher at all income levels for African Americans, Latinos, and Asians.

And lead poisoning, commonly triggered by conditions in older housing, is five times more common among black children than white children. Disaster Vulnerability and Environmental Justice The social dynamics that underlie the disproportionate environmental hazards faced by low-income communities and minorities also play out in the arena of disaster prevention, mitigation, and recovery.

In a sense, environmental justice is about slow-motion disasters—and disasters reveal environmental injustice in a fast-forward mode. Both revolve around the axes of disparities of wealth and power. Lack of wealth heightens the risks that individuals and communities face, for three reasons.

First, it translates into a lack of purchasing power to secure private alternatives to public provision of a clean and safe environment for all. Second, it translates into less ability to withstand shocks such as health bills and property damage that wealth would cushion.

In the aftermath of Katrina, there is an added risk that transfers could turn New Orleans into little more than a theme park for affluent tourists. In the vicious circle of disaster vulnerability, those with less wealth face greater risks, and when disaster strikes, their wealth is further sapped.

But risk is not just about money; even middle-class African Americans, Latinos, and Asians face elevated environmental risks. This reflects systematic differences in power and the legacy of racial discrimination.

Power also shows up in private decisions by firms choosing where to site hazards and how much to invest in environmental protection; their choices are constrained not only by government regulations, but also by informal governance exercised by mobilized communities, civil society, and the press see Pargal, et al.

In both public and private arenas, then, power disparities drive outcome disparities—and the resulting patterns reflect race and ethnicity, as well as wealth. This argument can incorporate the other explanations. What seems to be rational land use, after all, may be predetermined by political processes that designate disenfranchised communities as sacrifice zones see Pulido ; Boone and Modarres ; Wright Indeed, land use decisions often build on accumulated disadvantage.

Likewise, income is a marker of political power, as well as of market strength. The interplay of land use, income, and power means that certain variables used in statistical analyses—such as zoning and household wealth—carry multiple explanations.

To demonstrate convincingly that power is behind siting decisions requires the inclusion of some variables that are directly and irrefutably connected to power differentials.

The most important of these variables is race. Racially disparate outcomes are also important in their own right.

An overview of the economic and environmental issues after hurricane katrina in the united states

And it is precisely racialized risk that has galvanized a movement for environmental equity rooted in civil rights law and activism. Race and racism therefore are at the heart of the evidentiary debate.

For the city of New Orleans alone, these figures were 75 percent and Current estimates indicate that soon the population will be onlywith only 35 to 40 percent Black. For the city of New Orleans alone, these figures were Environmental and transportation justice are at the heart of emergency preparedness and emergency response.

The former provides a guidepost to who is most likely to be vulnerable to the disaster itself, and the latter provides information about who will need the most help when disaster strikes.

It is to the intersection of disaster vulnerability with race, income, and other social characteristics that we now turn. The inequities before and during a disaster are often played out further in the period after a disaster. Many minorities and the poor have had greater difficulties recovering from disasters due to less insurance, lower incomes, fewer savings, more unemployment, less access to communication channels and information, and the intensification of existing poverty Bolin and Bolton ; Bolin and Stanford ; Cooper and Laughy ; Hewitt ; Peacock, et al.

For example, after Hurricane Andrew which struck Florida and Lousiana in Blacks and non—Cuban Hispanics were more likely than Whites to receive inadequate settlement amounts, and black neighborhoods were less likely to have insurance with major companies, a fact that may have been connected to redlining Peacock and Girard Bolin and Bolton concluded that the Blacks, who had lower income than Whites in their study, needed multiple aid sources to deal with large losses because they did not receive enough support from fewer sources.

Blacks were also less likely than Whites to receive Small Business Administration SBA loans, more likely to use interfaith disaster services, and tended to recover economically more slowly.Unlike Hurricane Ivan no offshore oil spills were officially reported after Hurricane Katrina.

However, Skytruth reported some signs of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

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However, Skytruth reported some signs of surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurrican Katrina caused the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States, but much devastation could have been avoided, and the recovery could have been less controversial Global Issues Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues .

For a few years after, national attention was focused on floodplain management, but, as other issues faced the government, efforts to develop a new approach to dealing with flood losses faded.

Hurricane Katrina, with the deaths of over persons and billions of dollars in damages, brought. One of the city’s major ways of securing a stable economy is the fact that the city is a major tourist attraction for the United States.

An overview of the economic and environmental issues after hurricane katrina in the united states

As regional commissioner, Michael Dolfman, reminds us “New Orleans is, or at least, among the most visited cities in the United States.

robustness in the context of the Gulf Coast’s recovery after Hurricane Katrina. We find that George Mason University to study the political, economic, and social aspects of Katrina and to Instead, in dealing with social systems, the technical problems of economic life find.

Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina is reputed to be the most expensive natural disaster that has ever happened to the United States. It is also the cause of the largest number of victims since September, when a hurricane hit Lake Okeechobee.

Hurricane Katrina | Damage, Deaths, Aftermath, & Facts |