The Houston Flood Disaster: A Social Crime of the American Oligarchy

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NDPP
The Houston Flood Disaster: A Social Crime of the American Oligarchy

The Houston Flood Disaster: A Social Crime of the American Oligarchy

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/29/pers-a29.html

"Catastrophes such as the Texas flood are social crimes, committed by a financial aristocracy that has spent the past half-century [longer!] plundering the country and neglecting its social infrastructure, while accumulating unimaginable sums of personal wealth.

It is not that society cannot afford the type of social investment needed to prevent or minimize the impact of events such as Hurricane Harvey. What society cannot afford is the rich..."

NDPP

The Jimmy Dore Show

https://youtu.be/r96cwvJiW44

"MSNBC cuts off reporter telling truth about floods and oil."

Policywonk

NDPP wrote:

The Houston Flood Disaster: A Social Crime of the American Oligarchy

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/29/pers-a29.html

"Catastrophes such as the Texas flood are social crimes, committed by a financial aristocracy that has spent the past half-century [longer!] plundering the country and neglecting its social infrastructure, while accumulating unimaginable sums of personal wealth.

It is not that society cannot afford the type of social investment needed to prevent or minimize the impact of events such as Hurricane Harvey. What society cannot afford is the rich..."

Yup. Katrina was too, obviously. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Catastrophes such as the Texas flood are social crimes, committed by a financial aristocracy that has spent the past half-century [longer!] plundering the country and neglecting its social infrastructure

I'm curious what "social infrastructure" would have/could have stopped a storm.

Or would a better social infrastructure have had better cots layed out in a better gymnasium?

NDPP

TRNN: Climate Change Is Creating A New Urban Crisis

https://youtu.be/ZRXDrLnDVJY

"Christian Parenti says we have the laws and technology to protect humanity from climate disaster, but we need to rip away the veil of the 'free market'."

lagatta4

There is a definite relation between both climate change and increasing severity of storms, and the systematic refusal of the US to ensure protective measures (as in Katrina; the Dutch couldn't believe the horrible state of the levées) but as usual, wsws has a ridiculously mechanical pseudo-Marxist take on just about everything. They also devote more of their energies to attacking anything at all on the left, from the NDP through other Marxist or anarchist groups, as petit-bourgeois fake-leftists.

Their main activity is attending or leafleting the meetings or actions of social movements or political groups so they see the Light; kind of like the Sparts with a better editor.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Catastrophes such as the Texas flood are social crimes, committed by a financial aristocracy that has spent the past half-century [longer!] plundering the country and neglecting its social infrastructure

I'm curious what "social infrastructure" would have/could have stopped a storm.

Or would a better social infrastructure have had better cots layed out in a better gymnasium?

Better city planning would have mitigated some of the damage and loss. Houston is infamous for loose regulations on developers, who will not voluntarily build the kind of infrastructure that can save lives and minimize displacement in a disaster. 

While Harvey was was particularly big storm, this isn't the first time Houston has dealt with a hurricane and massive flooding. It's the penny wise pound foolish way the city's been built that made it worse. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Better city planning would have mitigated some of the damage and loss.

Are you thinking of anything specific?

josh

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Better city planning would have mitigated some of the damage and loss.

Are you thinking of anything specific?

Houston is notorious for its loose zoning.  Too much concrete and not enough natural drainage and absorption contributed mightily to the flooding.  

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..also preparedness is severely lacking. including the chemical plants where once in trouble everything is released into the air /or the plant explodes. it's like nothing was learned from katrina.  

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Josh beat me to the first point. Also, the massive amount of freeway - Which was actually designed to act like rivers, making it almost impossible to evacuate efficiently. People get stuck in gridlock, the water rises... Totally idiotic planning.

I visited Houston once while working - so much freeway. I've never seen anything like it. And the crazy, multiple levels and complicated ramps and exits. Utterly insane.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Here's an article that lays out some of the issues:  http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/31/us/houston-harvey-flooding-urban-planning/...

"

Experts say better urban design and stricter regulations might have made the deadly storm less destructive.

"Houston is not designed to handle this kind of rainfall," said Professor Sam Brody, an expert on urban and floodplain management at Texas A&M University.

It's not like the nation's fourth-largest city isn't aware of the problem. Tropical Storm Allison triggered mass flooding and caused 20 Texas deaths in 2001. Last April, storms in Houston flooded more than 1,000 homes and were blamed for $5 billion in property damage."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Petro Metro: A Toxic Tour of Houston from Refineries to Superfund Sites in Wake of Harvey

In Texas, the devastation from Hurricane Harvey continues. At least 63 people have died, more than 40,000 homes have been lost, and as many 1 million cars have been destroyed. Meanwhile, the long-term environmental impact of the storm is just beginning to be felt. The Center for Biological Diversity reports flooded oil refineries and chemical plants released as much as 5 million pounds of pollutants into the air during the storm. On Friday night, another large fire broke out at the flooded Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas. Then, on Sunday, authorities set fire to six remaining containers of chemicals in what was described as a controlled burn. The company continues to refuse to inform local residents of what chemicals burned at the site. For more, Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, Renée Feltz and Hany Massoud take a "toxic tour" of Houston's fenceline communities, led by environmental justice organizer Bryan Parras.

NDPP

Houston: Increasing the Profit Portfolio, Decreasing the Human Portfolio

https://blackagendareport.com/houston-increasing-profit-portfolio-decrea...

"Houston's real estate and economic development markets, loaded with oil refineries and vast profit schemes, pushed flood control planning down the river..."

josh

If you’re a resident of a small Texas city and in need of hurricane recovery funds, you’ll have to certify that you’re not boycotting Israel.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/if-youre-boycotting-israel-texas-town-then-no-hurricane-relief-you?redirect=blog/if-youre-boycotting-israel-texas-town-then-no-hurricane-relief-you