Triple Crisis Roundup: Hurricane Sandy

Eli Epstein-Deutsch, Triple Crisis Assistant Editor

It was as though the world had gone off its tilt. Half of Manhattan skyline lay dark, giving the island the appearance of Two-Face, when viewed from the borough of  Brooklyn, where many the downtown gentry had taken refuge from the blackout. Across New York City, casual social gatherings turned into week-long campouts. Meanwhile, residents of housing projects in the Lower East Side, many unable to evacuate, have struggled with the lack of food, water, and electricity. The impromptu community, the forced immobility, and the humanitarian demand posed by Hurricane Sandy have all combined to make the period one of introspection and reflection.

The disaster leaves behind disquieting thoughts and hard questions. Even the most affluent have been shown their precariousness; a major financial center lay paralyzed in a fashion associated with developing world cities. At the same time, the extremes of economic inequality were visible in the outcomes, with the poorest areas especially ill-equipped to respond to the disaster. The  island of Haiti, whose agricultural production was devastated by flooding, faced by far the highest death toll and still suffers an ongoing food crisis. If anything is really to be salvaged from the  destruction, it will be if the sense of temporary solidarity grows into a real reckoning with challenges that face us from here: of creating a safe and stable supply of energy in the era of catastrophic climate change, and  of confronting the widening social disparities that make some of us much more vulnerable than others to the consequences of that change.

The Nation, We Are All From New Orleans Now

Al Jazeera, Haiti Food Crisis Feared in Sandy’s Wake

AlertNet, Hurricane Sandy Exposes Haiti’s Agriculture and Environment Woes

The New Yorker, Sandy’s Forgotten

Climate Progress, Neither Party Wants to Offend the Fossil Fuel Industry

Common Dreams, Extreme Weather Hits the Poor First — and Hardest

Global Possibilities, The Case for a Distributed, Smarter, Cleaner Power Grid Post Hurricane Sandy.

New York Times, The “Frankenstorm” and Global Warming

Global Post, Hurricane Sandy shows US weakness, generates anger.

Salon, Disaster Capitalism Doesn’t Work