Climate Changed and Waters (un)SettledKelly Shannon
During all the media coverage—particularly in the United States—of Hurricanes Harvey (Category 4, 17 August-1 September), Irma (Category 5, 30 August-12 September), Jose (Category 4, 5-22 September) and Maria (Category 5, 16-30 September), the flooding and subsequent trail of destruction in Houston and southeast Texas, South Florida and the Caribbean, there was ceaseless talk of the ‘catastrophic,’ ‘historic’ and ‘unprecedented’ scale of the events. There was virtually no discussion of climate change, ill-conceived urbanization and the racial inequalities embedded within it, threats to human health and natural ecologies, the need to upgrade severely dilapidated infrastructure or even the continuing practices of 21th century colonialism (evident in much of the tourism-dependent Caribbean with Dutch, French, British and American ‘territories’).
Entire residential districts of Houston were severely inundated during Hurricane Harvey. (Ó U.S. National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez).
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