The Disparate Devastation of Hurricane Florence

By Billy Corriher

Gallons of rain Hurricane Florence dropped on the Carolinas: at least 8 trillion

Number of people killed in the disaster: at least 37

Conservative estimate of the financial damage caused by the storm: $17 billion

Of the 18 North Carolina counties that have been officially declared disaster areas, number where the percent of the population that’s nonwhite exceeds the statewide average of 31.5 percent: 9

Percent of the population that’s nonwhite in Robeson County, one of the hardest-hit areas and a center of the state’s Native American population: over 67

In North Carolina, number of times higher the proportions of African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians living within three miles of an industrial hog operation are, respectively, than the proportion of whites: 1.54, 1.39, 2.18

Minimum number of lagoons — massive open-air pits where hog waste is stored — that were overtopped by the flooding, sending feces and urine into downstream communities: 21

Minimum number of lagoons at imminent risk of spilling waste: 89

Tons of toxic coal ash held in open-air pits at Duke Energy’s shuttered H.F. Lee power plant near Goldsboro, North Carolina, that were completely submerged by Florence’s floodwaters: 1 million

Percentage points by which the concentration of people of color living within three miles of coal-fired power plant exceeds their presence in the overall U.S. population: 3

In U.S. counties that experienced at least $10 billion in damages from natural disasters between 1999 and 2013, the average increase in wealth for white people, according to a study released last month: $126,000

The average decrease in wealth for nonwhites: $10,000 to $29,000

According to the same study, the disaster-related increase in the black-white wealth gap during that period in Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston: $87,000

Rank of Florence among the wettest storms to ever strike the East Coast, with the wetness linked to warmer ocean waters due to climate change: 1

If nothing is done to address the problem, the number of people worldwide that the World Bank estimates will be driven to extreme poverty by climate change and related extreme weather events: 100 million

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Reposted from Inequality.org

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

A Billionaire with a Truly Bottom-Line Moral Code

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Some advice for billionaire investment fund manager Tom Barrack: Don’t give any more lectures on morality. Last Tuesday, this long-time Donald Trump pal — and chairman of his inauguration — did a bit too much moralizing. Speaking in Abu Dhabi, Barrack called the hand-wringing over Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the savage murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi “a mistake.” After all, he noted, “we have a young man and a regime that’s trying to push themselves into 2030.” We ought not, Barrack added, try “to dictate” the Saudi “moral code.” The pushback would be quick and massive. On Wednesday, Barrack apologized, but didn’t, news reports noted, “retract praise for the crown prince.” One possible reason: Barrack’s investment fund has tanked of late, its share price down by over half. Barrack has raised over $1.5 billion in bailout aid from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He may be hoping for still more.

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Let's Talk About Wealth

Let's Talk About Wealth