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

Your Vote is the Last Line of Defense Against One-Party Control

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The bottom line of Adam Serwer’s The Guardrails Have Failed is: “As for Kavanaugh, every opinion he writes, every decision he joins, and every day he sits on the bench will be tainted with illegitimacy.” Senators who represent a shrinking portion of the population confirmed a justice more Americans oppose than support. He was nominated by a president for whom most of the electorate did not vote. Republican control of the three branches of government is countermajoritarian. With the guardrails of separated powers broken, the last remaining defense for American democracy and the rule of law is the electorate itself.

Since April 8, 2017, when Neil Gorsuch became Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States Government has been controlled by one political party. Why is this important?

In his Oct. 15, 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on separation of powers, Justice Antonin Scalia tells us: The real constitution of the Soviet Union, that constitution did not prevent the centralization of power in one person or in one party. And when that happens, the game is over, the Bill of Rights is just what our Framers would call a “parchment guarantee.”

Unless the Republican party ceases to control the legislative branch of the U.S. government in January, 2019, centralization of power will continue in one party, the Republican Party, for another 24 months, and if Donald Trump has his way, that centralization of power will be in one person.

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Unions for All, Unions for 15

Unions for All, Unions for 15