Building back the same way in Houston will doom us repeat history.
Congress and state legislatures disburse emergency funds, which are then offset in budgets with cuts to social services and public spending. We are seemingly in a permanently reactive mode, with money often going to rebuild “back to normal” as though this is proof of bravery in the face of tremendous uncertainty. Recovery from previous disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, has had regressive effects, heightening the disparities between rich and poor and perpetuating systemic racism.
We should plan recovery and rebuilding projects that address local poverty and exclusion, rather than line the pockets of developers. We should commit expenditures to the kinds of projects that mitigate climate change, like clean energy and public transportation. And we should strengthen our safety nets so that when the next storm’s victims are picking up the pieces, they are not also worried about job insecurity, rising health care costs and precarious retirements.
In Hurricane Harvey’s Wake, We Need a Green ‘New Deal’ https://nyti.ms/2eI4OIG