Movement updates

Hurricane Ida: This can’t be our new normal

Hurricane Ida Radar

This weekend, on the 16th anniversary of Katrina, Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm, causing catastrophic damage to some of our most vulnerable communities. And what is our government doing? Nothing to match the scale and urgency of the climate crisis.

As elected officials and people in power sit in the comfort and safety of their homes, unscathed by Ida, over a million people have lost power, fatalities have been reported and are expected to rise, and communities in the Gulf South are struggling to survive. And all of this suffering was preventable. It was preventable that people had to evacuate their homes not knowing if they’d come back. It was preventable that shelters are facing both the climate crisis and a COVID-19 surge. And it was preventable that people are losing their lives.

What more do politicians need to realize that the climate crisis is here, and is killing us? We didn’t need the latest IPCC report to know that the climate crisis is here and only getting worse. We see it today with Hurricane Ida, and we see it everyday and everywhere. From deadly flooding taking the lives of over 20 people in Tennessee, to wildfires in the West burning homes and businesses to the ground, and countless more, people are struggling to survive while our elected officials do nothing.

As communities on the ground are mobilizing to offer support to victims of Ida, President Biden is not doing enough to both support victims of Hurricane Ida and avert future climate disasters. And despite these deadly storms and a summer of fatal heatwaves, Biden is still refusing to stop Line 3 and pass the climate investments we need to protect and care for our people.

The time for incremental progress and insufficient solutions is over. Politicians must do everything in their power to stop the climate crisis and hold fossil fuel companies accountable for their catastrophic, deadly actions. We’re done with thoughts and prayers and so are the communities of the Gulf South. We need action and relief now.

That means Biden and Congress must seize on the historic opportunity in front of them to avert the climate crisis by investing in a mass mobilization of our society and economy, rebuilding the infrastructure we lost to the crisis and protecting the lives of millions of Americans.​​ If Biden and Democrats do not allocate trillions of dollars to climate investments including a massive Civilian Climate Corps through a Democratic reconciliation bill, it will be a death sentence for our generation. But we understand that at this very moment, so many of us are going through a process we’re all too familiar with: grief, and then action. We can’t let our government’s delay and failure to act stop us from fighting for our futures and for our friends and loved ones. Right now we as a movement are doing everything we can to help survivors of Hurricane Ida.

Sunrise members are organizing phone banks to connect with people impacted by the storm, ensuring that people have access to resources they need to survive. We’ll be following up with folks who requested we check in after the storm, and calling the rest of our list to make sure people are okay while connecting them with resources on the ground. We’re also encouraging Sunrisers to donate to GCCLP Disaster Relief Fund and Common Ground Relief, where funds will go directly to frontline communities in the Gulf South. And if you want to respond to this climate disaster with narrative interventions, you can use this guide to help you.

In that moment just after a storm, flood, or fire has started, we have a choice. Do we let Republicans and the fossil fuel industry bury the truth and subject frontline communities to the violence of a climate disaster the next time around, or do we speak truth to power and share the stories of loss, survival, and hope? Do we watch our neighbors’ and loved ones’ lives crumble to pieces, or do we care for our communities through mutual aid and show the government how to do its job? The Climate Disaster Response Support System can help you do just that- show up for your community while speaking the truth about these crises. Join us and we can get through this together. The decade of a Green New Deal is in sight.

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