Tag Archives: Politics of Hurricanes

Reality Check. When Venezuela and Cuba offered aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane-Katrina

Eighty per cent of New Orleans was inundated when levies broke during Hurricane Katrina.

By TONY SEED

Originally published March 2, 2019 during the US “humanitarian aid” offensive against Venezuela

Fifteen years ago, at 6 a.m. on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the most infamous social disaster in the modern history of the United States preceding the 2020 pandemic. Hurricanes are measured by the velocity of their winds, the height of their storm surges, and other similar properties. But disasters are remembered by their impact on the social and natural environment, and on that scale Katrina is one of the most destructive disasters in U.S. history. The presidency of George W. Bush responded by federalizing military rule, providing a template in many respects to that of the Donald Trump presidency in 2020 to the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue reading

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Record high heat waves, forest fires and floods raise alarm as never before

By NICK LIN

Worsening heat waves are currently causing many to die in Canada. Not only are the highest ever recorded temperatures very alarming, but so too is the inaction of governments to protect the population despite all the means at their disposal to do so. Meanwhile, both the Canadian and U.S. government refuse to take responsibility for the absence of potable water in many communities. In Canada more than 30 communities on reserves have no safe potable water. This is also the case of several U.S. towns where drought has become permanent. The consequences of disasters linked to nature are affecting the peoples of the entire world, especially Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is as if the domination of nature by human beings had never occurred and is beyond reach, which is absolute nonsense.

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Canada’s relations with Caricom: Self-serving definition of what it means to be a ‘vital partner’

Heads of Government reaffirm solidarity with Cuba at the 31st CARICOM Inter-Sessional Summit held from February 18 -19 in St Michael, Barbados.

By TONY SEED (February 23) – The meeting of the regime change Lima Group hosted by Canada on February 20 in Ottawa comes right on the heels of Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s meeting on February 18-19 with leaders of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was sent as a substitute for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The 15-member organization[1] has served as an effective block to attempts by the U.S. and its allies to use the discredited Organization of American States (OAS) as a political weapon against Venezuela. It has  denied them the number of votes needed to take action against Venezuela in the name of the OAS. This led the U.S. and Canada to set up the illegitimate Lima Group outside the OAS for the purpose of advancing their illegal regime change project. Continue reading

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Devastating floods in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick

Affirmation of social solidarity and need for measures to protect shoreline municipalities

Devastating floods are currently affecting many regions of Quebec, as well as parts of Ontario and New Brunswick. According to the provisional report published by Urgences Québec on April 28, there are 6,424 flooded homes, 3,508 dwellings isolated by water and 9,522 evacuees in Quebec. Continue reading

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This day. Two hurricanes, two responses

A fishing shed floats offshore Fisherman’s Reserve on the Eastern Shore after Hurricane Juan (Photo | Allan Jean Joyce)

(Part of a series) This Saturday, September 29, marks 15 years since Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax in the middle of the night toppling trees, smashing boats and knocking out power for many days and even weeks in some neighbourhoods. Wind speeds of up to 178km an hour were recorded at McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. Mark Rushton and Tony Seed compare the responses of Canada and Cuba to hurricanes. Continue reading

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This day. Hurricane Juan

(Part of a series) This Saturday, September 29, marks 15 years since Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax in the middle of the night toppling trees, smashing boats and knocking out power for many days and even weeks in some neighbourhoods. Wind speeds of up to 178km an hour were recorded at McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. Continue reading

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Hurricane Juan and Depleted Uranium

Canadian navy and weapons of mass destruction

This Saturday, September 29, marks 15 years since Hurricane Juan ripped through Halifax in the middle of the night toppling trees, smashing boats and knocking out power for many days and even weeks in some neighbourhoods. Wind speeds of up to 178km an hour were recorded at McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. Amunition shells from the 1940s and “other debris” were being washed ashore. | The late MITZI BOWMAN* with TONY SEED

BLUE ROCKS, NS (October 24, 2003) – THE Halifax Chronicle Herald reproduced on October 4, 2003 a capsule commentary from the Canadian Press that the Canadian Forces were cleaning up unexploded shells from the 1940s (WW2) “and other debris”.

Why isn’t the Chronicle Herald telling us what this “other debris” is or could be? Continue reading

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Tornado strikes the Outaouais leaving many families homeless

Chantier Politique, online bulletin of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ), has published several items on the tornadoes, effect, response and environmental, social and political implications of such natural disasters:

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A reflection on Mangkhut, Florence and the state of the Philippines

Canada must provide humanitarian assistance without conditions to the people of the Philippines | TONY SEED

My thoughts have been with all my friends and the fraternal peoples of the Philippines and South Asia threatened from super typhoon Mangkhut. My aim in this reflection is to analyze the news coverage of both Florence and Mangkhut and to inform Canadians about the reality facing the Filipino people.

(September 15) – Mangkhut is the 15th and strongest storm this year to batter the Philippines.

Mangkhut (also known as Ompong) has brought ferocious winds of up to 130mph and a storm surge of up to 23ft. The Category 5 typhoon greatly surpasses the strength of Hurricane Florence now striking the US Atlantic coast.

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In 2018, Sunday shows have covered Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico for only 20 seconds

And since the hurricane hit, the shows have devoted a total of less than 90 minutes to the issue | ROB SAVILLO has revealing facts of the shocking indiference of this media to human life, but ignores the mass rallies in the USA in support of Puerto Rico.

Emergency rally for Puerto Rico, New York City, September 28, 2017 demands full funding now for the needs of the people and providing them with the resources and power to decide how best to utilize the funds, in the context of defending the rights of the people, not the property of the few. Further, for Puerto Rico, an immediate assistance would be to Cancel the Debt! And make the Wall Street financiers that imposed it and benefit from it, pay for recovery.

(August 31) – Since Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, the five American Sunday morning political talk shows have given the disaster scant coverage. Continue reading

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Monopoly media ‘failed’ to connect 2017’s extreme weather to climate crisis: study

“We can’t fix the climate crisis if we aren’t talking about it. It’s critical that the media start reporting on the crisis with the quality and quantity it merits. We’re talking about the greatest challenge of our time.” | JKW JOHNSON, commondreams.org

"Given the gravity and urgency of the climate crisis, as well as a surfeit of relevant, newsworthy developments, one would expect U.S. media to report on climate and clean energy issues daily," Public Citizen's David Arkush writes. (Photo: Public Citizen)

“Given the gravity and urgency of the climate crisis, as well as a surfeit of relevant, newsworthy developments, one would expect U.S. media to report on climate and clean energy issues daily,” Public Citizen’s David Arkush writes | Public Citizen

Despite the fact that 2017 saw a flurry of devastating and “record-shattering” hurricanes, enormously destructive wildfires, and extreme droughts, a new report by Public Citizen published on Friday concludes that major American media outlets “largely failed” to connect these weather events to the broader global climate crisis. Continue reading

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Extreme weather, extremist governments

The social effects of extreme weather for the homeless, the poor, the elderly and the colonized, in the cities and on the roads; the abnegation of social responsibility and the public interest by the media and governments shows the need for empowerment. “When tragedies do occur, the monopoly media focuses on the technical mechanics of the disaster, excluding who should be held accountable, how the concerns and campaigns of the community were dealt with or ignored, and the response of the public bodies” | TONY SEED

(December 30, updated January 5) – According to the CBC, the main “news” and social consequences of the record extreme cold weather seems to be the status of outdoor civic New Year’s parties, the condition of the ice on a short-term, multi-million dollar outdoor rink erected on Parliament Hill, polar bear dips, and an outdoor World Junior hockey game between Canada and the U.S. in Buffalo on Friday December 28th.

A fiery crash of a tractor trailer truck on the QEW (pictured above) that shut down the Niagara bound lanes near Bartlett Ave. in Grimsby was reported merely as a freak obstacle or an inconvenient “long delay” to the many Canadians heading to the game. While no one was hurt this time, the damage to the highway was extensive and will take time to repair.

One CBC anchor, Hanna Thibodeau, joked with meteorologist David Phillips as to whether Russia was to blame for the Arctic front.

In seeming contrast, CBC published on December 29 a long photo feature titled “Toronto has officially frozen over. See it here in all its icy glory” highlighting the beauty of a nature that is benign. The kicker called on readers to “Take in the stunning sights of the city during the deep freeze.” (The photos were submitted.)

As 2017 ends, the working people face a media onslaught about what is going on in Canada and around the world, of which the weather occupies one sphere. We think that a sober approach going into 2018 is of importance.

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Snow squalls, snow fences and the privatization of highways: ‘It is time to draw a line in the snow’

A lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on Feb. 27. Lake effect squalls are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400 yesteday.

An awesome lake effect snow squall (snowsquall) drops heavy snow over Sudbury on February 27, 2014. Lake effect squalls from Georgian Bay are noted for their persistence and linear banding, producing blinding visibility on Highway 400.

The following reflection was written on February 28, 2014 but for some reasons was not published at the time. I am posting it now in the midst of the extreme cold weather front that is gripping Canada and the United States.

The view from Blantyre

By TONY SEED

WHEN extreme weather event strikes, the reporting of the media proceeds from the premise of the insurance companies: it is a supernatural “act of God,” a natural disaster divorced from the social conditions made by man. It has become a genre and given a name – disaster journalism. It was all so “unexpected.” Hurricane Katrina? Just blew in suddenly from the Gulf. That ice storm in Atlanta? The weather suddenly shifted upstate in the morning. That tsunami in the Indian Ocean? No-one at the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii had the phone number of the Sri Lanka president and hence the island received no warning. Thousands of people, mainly poor fishers, along the eastern and southern coastline were engulfed by the deep blue sea, as if an act of Buddha. Due to the large number of victims, that far-off disaster did make the evening news. These were not “accidents”; natural disasters became crimes. Continue reading

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Puerto Rico: Militarization of Hurricane Relief


Signs at emergency rally for Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, September 29, 2017.

By VOICE OF REVOLUTION*

New York City and Buffalo’s Puerto Rican community, alongside that of Boston and Chicago, and joined by all those concerned across the country, have rallied support for the millions contending with no power, no drinking water and the broad devastation across Puerto Rico. It is the people in the U.S. and Puerto Rico who are setting up facebook pages to provide information about conditions in various towns, reach out to family in Puerto Rico where lack of power means communication is down, set-up fund raising campaigns, and organizing together for the recovery. Continue reading

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Hurricane Irma: Support the Canadian Campaign for Cuban Relief and Reconstruction

Massive flooding in Cuba’s capital Havana in wake of the powerful Hurricane Irma. Across Cuba, people are working hard to enact a speedy recovery.

I wish to urge all readers to respond to this call for aid to assist Cuba by contributing whatever you can. Canadians have a special place in their hearts for Cuba, yet the media is largely blocking out any objective information either on the effect of Hurricane Irma or on the response by the Cuban people and their government – both to prepare in advance and now to recover and reconstruct. A one hour program broadcast by CBC’s The National that I watched literally devoted but one minute out of the 60 to Cuba. Prof Susan Babbit put it more poignantly, “Cuba was there in the CBC newscasts about Florida. It was the country under the satellite image, under the ‘lingering’ eye of category five Irma. For hours, that awful image was in the background as the CBC anchor kept returning to Florida’s need for gas.”

It seems that the corollary is that what little “aid” has been promised by the Canadian government is not according to humanitarian need but an agenda according to a hierarchy; for example, the Canadian Forces are flying aid from France to French colonies, as well as to British colonies. Let us show the real heart of Canada and friendship with the people of Cuba as with the other small island states of the Caribbean and other lands by responding to this timely appeal!


By Isaac Saney, National Spokesperson, Canadian Network on Cuba

Hurricane Irma menaced and devastated the eastern and northern Caribbean, striking Cuba from September 8-10, resulting in significant and widespread damage. Accompanied by massive flooding, its sweeping destruction encompassed housing, communications, infrastructure, agricultural equipment, crops, and community buildings.

While we are confident that the Cuban people will overcome any challenges posed by Hurricane Irma, Cuba will nevertheless have to expend considerable resources, both immediate and long term, in order to overcome the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

To assist Cuba in its immense efforts of recovery and reconstruction, the Canadian Network On Cuba (CNC) is launching the Hurricane Irma Relief & Reconstruction for Cuba Campaign. Continue reading

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Six questions about Hurricane Irma, climate change and Harvey

As global temperatures rise, warmer oceans are expected to fuel stronger hurricanes, with disastrous consequences | SABRINA SHANKMAN*

For the first time since 2010 three hurricanes were active in the Atlantic at the same time, and a rare case of multiple Atlantic hurricanes threatening land at the same time | NASA/NOAA GOES Project

A third of the way into the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA [the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Commerce Department] looked at the ocean and air temperatures and issued an ominous new forecast: the region would likely experience “an above normal hurricane season” that “could be extremely active,” with more named storms than previously expected — 14 to 19 this season — and two to five major hurricanes. Continue reading

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Hurricane Matthew Relief & Reconstruction For Cuba Campaign

Special feature • Appeal for donations from Canadians, reports from the affected areas and photos

Hurricane Matthew, with winds of 225kph (140mph), struck eastern Cuba on October 4, causing significant and widespread damage. Because of Cuba’s internationally renowned and acclaimed civil defense system, there was no loss of life. However, Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city and known internationally as one of the most beautiful parts of the island, has been devastated. With a population of more than 80,000, Baracoa has been reduced to rubble. Baracoa resident Osvaldo Neira poignantly underscored the situation, declaring, “We lost everything.”

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Hurricane Sandy: Poverty was the disaster, nature was its handmaid.

GREGORY ROSENTHAL*

The term “perfect storm” conjures up inevitability. Converging extreme weather conditions lead to certain death and destruction. But in fact, the way a storm interacts with human communities is anything but certain. Hurricane Sandy was an imperfect storm. It’s second anniversary is an opportunity to reassess what happened and what went wrong. Continue reading

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Halifax International Security Forum: US officially integrates Harper war government into Asia pivot strategy

Dangerous new military agreement with U.S. announced

2006.03.18.No to Canada's Participation.Toronto4EVEN before the US and NATO generals, admirals, think tank gurus, opinion makers and media pundits open the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) aka the Halifax War Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia this afternoon, a dangerous new military agreement was announced this morning by the United States and Canada.

Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, and the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, met on the margins of the HISF to discuss the “Canada-U.S. defence relationship”, and signed a new Canada-U.S. Asia-Pacific Defense Policy Cooperation Framework. The agreement revises the “relationship” and formally incorporates Canada deeper into Obama’s aggressive Asia Pivot strategy, also called “rebalancing,” which is aimed not only against China and Korea but against all peoples of the region. Continue reading

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Harper government hopes to profit from human misery

Live-in Caregiver ProgramLive-in Caregiver Program (LCP) – “a program that has been condemned by Canadians because it is a form of modern slavery which binds mostly Filipino women to contracts that require them to work two out of three years with one employer or risk losing their status.”

TML Daily (Nov. 19) – ON NOVEMBER 14, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander announced that in the wake of the hardship in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan, Canada was going to fast-track applications for Filipinos who wish to immigrate to Canada, apply for tourist visas, or come to the country under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program on humanitarian grounds. As well, he announced that Filipinos now in Canada on a temporary basis can apply to extend their stay and their cases will be “assessed in a compassionate and flexible manner.” Continue reading

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Oppose the militarization of aid in the name of the Canadian people!

100123-TorontoAntiprogogation-cropTML Daily (Nov. 19) – ON NOVEMBER 16, the Harper government’s Department of National Defence announced that two Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon helicopters will be leaving from CFB Trenton aboard a military transport plane bound for the Philippines, to buttress the military’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) which is already in the Philippines. A third helicopter will soon follow. According to the government, the military is there to provide “emergency relief” in the form of clearing roads, providing clean water and so on for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Continue reading

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Philippines: People need food, meds, not U.S. war arsenal

Demonstration against the Philippine government's slow and militarized relief efforts, outside the Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Quezon City, Metro Manila, November 13, 2013. (KMU)

Demonstration against the Philippine government’s slow and militarized relief efforts, outside the Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Quezon City, Metro Manila, November 13, 2013. (KMU)

– Kilusang Mayo Uno*, November 17, 2013 –

“How could the US help us rebuild, if it sent destroyers?”

This was the question of national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) as it accused the US government of exploiting the humanitarian crisis caused by super typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) and the Philippine government’s snail-paced relief efforts in order to increase US military presence in the country. Continue reading

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The Philippines needs help – not aircraft carriers, marines or weapons!

Demonstrations in the Philippines on November 13, 2013 demand "Relief, not police and soldiers."

Demonstrations in the Philippines on November 13, 2013 demand “Relief, not police and soldiers.”

TML Daily (Nov. 19) – TML Daily sends its deepest condolences to the people of the Philippines and in the diaspora, including the close to 800,000 estimated Canadians and residents of the Filipino national minority living in Canada, for the loss of life and destruction resulting from Typhoon Haiyan. Across Canada and around the world, ordinary people are finding ways to work together and are taking concrete actions to support the victims of the massive typhoon which struck the Philippines on November 8. Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) struck the eastern seaboard of the central region of the Philippine archipelago (the Visayas), and travelled westward. The 7,106 islands that make up the Philippines are populated by some 98.6 million people. Typhoon Haiyan has caused massive destruction, made worse by the fact that the government of the Philippines does not uphold the rights of the Filipino people, especially those of the peasantry, the vast majority of which lives near a coastline and are extremely vulnerable. Continue reading

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