Tag Archives: Politics of Hurricanes

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


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.


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


Filed under Caribops – Militarization of the Caribbean and Latin America, United States

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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