Climate and Environment

Three years into the BP Oil Disaster, BP's executives and well-funded PR campaigns claim the Gulf Coast has recovered. But Gulf Coast communities are living a different reality.  This call series aims to inform media and the public of current conditions along the Gulf Coast, and connect the press with residents, advocates, and experts from diverse Gulf Coast communities.

climate wise women rio+20When the plane set down in Rio de Janeiro, I thought, "Wow, this is like the movies."  I had never been to Brazil before. But what I was really excited about was reconnecting with my sisters from developing nations across the globe. I had met several of these incredible women back in 2009 at the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in New York City.

sharon hanshaw at rio+20Last week, Sharon Hanshaw represented Biloxi, Mississippi and women across the Gulf Coast in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Sharon spoke about how her experience after Hurricane Katrina led her to advocacy and to addressing climate change on a local and global scale.

charles taylorSo, I've learned a lot since BP came here and ruined things on the Gulf Coast. I've had a front row seat to the whole crazy mess here in Mississippi. I've opened my eyes to the realization that all these companies could give a rat's snout about us. We are expendable. We are the cost of doing business. We are nothing to them. BP, Exxon, Enbridge, etc., etc. They are all just alike in their lies and denials and coverups.

Two days after a tornado tore through Eupora, Mississippi, Cherraye Oats set out with her daughter Courtney to get tarps for their neighbors’ battered homes.  Oats’ house was spared, but the mobile home 20-year-old Courtney rented was destroyed.  “If my daughter had not spent the night with us, we probably would have been burying her.”

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a climatologist to realize this has been a killer weather year. Snowmaggedons in the east; deadly super cell tornados pummeling towns across the Midwest and South; record spring floods throughout the Midwest and Gulf; droughts and deadly fires racing through tinder-dry towns in Texas. Now we're on track to have a possible record-breaking number of hurricanes; three cyclones now spinning in the Atlantic and Gulf could threaten our rain-soaked coasts and waterways.

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