Hurricane Maria’s legacy: how the rise of nationalism creates climate victims

Speaking in Puerto Rico near the storms anniversary, David Wallace-Wells warns the the devastation could be routinely replicated but youth activism offers hope

Puerto Ricos ongoing struggles to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria could be routinely replicated in other places if the climate crisis spurs nationalistic governments to scale back aid to certain disaster victims.


Recommended For You

PlayPix Diamond

The upgraded version of the drag/drop cloud video creator that creates studio-quality videos in minutes.


Thats a warning from bestselling author David Wallace-Wells, whose book The Uninhabitable Earth was described in a Guardian review as a brutal portrait of climate change.

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells. Photograph: Isabel Talanehzar

The indifference of US politicians to the Hurricane Maria disaster is chilling, he warns.

Maria smashed into Puerto Rico in September 2017, killing about 3,000 people, crippling the power grid and devastating the islands agriculture and tourism industries.

The US governments sluggish response to the disaster was found to be deficient in an official report, with many Puerto Ricans claiming the federal government has been indifferent to their plight. The island has since been racked with dysfunction and political turmoil, leading to the recent departure of the governor, Ricardo Rossell.

As global heating fuels more powerful hurricanes, as well as rising sea levels, drought and wildfires, more people around the world will be in need of assistance at a time when populist, nationalist leaders have gained prominence in several countries including the US, where Donald Trump gained infamy in Puerto Rico for visiting the island and throwing paper towels at hurricane survivors.

David Wallace Wells and students at the International Congress of Youth Voices. Photograph: Isabel Talanehzar


Recommended For You

Playboost Pro

Unlock Extra PREMIUM Features, Templates, Done-For-You Elements, Voice-Over Technology (Make Your Videos TALK) and MORE Loaded Instantly into Your Playboost Account

Uduala ClickFOMO - Best

Uduala ClickFOMO helps ecom store owners harness the psychological principle of the herd effect, social proof and fomo - 'the fear of missing out' to double, triple or even quadruple their store conversions. This integrates natively with shopify, woocomme

Funnel360 - Charter License

Now You Can Fire Your Page Builders, Video Creators and Graphic Designers and use Funnel360 To Create Lightning Fast Funnel Pages, Viral Videos And Jaw Dropping Graphics In a Few Minutes, Using the Worldand#39;s Most Complete Drag-n-Drop Funnel Builder


What really stands out to me about Maria is the indifference of much American power to suffering even to those within its borders, seeing those people as somehow less American and less deserving, said Wallace-Wells.

In the US we often find ways to turn away from people suffering in places like Mozambique or Bangladesh. The harrowing thing about Puerto Rico is that even American citizens were defined as undeserving. Its horrifying and ugly on its own terms on a moral level but also as a glimmer of the way we will respond to these disasters down the road.

We are already seeing more intense competition for resources and focusing our investments and political sympathies closer and closer to home. Its concerning because all suffering in the world now has some sort of climate fingerprint.

Wallace-Wells is one of the leading figures to have attended the second annual International Congress of Youth Voices, held this year in Puerto Ricos capital San Juan.

The summit, founded by the author Dave Eggers and the non-profit leader Amanda Uhle, has attracted around 150 international students, mostly aged between 16 and 20 years old, to meet with various writers, politicians and activists. Last years congress, held in San Francisco, drew young people from places including the US, Sweden, Iraq, Australia, Zambia and Nepal.

Students at the International Congress of Youth Voices. Photograph: Isabel Talanehzar

The climate crisis is one of the leading issues discussed at the congress, amid a broader movement of young activists around the world who have taken to striking from school or shutting down areas of cities to demand that elected leaders do more to curb global heating.

A figurehead for this insurrection is Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who sparked the school strike movement. Thunberg has been feted by several national leaders and will attend the upcoming UN climate summit in New York City. Given her aversion to flying due to the associated carbon pollution, Thunberg will reach New York via solar powered boat.

Wallace-Wells said the youth climate movement was inspiring and exhilarating and also a little surprising.

A year ago Id say I would be sceptical that there would be a mass protest movement on climate, he said. Now in the immediate aftermath of the IPCC report in October we are seeing much more commitment, concentrated among young people, and I think thats fantastic. That young people have such clear, unarguable moral standing really does change the landscape of climate politics.

Protesters call for lawmakers to declare a climate emergency in Washington DC, on 23 July. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein/The Guardian


Recommended For You

MaticPress Enterprise

The ultimate edition of MaticPress for power-users.

Video Marketing Blaster

Video Marketing Blaster (VMB) is a One-Of-A-Kind Software solution PROVEN to get your videos on the 1st page of BOTH Google AND YouTube in record-breaking time. Best Part... Your Rankings STAY UP THERE. =) Get VMB now and be ahead of the Curve.

X Ranker + SyndBuddy 2k

Page 1 Rankings For BOTH Video and Niche Sites Made EASY With Our Social Exchange Platform


In the US, young climate activists have faced a political class that is still unclear over its response to the escalating crisis. In February, veteran Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein was videoed rebuffing pleas from young people to implement the Green New Deal, a platform to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions supported by progressive Democrats.

I think that encounter would be very different it it happened today, quite a lot has changed even in that time, Wallace-Wells said. More people are focused on these issues, even those on the right are making rhetorical gestures.

I think weve already passed a tipping point. When I look at the broader cultural and media response to the youth protests, its been very powerful. Most people have been moved and inspired and, in a useful way, shamed.

This article was amended on 12 August 2019 to correct the name of David Wallace-Wells book.

Original Article : HERE ;

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

Thank you for taking the time to read our article.

If you enjoyed our content, we'd really appreciate some "love" with a share or two.

And ... Don't forget to have fun!


YouTargetr DFY Video Pack

YouTargetr is a YouTube Ads/Video targeting/SEO app that combines the incredible power of Google and Youtube search ability to fetch you just the right monetized videos or niche-specific trending videos to target in your YouTube marketing. With it you can

AdsCrisp Platinum Ninja Commercial


Leave a Reply