Hurricane Irma & National Call to Address Climate Change
Seeing the catastrophic devastation from Hurricane Harvey, and anticipating the devastation of Hurricane Irma, has given us a moment to reflect and look for ways that we can help our fellow Americans cope with this unprecedented flooding. Standing in solidarity, we in the Catskills, a region prone to flooding, know that outside support is not only important but critical at these times. If you would like to offer aid to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, here are a couple ways to consider helping...
- Donate Food or Clothing: Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts and coordinates with partners to make sure resources reach families. You can mail them to: 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Texas 78238. You can also donate to the Texas Diaper Bank by ordering from the organization’s Amazon Wish List, or by sending your own boxes directly to the San Antonio-based charity.
- Volunteer: Volunteers should link up with affiliates or organizations training individuals in order to assist Texas in a cohesive and organized fashion and to avoid a hindrance on response and recovery efforts. To volunteer, you can register here.
- Medicine: Groups like Americares are bringing life-saving drugs and medical supplies, such as insulin, asthma, and blood pressure medications, to people in shelters who need them. You can contribute to their efforts here.
- Donate Funds: You can donate much-needed funding to the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), Houston’s first environmental justice organization and a member of Climate Justice Alliance, has been on the frontlines, addressing the region’s toxic legacy and injustices, and most recently, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Your donation to the t.e.j.a.s. Harvey Fund will ensure that Houstonians are able to return safely to their homes and champion a just transition and recovery in the affected region. You can also make a donation to any of the amazing organizations listed in this New York Times article.
During this tragedy, we feel compelled to demand our country’s leadership to respond quickly, comprehensively, and most importantly, proactively. The intensity and size of Hurricane Harvey was increased by climate change, which has also raised the sea level and temperature along the Texas coast. Indeed, Hurricane Harvey has caused the third “500-year” flood in only three years.
Similarly, climate change is making Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm to form in the open Atlantic Ocean, even more powerful. Hurricanes gather destructive energy from the warmth of oceans, which has increased in the region due to climate change.
Climate Change is having an increasingly common impact on American communities and these are just the latest examples of the impacts we can expect to continue unless decisive action is taken. We need our nation’s leaders to acknowledge and act on this generation-defining issue. Our county and planet cannot wait for Climate Change action any longer. We all have a role to play!
Catskill Mountainkeeper is a small organization, however we will continue to do our part by fighting dirty fossil fuel development and infrastructure. Burning coal, oil and gas warms our planet which supplies energy for the build-up of ever more powerful tropical storms like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Catskill Mountainkeeper will oppose bomb trains, pipelines, oil barges, and any other dirty energy infrastructure that threatens our communities and natural environment. We will continue to push for renewable energy sources and advocate for a just transition to a 100% green energy economy. We must do this not just for ourselves, but for our fellow Americans, and for our children.
Thank you, and please consider contributing to the organizations doing heroic work in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Ramsay Adams, Executive Director