This represents the number of people who have been evacuated from their homes as a result of Hurricane Sandy. And 7.5 million have lost power. Even though Ithaca was relatively sheltered from this event, many of our families and friends have been put in real danger. This “frankenstorm” is not an anomaly but rather a warning to us all of the perils we face if we allow climate change to ensue. The voice of the climate crisis has been ignored for far too long and if we do not act now then storms of Sandy’s magnitude will persist and get worse. The consequences of investment in fossil fuels can no longer be supposed as a distant threat; they are happening now and they are not to be taken lightly.
There is no time to lose in reversing the symptoms our planet is subjecting us to as a result of our negligence for the effects of fossil fuel dependence. Student activists have already made incredible strides towards convincing their universities to divest from fossil fuels. Just a few weeks ago, Hampshire College became the first university in the U.S. to divest from the fossil fuel industry and other schools are not far behind.
In the wake of this upsetting event, we are reminded of our vulnerability to the unforgiving forces of nature as they have put many of our families and friends at risk. When a hurricane endangers some of us it endangers all of us, so remember the doctrine upon which the United States was built. We have always come together when we felt threatened and there is no reason why we should not continue to do so. It is time for us to reclaim our democracy and use it to stop the fossil fuel industry.
Just as we cannot rely on the fossil fuel industry to protect us from not-so-natural disasters we cannot expect them to take responsibility for compensating people impacted by them. Since they are not providing aid, it is important that we help each other through this mess so that we have the strength to fight the industry responsible for our suffering. If you feel compelled to help provide relief for the devastation that Sandy has caused, you can donate here.
Stay strong, protect each other and help us win this fight!
Love and Solidarity,