Before Hurricane Katrina there were 5 charter schools (where public money goes to fund private schools, often for profit) and 120 public schools in New Orleans. Now there are 30 public schools and 40 charter schools. The right wing think tanks in the U.S. pounce when disaster strikes at a dizzying speed ready to rationalize the changes they want to make to concentrate power.
Jessie passed on this link today of Naomi Klein’s speech at the CCPA (my favourite thinktank). She’s a kick-ass, hard-core thinker and I feel very sympathetic to her mother-in-law who would like to see her go into politics. (I’d happily link to Michelle Landsberg’s quote in the Sept 1/07 feature article in the Globe and Mail but they won’t let you see it unless you pay.)
Disasters are welcome to a certain breed of meglomaniacs. The resulting chaos is a perfect environment for the kind of social and economic changes that make it easier to make money and hoard power. Climate change- who cares! For a certain breed it’s just a real-estate opportunity on an Alaskan glacier.
We need broad scale educating and organising on these issues but we also need to address some of our root dependence. Our global food system leaves us all incredibly vulnerable to disaster (of either the man-made or natural variety, though that’s a pretty blurry distinction these days). Learning to grow, forage, preserve and prepare food as individuals and in community networks is vital political action these days. If we’re all scrabbling around to feed ourselves, who’s left to resist the evil that rides in the wake?