New Orleans’ Summer of Floods Revives the Threat of Privatization

As climate change intensifies weather events like the rainstorms that keep hitting New Orleans, the burden on cities’ infrastructure gets heavier. At the same time, the backlog of deferred maintenance in most of the country has weakened these systems’ resilience. Most municipal governments are ill-equipped to handle the increasingly urgent overhauls, especially if they’ve just been hit with a major disaster. That opens a window for private companies — so-called “disaster capitalists” — to make their pitch.

Today’s irrational policies increase the costs of tomorrow’s storms

Both the House and Senate have passed over $50 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations bills to deal with the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy last fall. New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island were particularly hard hit by the giant storm that measured over one thousand miles in diameter. Who is going to pay for all this and how many extreme weather events will the federal government be expected to rectify through relief and reconstruction?