Australia needs a national plan to face the growing threat of climate disasters

NPR investigation finds FEMA aid favors the rich and white

Who gets public money after natural disasters — and who doesn’t?

A new NPR investigation and analysis of previously unreleased Federal Emergency Management Agency data shows that, regardless of need, post-disaster government funds tend to favor the privileged over the poor.

The story opens with the tale of two Houston families, both of which lost their homes due to storm-related flooding in 2017: a newly married, financially comfortable homeowning couple who received $30,000 in FEMA funds and more than $100,000 in tax refunds, and a family of renters consisting of a single mom and three kids, who were only given $2,500 in federal aid for a rental deposit.

The disparities in the two families’ financial situations only snowballed after the flood. While the wealthier couple was able to qualify for a low-interest loan to rebuild, the single mom landed in hot water with FEMA for choosing to use her funds on a vehicle for her family members to commute to work and school, and was not able to qualify for other sources of federal aid due to her low credit score….


Greek Olive Oil prices rise due to natural disasters in Italy


Greece has benefited, mostly in terms of being able to command a higher price for its olive oil, from the fact that Italy cannot cover its needs due to natural disasters and is in turn having to import, said Agriculture Minister Stavros Arachovitis.

Despite the fact that the yield from Greece’s harvest was also lower this year, developments in Italy have pushed the price upwards, he told AMNA. Already in some areas, such as Lakonia, the price of extra virgin olive oil has exceeded 3.6 to 3.65 euros per litre, he said.

“Italy can import from EU member-states, such as Greece,” the minister pointed out, but cannot import from third countries “beyond what has been agreed, a symbolic quantity mostly to support other countries as Tunisia, but this quantity is pre-agreed and small.”

Referring to the new year, Arachovitis expressed his optimism that it will be good for the olive harvest and olive oil production….


Australia needs a national plan to face the growing threat of climate disasters

We are entering a new era in the security of Australia, not because of terrorism, the rise of China, or even the cybersecurity threat, but because of climate change. If the world warms beyond 2℃, as seems increasingly likely, an era of disasters will be upon us, with profound implications for how we organise ourselves to protect Australian lives, property and economic interests, and our way of life.

The early warning of this era is arriving almost daily, in news reports from across the globe of record-breaking heatwaves, prolonged droughts, massive bushfires, torrential flooding, and record-setting storms….

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