(350.org, 20.Oct.2020) — While a record deluge of intensifying hurricanes hit the Caribbean and Gulf, many of the same communities are at risk of a slow-motion multi-million-gallon oil spill in the region, even larger than the infamous 1989 Exxon-Valdez spill which involved 10.8 million gallons.
Amira Odeh, 350.org Caribbean and Gulf Organizer and geographer, issued the following statement:
“With this spill potentially worse than the 1989 Exxon-Valdez disaster, this is yet the latest reminder that there is no such thing as ‘safe’ fossil fuels. Here in the Caribbean, the same toxic fossil fuel companies responsible for warming our oceans, are also causing devastating hurricanes and storms, profiting off colonialism, and polluting our waters, communities and homes.
“The Caribbean is highly dependent on a thriving ocean for economic activities and for the protection of the health of millions that live in or near the coasts. A disaster of this magnitude would not only be an ecological catastrophe, but also have severe impacts on the livelihood of island residents. Our region is already suffering storms, sea level rise, coral bleaching and higher temperatures. We certainly cannot allow for the fossil fuel industry to continue destroying our home.
“Impending disasters like this spill — amidst a deluge of increasingly devastating storms and other climate effects make it even more crucial for us to mobilize to vote this November. The time is now to hold fossil fuel polluters accountable, and put the health and safety of our communities first.”