What has climate change and crime has to do with social disorder? After the Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans some residents of New Orleans who remained in the city began looting stores and competing for the scares resources available. This also happened in Mississippi were residents looted their local stores and casinos. Many looters were in search of food and water that were not available to them through any other means.
The world saw a city of carjacking, murders, thefts, and rapes that flooded the news. The response of the governments in the USA to the social disorder and crime was to send in thousands of National Guard and federal troops along with numbers of local law enforcement agents from across the country by the state to bring law and order back to the city and to prevent any further social disorder. “They have M16s and are locked and loaded. These troops know how to shoot and kill and I expect they will,” Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said. A number of arrests were made throughout the affected area, including near the New Orleans Convention Center. A temporary jail was constructed of chain link cages in the city train station.
In Texas however, where more than 300,000 evacuees are located, local officials started to do criminal backgrounds checks on the evacuees, as well as on the relief workers helping them and people who have opened up their homes. However, one alarming crime statistics has been the number of homicides in Houston from September 2005 through February 22 2006 went up by 23% relative to the same period a year before; 29 of the 170 murders involved displaced Louisianans as a victim, a suspect, or both. Whether, there is a real social relationship between climate change and crime is yet to be fully tested. However, research has suggested that the weather may have an affect on the way people behave in society. (see weather and crime)
Today Houston remains home to over 120,000 people displaced by hurricanes, Rita and (mainly) Katrina and this is has had some major consequences for crime and social disorder in Houston. The crime of murder in the city that had been falling in the passed now is rising again. Some 58 of 261 murders up to August 24th this year have been linked to Katrina people. If the rate continues, murders for the year would exceed 400; last year there were 334. (Murder numbers jumped nearly 5% nationwide in 2005 after a long decline, according to FBI figures.)social disorder and crime can be one of the manifestations of Climate Change. On the face of it, how society deals with climate change and crime are just as important as the other massive challenges that face governments.