Hurricanes and Hot Air

It’s been two years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf
Coast, and recovery efforts are still underway and underfunded.
The government-sponsored news service Voice of
that many New Orleans families are still
living in the FEMA trailers designed as temporary emergency
structures. What’s more alarming is that those families could be
stuck in those trailers when another devastating hurricane

Many meteorologists believe that the United States may be in for
more Katrina-like storms in the near future. Hurricane Dean, which
tore through the Caribbean last week, was the ninth most intense
Atlantic hurricane in recorded history,
according to Chris Mooney of the Daily
. Mooney reports that six of the ten most intense
Atlantic hurricanes on record — including Katrina and Dean —
happened in the past 10 years. He’s careful to point out that
‘[n]o one storm says anything about climate change,’
but the pattern of intense storms worldwide is definitely cause
for alarm.

A new theory coming out of the climate change skeptic world,
though, argues that it’s time to relax and let capitalism work its
disaster-healing magic. A recent post from a go-to-blog for
World Climate Report (WCR), argues
that it’s ‘silly’ to devote resources to averting global climate
change. ‘Global trade and economic development’ offer the best
chance to stand up to future hurricanes by generating the
necessary cash for technologies and infrastructure that can
protect people from Mother Nature. To bolster this case, the
blogger compares Hurricane Dean and Hurricane Janet, a similar
storm that struck Mexico 50 years ago when per-capita income in
the country was lower. While Janet killed hundreds of people,
according to the WCR, ‘Dean killed no one.’

In realty, though, the Los Angeles Times reported
(subscription required) a day after the WCR post that
Hurricane Dean was responsible for the deaths of eight people in
Mexico (not to mention several more in the Caribbean). And New
Orleans, squarely situated inside of one of the most economically
successful countries in the world, is still reeling from Hurricane
Katrina two years after it hit.

Go there >>
Two Years After Katrina, Revisiting New Orleans and
Its Struggles

Go there, too >>
Hurricane Dean 1 of 10 Most Intense Atlantic
Hurricanes Ever Recorded

And there >>
Taming the Hurricane

And there >>
As It Dies, Dean Kills 8 In Mexico

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