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February 2005
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Katrina: The Deadly Weapon of Global Warming

Cyclone_Catarina_from_the_ISS_on_March_26_2004Hurricane Katrina, with its devastating consequences for the south of the USA, is but the latest in a long line of hurricanes to hit the area. What makes its impact even more horrific is the sheer ferocity of the storm, the degree to which the region was unprepared for the event, and the extraordinary slowness of the Bush administration to respond quickly and effectively to its effects.

The effects of Katrina were exacerbated by the impact of global warming on the hurricane cycles of the Atlantic. In other words, across the world, we are not only failing to adequately prepare for natural disasters, we are actively contributing to their severity and impact.

The devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina have shown that the rich cannot protect themselves from natural disaster, including those caused or exacerbated by global warming. While the poor suffer from the Asian tsunami or Hurricane Katrina because they have been denied autonomy over their own environments and are given no support to protect themselves, in the US, in reality the entire region is a scene of colossal devastation. Clean up costs are estimated at $150 billion, and some are saying the city of New Orleans will have to be abandoned. This is an extraordinarily high price to pay for failing to heed the power of our effects on nature, and one that the rich as well as the poor will be unable to avoid.

Read the full article on OnIslam (formerly Islam Online)

Photo: NASA, on wikicommons:

See the latest views from the insurance industry (June 2013):

The rise in extreme weather events driven by warming of the oceans has led analysts in the global insurance industry to issue a warning that the sector risks being hit by waves of costly claims unless it starts pressurising governments to take action on greenhouse gas emissions

Living Beyond Our Means: Where Is the Solution?

Hadzabe2003%20153The earth’s ecosystem is on the brink of disaster warns a report commissioned by the UN, funded by the World Bank, conducted by over 1,300 leading scientists from 95 countries, and launched at the Royal Society. Yet despite its impeccable science, which pinpoints the problems with expert precision, the report appears to offer few solutions to this crisis. Despite all the resources, as well as the expertise and lobbying capacities at the disposal of its institutional sponsors, little practical guidance is given as to how we might respond to the impending environmental catastrophe.

 The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) Synthesis Report estimates that up to 60 percent of the ecosystems that support life on earth are being degraded or used unsustainably. As the report makes clear, most of this damage has been done in the last 50 years.

“Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural functions of earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted,” the report says.

Read the full article at OnIslam (formerly IslamOnline)

A Warming Planet with Closed Eyes

Most scientists now agree that the rise in the world’s temperature will continue dramatically throughout the next hundred years. Top end predictions indicate the temperature could heat up by as much as 7-10 degrees C by the end of the twenty-first century. If this worst-case scenario does indeed come about, the consequences will be catastrophic. In the words of environmental campaigner, George Monbiot, we will be looking at the possibility of “the end of the circumstances which permit most human beings to remain on earth.”

ReaWalesbeach2002d this article at OnIslam (Formerly Islam Online)