Hurricane 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: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Cyclone_Catarina_from_the_ISS_on_March_26_2004.JPG
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