As countless people who have lived along the Gulf Coast still try to recover from hurricane Katrina, each evening we see leaders and residents alike talk about not letting Mother Nature win, and the need to rebuild New Orleans and other destroyed communities. I love to see such resiliency and determination, but in the heat of the moment there is a strong emotional element that is involved when these statements are made. In the long run, cooler heads need to seriously consider whether such massive investments are the wise thing to do.
On August 8, I wrote about how research showed a key prediction from global warming models has been confirmed. It only took three weeks before we had more supporting evidence with Katrina. The prediction is that with global warming comes warmer surface water temperature, and a consequence of this is not more frequent hurricanes, but rather more intense and destructive hurricanes. I have heard that Katrina was the strongest hurricane ever recorded via air pressure measurements. This was predicted and expected according to scientists who study global weather patterns and models, and the Nature article concluded with the prophetical prediction that
"results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in tropical cyclone destructive potential, and—taking into account an increasing coastal population—a substantial increase in hurricane-related losses in the twenty-first century."
Our leaders need to consider the science and increasing evidence that such ferocious storms will likely happen again before rebuilding begins. Obviously there are serious consequences, and it is time to weigh in hard data before emotional responses are acted upon.
If you can afford to donate for relief efforts, here is a direct link to the Red Cross.