Katrina: A Warning

Hurricane Katrina is a great tragedy for the beautiful city of New Orleans - I have only been there once that I remember, but was born not far away in Baton Rouge. But it also demonstrates our dependence on oil (oil prices are expected to spike up as gulf production and the ports there shut down) and just a foretaste of the effects of global warming: sea surface warming is well known to intensify hurricanes, and the measured rise from our CO2 emissions has already been claimed to account for a doubling in total hurricane intensity over the past 50 years. 

And it also highlights how ineffective the political response has been to that looming threat: Bush obviously has done next to nothing about the climate problem and the energy alternatives we need to pursue to mitigate it, but the Democrats are little better - fearful as always that the American public's attachment to SUV's will kill them if they even suggest such necessary measures as higher gas taxes, for instance.

The satirical Onion (warning: 18 and over) had a hilarious "story" on Bush's plans here a couple of weeks ago: "Bush Vows to Eliminate U.S. Dependence on Oil by 4920".

Note the comments from General Motors and Exxon-Mobil - "Some industrialists, particularly major auto manufacturers, expressed reservation over Bush's initiative".

So what can we do to move things along? Will it really take a third party, "perhaps one comprising robots or super-intelligent, genetically engineered man-beasts" as the Onion suggests, to help keep the world livable?

Created: 2005-08-29 14:15:56 by Arthur Smith
Modified: 2005-08-29 14:17:29 by Arthur Smith