Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Political Denial

In the past I have mentioned hurricane cycles in this blog, I even mentioned them yesterday. I brought hurricane cycles up to a friend who was discussing investing in some re-insurance companies, because if the "re" companies haven't taken worsening hurricane seasons into account it will bite them VERY hard.
Weather you blame hurricane cycles or global warming, there is evidence that storms are getting worse. And to deny the effects regardless of the cause is to be in deep and dangerous denial. Wired magazine has a good article on stronger storms and the actions we should be taking to deal with them. Some facts from the article:
  • Large hurricanes pack the equivalent power "of hundreds of nuclear weapons" (for more on that see this page).
  • The annual average in property losses since 1987 is $23 billion. Yet in 2004, $45 billion in losses came from a quartet of Florida hurricanes -- Charley, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne. Some estimates of insured losses from Katrina and Rita are at $70 billion!
  • "In June, Congress and the White House slashed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' latest request for levee improvements in New Orleans from $105 million to $42.2 million." Seems like a bargain next to the estimated $200 billion clean up effort after Katrina. Now granted $60 million might not have been enough, but suppose $600 million was enough to keep New Orleans from flooding, its still a bargain.

It makes you think that maybe we need politicians that are a little more proactive instead of slowly reactive.

For more information on the power of storms I recommend reading the book "The Perfect Storm". While the movie is entertaining, the book is outstanding. You will put it down understanding much more about monster storms.
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