The Intersection

I’ve just noted that over in the comments at Prometheus, Roger Pielke Jr. has taunted myself and numerous others for not blogging about the recently released statement by a number of hurricane experts, on both sides of the hurricane-climate divide, saying that whether storms are intensifying or not, we had better stop our “lemming-like march to the sea.” I applaud the statement, although I am not at all surprised by it. It seems to me that U.S. hurricane experts have agreed upon this basic and undeniable fact–that we have foolishly put far too many lives and far too much property in harm’s way–for quite a long time. The hurricane-climate debate has received so much attention from journalists, I conjecture, in part because it seems sharper and newer (although it actually has a long history) and in part because it potentially complicates this narrative.

That said, the real reason I didn’t blog about this very important statement is simple: I’m overseas at the moment and was just feeling lazy.

Comments

  1. #1 JMG
    July 27, 2006

    Any observations on what’s happening at NASA with respect to earth monitoring from space? The “trashing the rental just before moving out” approach to earth?

    =====
    NASA’s Goals Delete Mention of Home Planet

    July 22, 2006 Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
    By ANDREW C. REVKIN

    From 2002 until this year, NASA’s mission statement, prominently
    featured in its budget and planning documents, read: “To understand and
    protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to
    inspire the next generation of explorers … as only NASA can.”

    In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase
    “to understand and protect our home planet” deleted. In this year’s
    budget and planning documents, the agency’s mission is “to pioneer the
    future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics
    research.”
    =====

  2. #2 Matthew C. Nisbet
    July 27, 2006

    Over at Framing Science, I have posted an analysis of the impact of the statement and why it is relevant to rethinking how scientists define for journalists what is newsworthy at the link below.

    http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science/2006/07/climate_scientists_create_news.php

  3. #3 Jon Winsor
    July 27, 2006

    It might be interesting to look at what insurance companies are doing about both of these trends (more shorefront property, and warming-enhanced storms). I know Swiss Re reinsurance has a page on climate change:

    http://www.swissre.com/INTERNET/pwswpspr.nsf/fmBookMarkFrameSet?ReadForm&BM=../vwAllbyIDKeyLu/bber-569h46?OpenDocument

  4. #4 G
    July 28, 2006

    Does anyone really think that some “science policy expert” somewhere is going to convince people to change their building habits significantly?

    If they do, they may be interested in some prime oceanfront property in Arizona.

    The only thing that would change people’s building habits is if insurance company’s quit footing the bill for reconstruction after storms, which, in the aftermath of Katrina, may actually be on not too distant horizon.

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