Hurricane Katrina

Given the devastation of Katrina, this is one news story which has taken a surprisingly long time to penetrate my consciousness, and when it did, there didn't really seem much to add to what has been said. Looking at it now, it is quite hard to see how events took so long to get into my skull, but let me try and work it out. After all, I am usually fairly well versed in world events.

Over the weekend, in the background I heard of a hurricane approaching the US. Whilst this is a big event if you're in the path, from this side of the Atlantic it seems to be a reasonably regular event. It was only on Sunday evening (I think it was sunday) that I saw the pictures of a mass evacuation of New Orleans.

Then, for whatever reason, I just didn't happen to watch the news at the right times. I think I saw a few "Hurricane has passed" pictures, the sort of thing we have seen before.

Then the water level kept rising as the levee was breeched.

Last night, I became aware of New Orleans. There was some implication that the city would be abandoned, talk of Pompeii. Whether this is temporary or permanenent I have yet to ascertain, though the implication is that it is temporary.

This is absolutely stunning, both in the extent of this thing, and in how it has simply passed me by - I mean, what have I been doing?

This does point out, with great force, the impact that the climate can have on us. It should give the lie to George W Bush's spurious argument that doing something about climate change would wreck the economy. Events like Katrina, though they have happened in the past, are likely to become more frequent in the future, and they have a marked economic effect - doing nothing about climate change is not an option with zero economic impact.....