Whether or not Katrina could be indisputably linked to global warming, it has become the iconic global warming event in the public mind — a climate 9/11, if you will. When New Orleans is hit again (and it will be), the ineffective projects from FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the sundry contractors hired to rebuild hurricane defenses will be brushed aside, and the city will be hit all the harder. (Ironically, because the poor residents of New Orleans are still largely unable to rebuild their homes and communities, they may end up being spared this second hit if it comes in the next few years.) When that happens, or when we have a big hurricane hit on a city that isn’t even as prepared as New Orleans (such as, say, Washington D.C.), this emerging recognition that the carbon industries have been working to prevent us from acting against global warming — in effect, working to harm us in the name of maximizing profits — is likely to take on even greater vigor.
For the global warming denial industry, congressional hearings will be the least of their worries. In a post-Katrina II America, aware that some of the largest companies and the most influential think tanks worked hard to make sure that attempts to mitigate climate disruption were stopped, the perpetrators of this crime may face far greater trials. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.
Reading this won’t make you happy, but you’d better read it.