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Hurricanes, Population, and Damage

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJuly 27, 2006 3:57 PM


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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.

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