The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale does just what it’s supposed to: rank a storm based on its winds speeds. But the scale ignores other threats, like rainfall, storm surge, and the overall size of the storm.
This was no mere “natural” disaster. The impacts of Hurricane Maria were to a large extent attributable to inequalities of race, income and — critically — access to political power.
People in Puerto Rico have endured the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria since the storm hit 8 months ago, with many still struggling to get clean water and medical care. Now there’s evidence that the death toll from Maria and its aftermath has been far worse than previously thought
To discuss the ramifications from these storms on the oil markets, geoscientist and oil explorer Jeffrey Brown returns to the podcast. He calculates that Harvey alone will have long-lasting effects such as lingering supply shortages, but his greater focus is attuned to the growing validation of his Export Land Model, which calculates the rate at which oil-producing nations cease to become net exporters as their domestic consumption increases.
It’s wonderful to have all the information and the long advance warning of tropical storms. We’ve had plenty of time to prepare. And lots of practice. We’ve had lots of time, too, to prepare for the coming tempest of resource deplection and global warming. A few individuals and communities have done some preparation, which they won’t regret. But our government and financial leaders are throwing a hurricane party.
We are now used to hearing about once-in-a-1,000-year floods. The fact that we are used to hearing about them tells us that they will no longer be rare. In fact, since climate change is at the heart of these events and continues unabated, we can expect that storms practically everywhere will get worse.
Thanks to modern science and technology—satellites and computers—we have days of warning before a hurricane hits. Science and technology have also enabled us to forecast “storms” of another kind. Using computers and data about population, energy, pollution, natural resources, and economic trends, it’s possible to generate scenarios for the future of industrial civilization.
Harvey will almost certainly be styled as a tragedy. The storm is undoubtedly a colossal misfortune, and we should have compassion for those affected. But from a literary standpoint, it is not a tragedy at all. A genuine tragedy requires that the main players be unaware of how their own flawed character is leading them to self-destruction.
As the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu is devastated by Cyclone Pam, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben links the storm to global warming and responds to the new decision by the the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to back the fast-growing divestment campaign to persuade investors to sell off their fossil fuel assets.
Can big cities like New York or Washington protect against storm surge and rising seas?
Somewhere in the midst of watching the Weather Channel’s reporting on the approach of Superstorm Sandy, I was struck by the lack of meteorologists saying anything about what was behind the highly unusual phenomenon that was unfolding.
Storms in the Emergency Room – Hurricane Sandy, coal and nukes – it’s not pretty. From D.C. as storm hits, Earthbeat’s Daphne Wysham on the climate connection. From Australia, Greenpeace’s Georgina Woods on huge coal expansion. Then a Canadian plan to dump nuclear waste right next to Lake Huron and world’s biggest running reactor.