Ike Hits


Hurricane Ike seems to have killed at least one person in Texas, and probably more than one once the situation stabilizes enough to really survey the damage. Meanwhile, tons of lesser damage as “the huge Category 2 hurricane peeled sheets of steel off skyscrapers in Houston, smashed bus shelters and blew out windows, sending shattered glass and debris across the nation’s fourth largest city, with a population of 2.2 million.” Even more destruction seems to have been inflicted on the much smaller city of Galveston. And of course poorer island countries such as Cuba and Haiti are facing even more severe problems.

Nobody wants to politicize a natural disaster. But that’s in large part because we’re not accustomed to thinking about the weather as a policy issue. Clearly, however, when it comes to the issue of climate change weather is very much the point. The evidence suggests that global warming makes storms more severe, and the warmer we let it get, the more extreme weather phenomena we’ll see. If terrorists had done this, you can bet politicians would be willing to spend quite a bit of dough to try to prevent something worse from happening.