Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Orleans Gets Ready - Haven't We Learned Anything?

Floating early morning river fog from cool nights, going, going...

Things are not looking good for dear old New Orleans, an American Icon City who has yet to come close to recovering from Katrina's destruction 3 years ago, this week. Although the big indicators like high water surface temperatures are not all there, the input from computer models and experts and still making Gustav big and heading for Louisiana. The price of oil has already risen (duh) as companies prepare for the worst. New Orleans...get ready.

It was three years ago this week that the worst American weather event took place. It also seemed at the time to be a wake up call about global warming and climate change. It seemed like a golden opportunity to take these warning signs to heart and begin to make the changes in our lives necessary to minimize the predictions of climate change. What happened?

Very little. Poor New Orleans was abandoned by the rest of our country and is only house by house recovering. At this rate it will never fully recover because it will keep getting devastated by future storms. What happened to New Orleans is beyond belief and only slightly believable by visiting the city yourself and seeing the destruction, even 3 years later.

The rest of the country has very slowly taken notice to the changes that are needed to fight climate change, but taking notice is very different from changing lifestyle. Despite the media jumping on the green band wagon, we continue to waste energy, drive too fast, don't recycle and... The list is long. Though many have taken great strides and done fantastic things, the total numbers just aren't there yet.

A tornado ripped through, of all places, New Hampshire this summer. Not the usual isolated touch down that only happens maybe every year. No, this was out of the Wizard of Oz. A continuous 50 mile swath, luckily mostly through forest, damaging over 150 homes and killing one person. Yes, in New Hampshire. Some call it a fluke, others call it the dramatic weather predicted as a result of climate change.

Some say Katrina was a fluke. After all, there are lots of flukes in history. But scientists around the world are not calling these weather events flukes. These are well established weather predictions based on science, thousand of scientists, hundreds of computer models.

So how many wake up calls do we need? How many times are we going to press snooze and go back to sleep and carry on our non sustainable lifestyle? Haven't we learned anything yet?

Meanwhile, New Orleans gets ready for Fluke Gustav.

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