Hurricanes, Global Warming and Reconstruction

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Historical studies show that hurricanes come in 20-year cycles. The 1920's and -30's were active, and so were the 50's and 60's. After another lull, the frequency picked up again in the 90's and it's likely to continue for some time to come. During the latest lull, a lot of people moved into hurricane country even though a new cycle of storms was expected. What has astonished scientists about Katrina and Rita is not that they're part of a growing number of storms but their intensity. One of Britain's leading environmental scientists calls them "the smoking gun of global warming." We explore the relationship between hurricanes and global warming, and whether vulnerable areas should be rebuilt at taxpayer expense with journalists, lobbyists, economists and experts in atmospheric and ocean dynamics.
  • Making News: Former FEMA Chief Defends Role in Hurricane Katrina Response
    Former Director of FEMA Michael Brown got a tough grilling from Congressmen of both parties at the first hearing on what went wrong in the federal response to Katrina. Connecticut Republican Christopher Shays said Brown failed to coordinate with local officials." Robert Block, who is covering today's hearing for the Wall Street Journal, says Brown essentially laid the blame at the feet of Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco.
  • Reporter's Notebook: News Accounts Mayhem at the Superdome Were Overstated
    "Inflated body counts, unverified 'rapes,' and unconfirmed sniper attacks" were just some of the "myths" and rumors recycled and amplified by the media. The current editor of the Times-Picayune says that would not have happened if the hurricane victims had been "middle-class white people." Former reporter, columnist and editor Keith Woods is now Dean of Faculty at the Poynter Institute, a journalism school in Florida.



Warren Olney