Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lovely Rita [UPDATED]
It would seem that nothing can come between us and another disastrous storm. And in keeping with the tradition of this blog to be relentlessly pessimistic, may I inquire discreetly: is the hazardous future of climate change now? Instead of tip-toeing toward the monumental change that global warming promises in our way of life, have we jumped in? When was the last time 2 category 4 hurricanes landed in the same month, let alone the same year? [UPDATE: Rita has been upgraded to a category 5. Egad.] And what if 2 more hit our shores before the season is up? What if the same number, or more, pound us next year? How many will it take to collectively agree that life on our coasts has changed irrevocably, no longer habitable 12 months of the year?

Those of us that believe that climate change is responsible for the increase in the number and strength of hurricanes must eventually ponder the next logical step. It will not be a one-year phenomenon. I have always assumed that great changes will eventually be necessary to deal with chronically severe weather and rising ocean levels, but with an emphasis on "eventually." What if that future is now? I know, I know, it seems a needlessly panicky, dire question, with only the 2 sisters, Rita and Katrina. We could nearly make it, with a sister or 2, but what if October brings 2 more? Shouldn't that tell us something? How would that change the equation of a long-range rebuilding strategy?

If only her eye would give us a wink, instead of the bludgeoning that seems sure to come. Thoughts and best wishes to those on the Texas coast. I wouldn't want to meet 'er.

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