Katrina Foreshadowed

E‘s 2004 book Feeling the Heat: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Climate Change (Routledge), based on a special feature in the September/ October 2000 issue of the magazine, reported on many of the connections between intense storm damage and global warming now under discussion in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Colin Woodard described how the ultimate "low country," Holland, had spent more than $25 billion on state-of-the-art defenses against sea-level rise and weather-related glacial melt. "Rather than building levees higher to deal with global warming, the new strategy will give the rivers more room, allowing them to flow and flood more naturally rather than trying to force them into artificial channels," Woodard wrote, anticipating the argument that many environmental groups are now making for Louisiana.

Jim Motavalli’s chapter on New York City noted the alarming loss of wetlands in Jamaica Bay (three percent a year since 1994), and detailed storm-related flooding of the city in 1992 and 1999. "The borough of Brooklyn, now home to more than two million people, was once largely marshland, but the redesigning of this landscape for exclusive human use has resulted in the loss of valuable natural protection in times of flood," the chapter said.

CONTACT: Feeling the Heat.