When Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast, it stirred up not just gale-force winds and untold misery, but a host of difficult environmental questions. How did heedless coastal development exacerbate the hurricane’s toll? What’s behind the socio-economic disparity in environmental planning — and emergency response to environmental disasters? Did global warming make the storm more intense? What new ecological problems does the Gulf Coast face in the wake of Katrina? Is there a smart way to build a city below sea level in hurricane country?
In the upcoming weeks and months, Grist will tackle these topics and more. Check this page for updates on our Katrina-related coverage.
- Any Report in a Storm, 01 Sep 2005
Prominent environmental journalists tell us how they’ve covered the connection between climate change and Katrina.
- The Cyclone Ranger, 07 Sep 2005
A bona fide climate expert explains the scientific consensus on the connection between hurricanes and global warming.
- Meet the New Loss, 07 Sep 2005
Bill McKibben says that Katrina’s aftermath may not “look like America” to us now, but in an age of climate chaos, we’d better get used to it.
- Race to the Bottom, 08 Sep 2005
The inequitable treatment of poor African-Americans in the aftermath of Katrina was no surprise to environmental-justice advocates.
- Recipe for Disaster, 09 Sep 2005
A cartoon by Mark Wilson suggests Bush’s post-Katrina plans may be half-baked.
- Big Dreams for the Big Easy, 15 Sep 2005
Timothy Lange outlines a plan for building a new Eco New Orleans.
- If You Don’t Like the Climate, Wait a Minute, 15 Sep 2005
The Weather Channel’s climate reporter chats about Katrina, sexing up global warming, and more.
- Drill Bill: Vol. 2, 17 Sep 2005
Muckraker examines the raft of energy proposals being floated post-Katrina — some green, most not.
- Chevy to the Levees, 04 Oct 2005
David Helvarg takes a drive into hurricane-ravaged New Orleans and sends a dispatch.
- A New Hope, 05 Oct 2005
A young activist worries about a future full of Katrinas, and remembers her responsibility to have hope.
- You’ve Got Nail, 10 Oct 2005
Umbra Fisk tells you how best to help the Gulf Coast rebuild greenly.
- Hung Out to Dry, 11 Oct 2005
Osha Gray Davidson finds that while Post-Katrina floodwaters are dirty, the state of other U.S. waterways is nothing to brag about.
- Atlantic Records, 20 Oct 2005
We round up a whirlwind of stats about this year’s record-setting hurricane season.
- We Rebuilt This City, 24 Oct 2005
Eco-experts, community activists, and bigwigs weigh in on how best to rebuild New Orleans.
- Storm Riders, 11 Nov 2005
A rundown of green plans and brown bills proposed post-Katrina.
- Unnatural Disasters, 18 Nov 2005
Where might the next Katrina hit? A map of potential disaster spots in the U.S.
For additional opinion, reader reactions, and links to external stories, don’t miss the ongoing Katrina coverage on our blog, Gristmill. We’ve got comprehensive roundups of external links (here and here) as well as a range of news and views updated every day.
Stories in this series:
As the world watched New Orleans’ devastating descent into squalor last week, questions about connections between global warming and hurricanes reemerged. A few politicians and activists leapt to offer their views, most of which were unmeritorious. So what does the …
If the images of skyscrapers collapsed in heaps of ash were the end of one story — the U.S. safe on its isolated continent from the turmoil of the world — then the picture of the sodden Superdome with its …
Much of the world — including white America — has been shocked by the devastation in New Orleans, and by the ongoing failures it has exposed at every possible level of government. Even normally unflappable TV news anchors and politicians …
I heard that George Bush told New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin the city could be remade into “a shining example for the whole world.” If Bush did say that, it surely wasn’t an environmentally sound renaissance he had in mind. …
Hurricane Katrina has triggered a whirlwind of new energy proposals in Congress — some gratifying to environmental activists, most galling. The long-awaited energy bill that President Bush gleefully signed into law a mere month ago started looking sadly outdated when …
David Helvarg is president of the Blue Frontier Campaign, which originally published this article. He is also author of the forthcoming, revised Blue Frontier: Dispatches from America’s Ocean Wilderness (Sierra Club, 2006) and 50 Simple Ways to Save the Ocean …
I’ve seen my future, and it’s scary. It involves hurricanes, floods, destruction, mass evacuations, disease, and death. Hurricane Katrina and the week after it were a serious wakeup call for me. Youth the force, Luke. Climate change promises me that …
Dear Umbra, There seem to be plenty of good organizations accepting dollars to help the people of the Gulf Coast. But as The Nature Conservancy has said, “While current attention is rightfully focused on the immediate human toll and suffering …
Last month, “toxic gumbo” entered the American lexicon with the speed and force of the floodwaters it describes. A LexisNexis search of major U.S. publications doesn’t return a single hit for the phrase in the year before Hurricane Katrina. But …