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Storm front and center: The environmental take on Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

In This Series

  • A roundup of green plans and brown bills proposed post-Katrina

    Resourceful environmental leaders have unearthed opportunity amidst the wreckage left behind by this year’s record hurricane season and the battering of the Gulf Coast. They’ve crafted plans for everything from the building of new, green, affordable housing to the tightening of auto fuel-economy standards. Of course, powerful people with less eco-friendly agendas have seen opportunity […]

  • In which we ask a mess of smart people what should happen in New Orleans

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock — and these days, we can’t say we’d blame you — you’ve probably put at least a smidgen of thought toward the fate of New Orleans. It’s a rare thing to reconstruct an American city from scratch (though we can think of a few more cities we’d put […]

  • An eye on this year’s record-setting hurricane season

    1 — rank of Hurricane Wilma in Atlantic storm intensity on record1 12 — Atlantic hurricanes so far this season, tying a record set in 19692 21 — named storms so far this season, tying a record set in 19332 145 — wind speed of Wilma at press time, in miles per hour3 140 — […]

  • Post-Katrina floodwaters are dirty, but so are other U.S. waterways

    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 in the 30 days after the storm’s landfall, 66 articles contained the phrase. Measure twice, […]

  • Umbra on rebuilding the Gulf Coast

    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 of this tragedy, the ecological damage has yet to be assessed.” The rebuilding effort, it […]

  • When inheriting the earth isn’t such a good deal

    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 in my lifetime, I will experience many more events like this. As a young person, […]

  • David Helvarg sends a dispatch from the hurricane-ravaged South

    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 (Inner Ocean, 2006). Thursday, 29 Sep 2005 NEW ORLEANS, La. The smell of New Orleans […]

  • Katrina prompts new energy proposals — some green, most not

    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 viewed against a backdrop of slackened oil production along the Gulf Coast, crippled refineries, gasoline […]

  • What New Orleans could look like the second time around

    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. But that is precisely what is needed. Call it Eco New Orleans. It should encompass […]