Snip from Boston Globe story by Ross Gelbspan:
Although Katrina began as a relatively small hurricane that glanced off south Florida, it was supercharged with extraordinary intensity by the relatively blistering sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico. The consequences are as heartbreaking as they are terrifying.
Unfortunately, very few people in America know the real name of Hurricane Katrina because the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue.
The reason is simple: To allow the climate to stabilize requires humanity to cut its use of coal and oil by 70 percent. That, of course, threatens the survival of one of the largest commercial enterprises in history.
In 1995, public utility hearings in Minnesota found that the coal industry had paid more than $1 million to four scientists who were public dissenters on global warming. And ExxonMobil has spent more than $13 million since 1998 on an anti-global warming public relations and lobbying campaign. In 2000, big oil and big coal scored their biggest electoral victory yet when President George W. Bush was elected president -- and subsequently took suggestions from the industry for his climate and energy policies.
As the pace of climate change accelerates, many researchers fear we have already entered a period of irreversible runaway climate change.
Against this background, the ignorance of the American public about global warming stands out as an indictment of the US media.
(Thanks, Bruce Sterling)
A related item, from a 2001 National Geographic story:
[T]he North Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico regions can expect increased hurricane activity in the next 10 to 40 years. The number of major hurricanes has more than doubled in the last six years. The increase is part of a long-term climate shift that is likely to persist for several decades..."
(from Boing Boing, posted by Xeni Jardin at 03:14:46 PM)