The paradox of our time is that the part of the world that has never been safer from the vagaries of nature seems never to have been more terrified of them.
Bret Stephens again writes insightfully regarding society and climate matters, this time in his recent article Hurricanes, climate and the capitalist offset published in NYT reprinted in Tampa Bay Times. Entire text below.
Texans will find few consolations in the wake of a hurricane as terrifying as Harvey. But here, at least, is one: A biblical storm has hit them, and the death toll — 38 as of this writing — is mercifully low, given its intensity.
This is not how it plays out in much of the world. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch ripped through Central America and killed anywhere between 11,000 and 19,000 people, mostly in Honduras and Nicaragua. Nearly a decade later Cyclone Nargis slammed into Myanmar, and a staggering 138,000 people perished.
Nature’s furies — hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, droughts, infectious diseases, you name it — may strike unpredictably. But their effects are not distributed at random.
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