Op-Ed: Hurricane Ian and the coming climate crash
Hurricane Ian was the first major storm to hit the Florida panhandle this season. Like all major storms it is a category 3 storm, which is still a moderate tropical storm. Unlike all major storms it is, as the Associated Press noted, “not quite on the same scale as Sandy or Katrina” and it is not a tropical storm, “the storm’s official category, with winds blowing across the Gulf of Mexico from the southwest.”
The AP went on to call it “the strongest storm of the season.” On the eve of the storm’s landfall the National Weather Service forecast the hurricane to arrive somewhere between Tampa and Naples by Sunday evening.
In the event the storm made landfall, the storm surge — a surge of water that arrives when waves crash into a coast due to a storm (if you don’t know what a wave is, you need to go to your nearest ocean) — will reach heights of 10 feet and cause widespread property damage in the Florida Panhandle.
This is significant because the majority of the people and the majority of the assets in the Panhandle are located in coastal areas. As a result, the majority of the damages and losses that the storm inflicts will be economic losses — property damage is the most significant economic loss — and these property losses will almost certainly be greater than the loss of life.
However, these property losses will be smaller than the losses from other hurricanes and major storms in the past, because the Panhandle has a long history of having relatively strong defenses. The Panhandle also has a long history of having had relatively strong hurricane and major hurricane defenses.
But these same factors that have historically granted the Panhandle the ability to withstand hurricanes and major hurricanes are now causing the Panhandle to be vulnerable to a potential catastrophic storm.
What are the major factors causing the Panhandle to be vulnerable to a storm?
The United States Congress and the entire U.S. political class are determined that the majority of people in the United