Natural disasters have been occurring for much, much, longer than I've been around on this old earth but are they worse now than before? I'm not qualified to answer this question so I don't really know. I do know what I believe, and that is that the natural disasters such as have occurred from the landfall of Katrina and Rita were made much worse by today's statistics than they would have been had they happened(and probably did) ,,,oh say,,,150 years go in the same areas.
150 years ago what was then the city of New Orleans was located on a ridge of land that was 10 to 15 ft above sea level. The influx of people moving to the area, making it the city that it was before Katrina brought them to their knees, is the reason it spread out and took over what was once marshland. Just ask the Dutch about those dikes,,you can't stop working on them and sometimes it takes a finger, or a government that's on the ball, to keep the water out when you're sitting on a spot that was never meant to be dry land to start with.
150 years ago the gulf coast wasn't overrun with developers looking to make a pocketful of money by building condos, vacation homes, and hotels,,,one on top of the other,,for people with more money than sense to buy them up for their 2 weeks or 2 months of tropical getaways. Of course other folks moved down there to live in order to serve those who could afford to have those vacation homes. I saw on the news where one family had a home out from Gulf Port that was built on an island that wasn't even there 150 years ago. How can they foresee that the damned island would be hanging around for more than a few years,,it's a danged sandbar in the gulf for shits sake.
150 years ago when there were hurricanes, or tornados, or earthquakes there were no satellites, or massive news broadcasts to tell the world what was happening or had happened. Usually it was days or even weeks before anyone, other than the ones the disaster effected, knew about it and even then nowhere close to the information we receive today. Today we are a NOW society, we rarely look ahead past the moment, and lately, we damn sure don't look back enough.
In my opinion the folks down there are lucky as hell that even more lives weren't lost when Katrina came rumbling in. Mother Earth is going to keep on doing what she's been doing for as long as she can do it and we'd better get out of her way or be prepared to handle her wrath when she gets riled.
I wonder how much government compensation those developers will get to rebuild in the path of the next hurricane?
Ok, I'm done now.