October 16, 2009

Catastrophe in the Making

This book takes an interesting perspective on the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina--that it was really a result of humans striking nature. The authors blame the destruction of New Orleans on the "growth machine," engineers, developers, speculators, and politicians, who ignored the warnings of nature and instead built on New Orleans as a way of making profits for themselves. The authors assert that many members of this "growth machine" took shortcuts, were incompetent, or even willfully ignorant of the damage that they were causing to nature by developing the Mississippi delta so heavily and leaving New Orleans vulnerable to the kind of disaster that struck in the form of Hurricane Katrina. The authors use this disaster as a lesson for the entire country. They assert that the same "growth machine" and greed for profit at the expense of nature is happening all across the country in the form of housing developments, strip malls, and industrial parks. They ask readers, if watching one of the nation's most cherished cities drown did not prompt us to change our relationship with our environment, what will?

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

Catastrophe in the Making: The Engineering of Katrina and the Disasters of Tomorrow
William R. Freudenburg, Robert Grambling, Shirley Laska, and Kai T. Erikson
HV 636 .N4 C38 2009