Case-in-Point: Hurricane Katrina

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Submitted By mkarenmargaret
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Case-In-Point: Hurricane Katrina
Environmental Issues and Ethics
February 18, 2011

Case-In-Point: Hurricane Katrina I remember hurricane Katrina like it just happened yesterday. I watched awe struck half horrified and half amazed by the power of this storm and the extent of the flooding that occurred. I watched as people were plucked from their roof tops as their houses were completely engulfed by the flooding. I watched as The United States was unprepared for this magnitude of flooding and unaware this was going to happen. My first thought as I was watching this unfold was how this could have happened and what caused this amount of flooding. Unintended Consequences According to According to Raven, Berg, and Hassenzahl (2010), there are a number of unintended consequences from humankind’s involvement in the development of New Orleans. In the development of the city of New Orleans, engineers constructed a system of canals and levees. In doing so, they have disrupted the delta building process and build-up of coastal wetland (Raven, Berg & Hassenzahl, 2010). The wetlands would have helped absorb some of water and provide a natural protection against flooding. In addition, the effects of global warming from changes to the carbon cycle and rise in CO2 levels have caused melting of the polar ice causing a rise in sea level, desalination of the oceans changing the currents, and an increase in ocean temperatures causing increase frequency and power of hurricanes. One other reason for the devastating flooding in New Orleans, according to Raven, Berg and Hassenzahl (2010), “New Orleans is built on unconsolidated sediment with no bedrock underneath. With the extraction of the area’s rich supply of underground natural resources the land compacts, lowering the city” (p. 111). Because of human interference, sea levels are…...

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