Thursday, September 01, 2005

Trumping Disasters

While the images of the destruction caused by Katrina are pretty remarkable and sobering, I think that comparison with the tsunami is a little off. I think the blow to New Orleans' levee system (and subsequent flooding) and its impact on oil production will make it a very expensive, if not the most expensive natural disaster in this country's history. It seems like Americans sort of want a bigger disaster.

But in terms of scale and death, the tsunami was really something quite awful. Well over 200,000 dead if not more. It is ridiculous, however, to compare misery. I remember the cover of Newsweek with the woman crying over a dead family member - an image burned into my brain. Today it's the woman mourning her husband, his body wrapped in a blanket. She couldn't get him oxygen in time. Death is death.


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