Geography of Risk: Hurricane Economics
This is a book alert. I have just cataloged this at work (for those who don't know I work in the catalog department at the Public Library in Cincinnati). The book in question is called: The Geography of Risk: Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America's Coasts by Gilbert M. Gaul.
This book looks interesting because it is an economic assessment of the hurricanes of the past twenty years. Here is the publisher's description of the book. Maybe your local library will also get a copy. I thought some of the data points for cost were remarkable. And now we are entering hurricane season, with the first wave just behind us... luckily my daughter and her husband were up visiting from Norfolk, VA this past week... (he is in the Navy and stationed there...)
"This century has seen the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history―but who bears the brunt of these monster storms?
Consider this: Five of the most expensive hurricanes in history have made landfall since 2005: Katrina ($160 billion), Ike ($40 billion), Sandy ($72 billion), Harvey ($125 billion), and Maria ($90 billion). With more property than ever in harm’s way, and the planet and oceans warming dangerously, it won’t be long before we see a $250 billion hurricane. Why? Because Americans have built $3 trillion worth of property in some of the riskiest places on earth: barrier islands and coastal floodplains. And they have been encouraged to do so by what Gilbert M. Gaul reveals in The Geography of Risk to be a confounding array of federal subsidies, tax breaks, low-interest loans, grants, and government flood insurance that shift the risk of life at the beach from private investors to public taxpayers, radically distorting common notions of risk.
These federal incentives, Gaul argues, have resulted in one of the worst planning failures in American history, and the costs to taxpayers are reaching unsustainable levels. We have become responsible for a shocking array of coastal amenities: new roads, bridges, buildings, streetlights, tennis courts, marinas, gazebos, and even spoiled food after hurricanes. The Geography of Risk will forever change the way you think about the coasts, from the clash between economic interests and nature, to the heated politics of regulators and developers."