Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Random thought: Wildfires and Blizzards

Half a million people in California have been evacuated because of wildfires. Wow!

I wonder: which costs more, the wildfires that happen out West every couple of years, or the snowstorms (both blizzards and garden-variety) that the East deals with every year? I bet most of the cost is paid in property taxes (for snow removal out east) and home insurance (against fire or snow/wind damage), but I wonder who gets more FEMA money after these predictable disasters...

3 comments:

Gavin Andresen said...

9 of the top ten disasters (by FEMA's costs) are hurricanes:
http://www.fema.gov/hazard/topten.shtm

... so we're probably mostly subsidizing all those beachfront properties down south...

Richard Morse said...

Now that I've fully recovered from your claim weeks ago, tentative though it may have been, that the recycling ethic is a kind of religion, I am now ready to dare to ask this question: what about global warming?

I'm prompted to ask by the fact that once again today I got into an argument with yet another climate- change denier. They're everywhere,these head-in-the-sand types, putting all their chips on the "zero" at the roulette table. That's "zero", as in "there is ZERO need to do anything in public policy to respond to the problem."

What sayest thou, oh occasionally refreshing, occasionally disappointing, but always seemingly omniscient skeptic?

Gavin Andresen said...

I'll write a blog entry on global warming soon. In brief, the questions are: Is it happening? (yes) Are we causing it? (yes, almost certainly) And what should be done about it?

That last one is the killer, full of politics and economics and tradeoffs and hidden motives and...