We’ve noted in this space before that Katrina certainly blew the environmentalists off course in that it forced America to come to grips with the supply side of the price of energy. Once supply stopped and demand remained steady, prices shot up. VoilÃÂ ! An up-close lesson in supply and demand. It made folks scratch their heads a bit and wonder why we can’t do something about the supply. Strike one for the environmentalists.
Then came the faux global warming debate, starting with outrageous statements by Bobby Kennedy, Jr., and continuing right up through songbird Barbra Streisand. The sheer outrage of some of these statements, and the glare of publicity on all of them made every self-respecting journalist (a low bar, we know) scurrying for — gulp! — the facts. When they did, they found people like hurricane expert Max Mayfield, among others, who calmly explained that hurricanes operate in a cycle, plain and simple. This has worked its way now into the lexicon and in the process has begun to more widely debunk the once-fervently held theory of global warming. Strike two.
Finally, opponents of drilling in the outer continental shelf shook the shrunken head of oil spills every time the topic was broached. Fair enough, you say. Well, Katrina packed winds in excess of 150 m.p.h., a full category 5 hurricane. And what happened? Fifty-two platforms were destroyed. Yet there were no oil spills of the scale predicted by the anti-OCS hype. As predicted, the technology has improved after all. So much for hysteria. Strike three.
So when the damage from Katrina and Rita are tallied, somewhere in there, at a cost too high to imagine, is the cost of the destruction of a host of old misconceptions, the cost of the truth laid bare.
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