Are we ready to learn the lessons of fire and flood?

Barker, Rocky
November 2005
High Country News;11/14/2005, Vol. 37 Issue 21, p21
This article presents the author's views about the lessons of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. Recently Republican Senator Larry Craig suggested to restore the 9th Ward, home of many of Louisiana's poor, as a wetland. Craig is not a nature lover. He has always shown that he is in favor of controlling the nature rather that accepting its power. His latest view is due to a new respect for the power of nature. However, one could say that people like Craig are slow to learn the lessons. In 1986, fires in Yellowstone National Park in the United States compelled people to change their view of the world. In recent times, hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disaster which forced people in the country to reconsider the role of state and federal government in their lives. Once again they are discussing when humans should control nature and when they should get out of its way. They are now realizing that sometimes it is better to let the nature do its work. Lessons like this often come at a heavy cost, but if they are ignored, they can cost even more.


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