Hurricane Ian: A Profoundly Polluting Event

| October 11, 2022 | Leave a Comment

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Date of Publication: September 29

Year of Publication: 2022

Publisher: Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy - CASSE

Author(s): Brian Czech

If you’re a steady stater, I know what you’re thinking about Hurricane Ian. For starters, of course, you’re deeply concerned about any family or friends you may have in Florida, along with folks in general along Ian’s path. But you’re also wondering, “What about the pollution?”

The marine pollution that accompanies coastal flooding, most notably from violent hurricanes, is probably ignored by the majority of folks, or thought of only in passing. Throwing up our hands and assuming it a lost cause to worry about such pollution is somewhat understandable, because once a hurricane is en route, very little can be done. Ian is at this moment ushering a panoply of pollutants into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean per se.

But Ian is just one hurricane, and hurricanes are just one type of flooding event. Now is the time for the wake-up calls to penetrate our local and regional planning authorities, as well as state and federal policy makers who have a say in the rate of growth along our coasts. The costs of inaction include severe marine pollution, loss of coastal freshwater supplies, fiscally debilitating cleanup costs, and the imperilment of numerous species. Furthermore, for all practical purposes many of these costs will be permanent. In other words, we won’t be able to “pay” them out of existence.

Read the full article here.

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