Severe Hurricane Frequency in New Orleans

OK, I warned you, editorials are already blaming the damage in New Orleans on Global Warming in general and George Bush in specific.  Here is what you need to know about this meme:

  • Katrina is the 5th category four or five hurricane to hit within 100 miles of New Orleans since 1899.  This includes the hurricanes in 1948, 1965, and Camille in 1969.  Camille was the real whopper up to this point, one of only 3 class 5 hurricanes to ever hit the US before Katrina.  Note however, after three major (class 4 or 5) hurricanes in 21 years in the area from 1948-1969, there has not been another one to hit this area for 36 years.   It is difficult to figure out how you get an increasing frequency argument from this data.

A more detailed study of hurricane frequency is here and nice graphs here.  It turns out that increasing $ damages from hurricanes have more to do with expensive houses near the coast than increasing hurricane severity.  More on cycles of hurricane activity here

If there is a government failing here, it has more to do with local infrastructure than CO2This blog blames the lack of infrastructure on Bush (of course).  I have no particular problem bash Bush for anything, but my question is,if the locals knew this, as the blog implies, why didn't the locals spend their own damn money on their own infrastructure to protect their own selves.  If New Orleans chooses to build their city below sea level, why should the rest of us bear the cost of their higher-than-average infrastructure costs?