Cover: Facing Catastrophe: Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World, from Harvard University PressCover: Facing Catastrophe in PAPERBACK

Facing Catastrophe

Environmental Action for a Post-Katrina World

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$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674064256

Publication Date: 04/02/2012

Academic Trade

336 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


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The book is an important attempt to, among other things, take the ‘lessons of Katrina’ and make from them a new kind of national policy: one that can calculate the economic value of ‘natural infrastructure’—like Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, which help to diminish the ferocity of incoming hurricanes—and can use that calculation to make saner cost–benefit decisions about our environment.—Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post

Makes a compelling case for reforming disaster policy, making government decision-making more transparent.The Times-Picayune

In unraveling the engineering, social, and political debacles that created the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Verchick proposes fundamental reforms in disaster policy and environmental law for coping effectively and ethically with future natural disasters. His analysis of this complex tragedy is masterful and lucid, and his prudent prescriptions are compelling… Anyone concerned with human and environmental well-being should read this important synthesis about proactive disaster preparation, particularly in light of the ongoing warming of the atmosphere and rising sea levels.—P. R. Pinet, Choice

Hurricane Katrina was not just a storm; it was also the occasion for a complete governmental debacle. As Rob Verchick trenchantly demonstrates, we can learn much from this tragedy about how to face other major societal risks such as climate change. Let’s hope we learn from this experience, and from Verchick’s thoughtful analysis, without waiting for the lessons to be reinforced by still more disastrous policy failures.—Daniel A. Farber, University of California, Berkeley

Beautifully written, powerfully argued, and sweeping in its scope, Facing Catastrophe answers the wake-up call for environmental policymakers that was Hurricane Katrina. This is a book that deserves to be read, re-read, and read yet again.—Douglas A. Kysar, Yale University

Awards & Accolades

  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2010

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