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)
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)
Makes a compelling case for reforming disaster policy, making government decision-making more transparent. (New Orleans Times-Picayune
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 Huffington Post
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
About the Author
Robert R. M. Verchick is Gauthier–St. Martin Professor of Environmental Law at Loyola University New Orleans.