Hurricane season runs until November 30, a fact I conveniently chose to ignore as my friend and I purchased our tickets to Costa Rica. We are going to surf, snorkel, watch green turtles nest on sandy shores, and relax. As long as a Category 3-5 doesn’t rain on our parade…

Hurricane Dean swirled through the Carribean this past week, causing an estimated $1.5 billion in damage, a great deal of damage occurring in Mexico, and Jamaica’s southern coast. Dean apparently took a “most fortunate course,” avoiding the touristy destinations of Cancun and Cozumel. Horray. Wonderful for those more impoverished Mexican towns. Hurricane Dean came at a time when communities around the U.S. are pausing, even holding their breath, remembering Hurricane Katrina and hoping that our communities near sea level are spared this season. Katrina slammed into the Gulf coast almost two years ago (anniversary = August 29), leaving a wake of destruction… and the organization I work for has graded Congress and the Administration on the progress, or lack thereof.

From friends who have journeyed down to the Gulf coast, they say not a whole lot of progress has been made in cleaning up after the natural disaster, and helping those most in need…

It seems to me that it is only a matter of time before another major storm sweeps through, and strikes a vulnerable, poorly planned, sea-level society that lacks adequate infrastructure to guard against strong storms. We should not be living in areas made even more vulnerable by global warming.