It may have happened already, but if not, it’s just a matter of time before some jackass complains about how Irene was overhyped* because the damage/devastation was not as bad as it was feared. Which completely ignores that getting people to properly prepare is a huge part of minimizing the damage.
*I know Ron Paul has called for the elimination of FEMA, but that’s pre-existing jackassitude.
It’s already happened. And Dr. Briggs goes on from there to even more .. eye opening .. prose. Not only does he say imply that Irene was over-hyped, but he says that this caused great disappointment and sadness among the journalists covering it. Finally, he concludes that inability to precisely pick hurricane paths, peak winds, rainfall amount, height of storm surge, etc. is a reason to conclude that climate scientists’ general circulation models also can’t be trusted.
He’s a smart guy and I’ve gotten some insight into statistics and Bayesian reasoning from his writing but I’m surprised to see the “weather vs. climate” mistake on his blog.
Vast swaths of formally bankrupt polities had roads and bridges wiped. A tessellation of small businesses including agriculture overall and the fall 2011 harvest specifically, are gone. Insurance reinbursement will avidly seek loopholes (e.g., no flood insurance), then declare selective insolvency after the dual ream of the 2008 inventment scandal and the impossibility of investment income thereafter courtesy of Benjamin “BS” Bernanke multi-$trillion looking after his own.
The area overall averaged 7 inches of rain. Give it a week to percolate. The US northeast has severe topography no now longer traversable, and zero backup. Upstate New York and north will be forgotten to death. New York City is staring at a Hudson River that will turn mean. We must support our slums, er, Inner Cities.