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Episode 5: How much can we blame the 2020 hurricane season on climate change?

We revisit interviews with people who survived Hurricane Laura this summer, take a road trip across Louisiana, and learn the latest science about climate change and hurricanes.

The 2020 Hurricane Season was intense. It set all kinds of records: most named storms in a season,and most to rapidly intensify, among others. Five storms hit the Louisiana coast. 

How much of this can we chalk up to climate change, and how much has to do with normal weather patterns? What’s the link between hurricanes and climate change?

This week on Life Raft we revisit interviews with people who survived Hurricane Laura this summer, take a road trip across Louisiana, and learn the latest science about climate change and hurricanes. 

Could Flood Insurance Sink Us Before The Water Does? Life Raft

Everyone knows flood insurance isn’t the most exciting topic. What this episode presupposes is: maybe it should be? It’s not difficult to imagine a future in which climate change-fueled storms and floods depopulate our coastal communities. Generations of Louisianians have been moving northward for decades, after all.  But could the rising cost of flood insurance actually drive people away sooner? That’s the question we’re exploring this week. We talk to two experts who explain the history of flood insurance in the United States, where the program is headed, and why flood insurance affordability is a political problem.  Rebecca Elliott is an assistant professor of sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her book is called Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States. Andy Horowitz is an assistant professor of history at Tulane University. His book is called Katrina: A History, 1915-2015.  Do you have a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There’s a super simple form on our website. Follow us on social media for bonus pictures and occasional memes. We’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Support for WWNO’s Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and listeners like you.  If you like what you hear from Life Raft, consider making a donation to WRKF and WWNO to help keep the show going!
  1. Could Flood Insurance Sink Us Before The Water Does?
  2. What Would It Take For Louisiana To Go Carbon Neutral By 2050?
  3. How Much Can We Blame The 2020 Hurricane Season On Climate Change?
  4. Bonus Episode: Confronting The Loss That Climate Change Promises
  5. HumaNature: Afrovivalist

Do you have a question you want us to explore? Send it to us!

For bonus pictures and extra fun vibes, follow us on social media. We’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Support for WWNO’s Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and listeners like you. 

If you like what you hear from Life Raft, consider making a donation to WRKF and WWNO to help keep the show going!