The question on every American's mind: Can Katrina happen to me where I live? The answer, unfortunately, is yes, yes, and again yes. If you are one of the 150 million Americans who live within 100 miles of a coastline -- and even if you live much farther inland -- you could be inhabiting the next New Orleans. The bad news for you is that there are even more studies full of even more scientific data confirming this fact than the studies predicting Katrina prior to 2005.
The issue this time is global warming. We are literally altering the sky above us. And be assured: This is not some "junk theory" peddled by Greenpeace extremists. No less an authority than the Bush Administration itself has officially confirmed, on multiple occasions, that global warming is real and is driven by our use of fossil fuels -- oil, coal, and natural gas. Worldwide, thanks to climate change, sea level is expected to rise up to three feet within the coming decades and extreme weather events will significantly increase, according to the Bush Administration.
These two factors -- more intense storms and rising ocean levels -- mean we are rapidly turning every coastal city in America into another New Orleans.
Mike Tidwell predicted in vivid detail the Katrina hurricane disaster in his 2003 book, Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast. He has written five books centered on the themes of travel and nature. These include Amazon Stranger (detailing efforts to save the Ecuadorian rain forest) and In the Mountains of Heaven (travels to exotic lands across the globe). Tidwell has won four Lowell Thomas awards, the highest prize in American travel journalism, and is a former grantee of the National Endowment for the Arts. His articles have appeared in many national publications. Tidwell is also founder and director of the U.S. Climate Emergency Council, based in Takoma Park, Maryland. A native of Georgia, he now lives in Maryland with his nine-year-old son, Sasha.
"The ignoble American response to the unprecedented peril of climate change has produced few heroes, but Mike Tidwell is one. Here he shows why -- this book is a perfect mix of reporting, motivation, and specific advice for the huge work ahead of us. A truly crucial book, one that will make a difference!" -- Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature
"The Ravaging Tide makes brutally clear that Katrina was but a curtain-raiser, that big oil and big coal have taken our government hostage, and that America's historical legacy may well be as the chief exporter of climate chaos to the rest of the world. The time for action, Mike Tidwell insists, is now. And the most critical actor is you." -- Ross Gelbspan, author, The Heat Is On (1998) and Boiling Point (2004)