Disaster Law

Will the BP Oil Spill Change Public Policy?

The oil spill catastrophe now engulfing the Gulf Coast brings home in incredibly vivid detail the ways in which human activity can damage the earth.  This is in stark contrast to climate change, for example, where the changes caused by accumulating greenhouse gas emissions are hard to see and where actions today will only affect the …


The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Revisited

104 years ago today, the earth shook in San Francisco, igniting devastating fires that destroyed the city. But the impact of the fire was greater than just the loss of property and life: Robert Righter argues that the nationwide sympathy for San Francisco helped revitalize the otherwise flagging campaign in the United States Congress to …


Remembering Katrina

Four years ago today, at about this time of day, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana after it’s previous brief encounter with Florida.  A picture of the landfall is below. I remember thinking that, “as usual,” the weather people were hyping the possible impacts. As it turns out, my skepticism was partly justified because the …