The Geography of Risk

Epic Storms, Rising Seas, and the Cost of America's Coasts by Gilbert M. Gaul

  • Published: Sep 08, 2020

This century has seen the costliest hurricanes in U. S. historybut who bears the brunt of these monster storms? Consider this Five of the most expensive hurricanes in history have made landfall since 2005 Katrina (160 billion), Ike (40 billion), Sandy (72... read more

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Details of The Geography of Risk

Exact title of the book
The Geography of Risk
Book author
Gilbert M. Gaul
ISBN
9780374718527
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Sep 03, 2019
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
304
File size (in PDF)
2736 kB

Some brief overview of book

This century has seen the costliest hurricanes in U. S. historybut who bears the brunt of these monster storms? Consider this Five of the most expensive hurricanes in history have made landfall since 2005 Katrina (160 billion), Ike (40 billion), Sandy (72 billion), Harvey (125 billion), and Maria (90 billion).

With more property than ever in harms way, and the planet and oceans warming dangerously, it wont be long before we see a 250 billion hurricane. Why? Because Americans have built 3 trillion worth of property in some of the riskiest places on earth barrier islands and coastal floodplains.

And they have been encouraged to do so by what Gilbert M. Gaul reveals in The Geography of Risk to be a confounding array of federal subsidies, tax breaks, low-interest loans, grants, and government flood insurance that shift the risk of life at the beach from private investors to public taxpayers, radically distorting common notions of risk. These federal incentives, Gaul argues, have resulted in one of the worst planning failures in American history, and the costs to taxpayers are reaching unsustainable levels.

We have become responsible for a shocking array of coastal amenities new roads, bridges, buildings, streetlights, tennis courts, marinas, gazebos, and even spoiled food after hurricanes. The Geography of Risk will forever change the way you think about the coasts, from the clash between economic interests and nature, to the heated politics of regulators and developers.

About author

M. Gaul has twice won the Pulitzer Prize and has been shortlisted for the Pulitzer four other times. For more than thirty-five years, he worked as an investigative journalist for The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other newspapers.

He has reported on non-profit organizations, the business of college sports, homeland security, the black market for prescription drugs, and problems in the Medicare program. His books include Giant Steps, Free Ride (with Neill A. Borowski), and Billion-Dollar Ball.

He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and a Ferris Fellow at Princeton University. Gaul lives in New Jersey.

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