Monday 26 September 2005

The Butterfly Effect Of Katrina And Rita

Notwithstanding the human costs of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the long-term economic and social costs will be equally devastating and wide-reaching. In Canada, oil prices had risen dramatically since the disasters hit the US. Consumers had seen unparalleled increases in gasoline and diesel prices. Yet, many of the economic downfalls to come will be more pervasive and indirect. This is because, in today’s materialistic society driven by a resource-heavy economy, oils are essential in both the manufacturing of virtually all consumable products and the transportation of these manufactured products to markets. Business sectors, such as agricultural, energy, manufacturing, and transport industries among others that are heavy consumers of “non-green” fuels, will be severely stressed by the economic impacts of the US disasters. In turn, consumers will see prices rise over time in products and services provided by these sectors. Moreover, jobs from these industries will need to be relocated away from the affected regions, resulting in further unemployment and diversion of human resources in these areas. In the end, such economic and social costs are likely to be as immeasurable as the costs of human lives, and we will bear the consequences of such costs for years to come.

By Philip Jong • At 05:49 AM • Under Column • Under World
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