After being endorsed by Charlie Crist – the governor of Florida – John McCain said something rather unintelligent today:
We’ve got to provide home insurance for every person who lives in the path of a hurricane. We are going to have to work together to save the Everglades and other great environmental treasures of this state.
The first huge problem with this is the transfer of wealth that is being proposed here. People who live on the coast in hurricane territory have every expectation of getting hit by hurricanes again and again. Having the taxes of people sensible enough to live elsewhere used to subsidize insurance for those in the risky area is quite unfair. It is also rather imprudent, as it encourages the continued occupation of hurricane-prone areas, with all the implications for death and property destruction that implies.
I could see some justification for a one-off relocation fee for people living in hurricane areas – especially if weather patterns have changed and made a previously safe area dangerous. I cannot see the logic behind using taxes to encourage people to live in dangerous areas, at a time when extreme weather seems to be getting ever-more-potent.
As for saving the Everglades, it is not at all clear that the people living nearby are helping them. The oil companies are most certainly not doing so. Indeed, the canals cut through the Everglades to allow ships passage to the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico may well have exacerbated the storm surges that breached the levees in New Orleans.