An inevitable byproduct of any disaster is a certain amount of nonsense about the cause. Jerry Falwell, for example, memorably blamed 9/11 on the ACLU. This time it's the Germans' turn: Katrina is President Bush's fault.
"The American president closes his eyes to the economic and human damages that are inflicted on his country and the world economy by natural disasters, like Katrina, through neglected climate protection," wrote German environmental minister Juergen Trittin, a leading member of the Green Party, in an op-ed piece.
Presumably, if Bush had signed on to the Kyoto treaty, none of this would have happened. Unfortunately, Trittin is not alone among Germans in this sort of nonsense. The Washington Post quotes an editorial in the respected Suddeutsche Zeitung: " . . . it will likely take a couple more hurricanes of the magnitude of Katrina before America changes its appalling environmental policies." In other words, we'll shape up after losing a couple more of our cities.
Maybe you can sort of excuse the appalling callousness and insensitivity of these comments because they were made before the full extent of the destruction became known. But their sheer fatuousness shows why the environmental movement seems to be going backward here and elsewhere.