Washington Post Hurricane Coverage Ignores 2006 Season

December 2nd, 2006 9:00 AM

The 2006 hurricane season was an amazing flop – only nine storms instead of the predicted 17 and none of the hurricanes even made landfall in the United States.

But you’d never know it reading The Washington Post’s Style story “A Dream Blown Away.” According to writer Joel Garreau, we should “Call 2006 the Batten Down the Hatches Moment.”

Why? Because insurance companies are now being more particular about insuring properties on the coasts and are insuring against (that is what they do) the possible dangers of climate change.

Garreau’s major thesis was that insurance companies are driving a new global warming acceptance because of their 2005 losses due to hurricanes. “The 2005 hurricane season gave the United States supposedly once-in-a-century storms, one right after the other. Katrina, Rita and Wilma were among the seven most expensive hurricanes ever to hit the country. Companies that had to eat too much of the $51.5 billion in insured losses went under,” he wrote.

Of course, he left out that the 2006 losses were… almost nothing. No hurricane hit the United States and the tropical storms that did were so minor as to be almost laughable.

That fact seemed to escape Garreau who warned “But if weather losses get worse, upheaval will become more common,” in the insurance market. Naturally, the weather would almost have to get worse or we’d have almost no storms at all.