ABSTRACT

According to the US National Hurricane Centre, Tropical Depression 12 formed over the southeast Bahamas on 23 August 2005 (Knabb et al, 2005). Six days later, Tropical Depression 12 made its final landfall near to the mouth of the Peale River close to the Louisiana/Mississippi state border. By this point it was no longer a tropical depression, but a category 3 hurricane going by the name of Katrina (Knabb et al, 2005). According to official estimates, Hurricane Katrina was one of the five most deadly hurricanes to strike the US, and the most costly in terms of the overall damage that it caused (Knabb et al, 2005: 1). The total cost of the damage has been estimated at $108 billion and 1833 deaths have been directly attributed to the effects of Katrina (largely concentrated in Louisiana, where there were 1577 fatalities) (Knabb et al, 2005: 11–13). While the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina have a number of significant implications for those studying socio-environmental relations, I would like here to briefly focus on one aspect of the disaster: what it tells us about the relationship between nation states and environmental govern ment.