In a short article in Slate, Eric Klinenberg, an associate professor of sociology at New York University, who wrote a good book about social vulnerability to climate change – Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago.
In the Sept 2, 2005 article – When Chicago Baked: Unheeded lessons from another great urban catastrophe – Klinenberg compares the situation and social vulnerability in New Orleans to the Chicago Heat Wave.
From the article:
Sept. 11 was an epochal event in American culture, so it’s no surprise that it’s everyone’s favorite comparison to the destruction of New Orleans. But the more instructive analogy is another great urban catastrophe in recent American history: The 1995 Chicago heat wave, when a blend of extreme weather, political mismanagement, and abandonment of vulnerable city residents resulted in the loss of water, widespread power outages, thousands of hospitalizations, and 739 deaths in a devastating week.