There are real consequences to government policies. Although we are discouraged from being a part of decisions, these decisions shape our way of life in many ways.
Hurricane Katrina is an excellent point of reference, as many political decisions are at the root of this disaster. Yes, it was natural, but the results could have been mitigated by proper policies. Some specific policies that could have helped include a focus on reducing land loss in deltas, training local disaster-relief personnel, building better sea walls, improving emergency preparedness planninng, etc. Read this article for more information.
There are so many environmental problems that together contribute to the incredible devastation of natural disasters. Though hugely problematic, global warming isn't necessarily the most pressing issue. For example, land loss and ruined coastal wetlands, which act as natural storm barriers, means deluges of water are not absorbed but instead cause increased flooding. Water pollution, such as the Mississippi spells out increased danger during and after floods as well. This is just a few examples.
To be continued (Part II).... In the meantime, please read an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush