Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August 29 Anniversary (of Katrina) Coming

Let's not forget the alligators. Alligators are part of a great ecosystem and they live in swamps. Why are swamps valuable? Well, the August issue of Time had an eye opening article about the situation in New Orleans.

You are probably thinking, jees, when will she get off that! Well, I do have a tendency to ride a horse too long, but it is not just New Orleans - our whole country is showing that it is probably unprepared for disaster. Either before the disaster or during or after the disaster. And, as we have seen - disasters happen! More and worse are predicted.

Sometimes disasters are our own fault for ignoring our partnership with nature and the earth. (Or, what is happening in the world politically - i.e., terrorists!) No, I'm not a wacko leftist environmentalist - uh, maybe I am, but we are at the point we can no longer ignore our misuse/abuse of the planet we live on. Or the self-serving greed of politicians who are in office only to serve themselves and to get richer than they already are.

The known or publicized death toll in New Orleans was 1,800. The search is still on for bodies.

Here are some of the highlights from the Time cover article:

The writer recommended demanding of the candidates the answer to a question: How do you plan to protect New Orleans and how about the whole country's emergency management program?

He went on to state that the Army Corps is poised to repeat its mistakes. The drowning of New Orleans as made made, created by lousy engineering, displaced priorities and pork barrel politics.

Fact: Marshes, cypress swamps and barrier reefs are disappearing at the rate of a football field per hour. The "Corp" - or shall we call it the "Corpse maker?" was responsible for some pretty shoddy engineering. Early New Orleans was not on the coast but the Corp forbade communities to let the natural process of the river's deposits of silt to be deposited where Mother Nature would deposit the silt, making a delta which would absorb much of a hurricane striking the coast. Global warning is causing the gulf to rise causing 30% of the coast to slip into the Gulf.

No swamp, no gators. No swamp, more severe hurricanes in populated areas. Land de-intensifies the 'cane. So, that's Florida you say. How about New York? Scientists are predicting fiercer 'canes and expanding strike areas as far as New York in the future.

So what? Well, this endangers, not only lives, but the U.S.'s largest offshore oil and gas industry (who can we invade to fix that?), a huge seafood industry and about two million people.

The levees? The project to fix a known problem? Thirty seven years behind schedule. The article suggests that if scientists are not allowed into the Army Corps plans, the coast will disappear in the not so distance future. If that happens what will the huge population shifts do to the rest of the Country. Pre Karina the population of New Orleans was 450,000, now it is 265,000. I'm assuming these figures are New Orleans proper.

Its not all the Corp's fault. According to the article, local officials helped "scuttle" a Corp plan to building pumps and levees along Lake Pontchartain which would have prevented flooding. The author states, however, the Corps refused to be accountable to even the president and further states that water is a National Security issue. Which leads to another issue: foreign ownership of United States ports.

Well, enough for now, the article can be read in full here.


Four Dinners said...

sounds like there's a few should be fed to the gators if you ask me.

tweetey30 said...

Yes I agree. Give them to the Gators and other things that love flesh. I would love to see Down South back up and running at full speed for the people sake.

Karen said...

Great post Gardenia, as usual. And I don't think any of us are sick of you talking about NO. It's something you're obviously passionate about so write away :)

I wonder though about the author of the Time article when he says "How do you plan to protect New Orleans". While I feel terrible about what happened to the people of NO, I wonder why, knowing that hurricanes come each and every year and they are among the most destructive forces in nature, they continue to live there? I understand that many of the people affected don't have the resources to move (something perhaps the government should consider paying for) and many don't want to move. The same applies to people who live in tornado-prone regions.

Gardenia said...

I tried to move my family out after Ivan. I felt like we had won the lotto and that would not happen with every storm. There is one out in the Atlantic now that looks like a doozy. We all have leary eyes cast that way.

Anyway, a lot of the time - You get a job - you stay. Your roots are in the community, you have relatives who won't leave, you can't afford to go - it takes $ to find a job cross country. Fear of leaving is worse than fear of going ......learning that the area was the major source of oil and gas fields, underwater, was an eye opener.

I tried to talk to hubby about moving to central Florida - its so much prettier in ways - and its inland with less water hazards and the answer was "Ungh." Same with daughters...won't go. No discussion! I gave them an open door a couple of years ago - and here I am back here. Who knows why people will or won't do what they do!

We have an extremely toxic area here that families have lived in for years. There is brain damage, cancer, etc., the government is offering to buy them out and some won't leave! Go figure.