New Orleans and environs are a kind of petri dish for global climate change—what's happening there will be showing up elsewhere sooner than you think.

The rest of the nation already has plenty in common with New Orleans. For decades, government agencies at all levels have subsidized development in risky areas. Along coastlines and in river plains, this arrived in the form of flood defenses, federal flood insurance, and aid for businesses (in Louisiana, for example, oil and gas drilling and refining). Near fire-prone forestlands, road building and the marketability of nature itself drove construction of subdivisions. Katrina exposed this ad hoc approach as both lethal and unsustainable. The current wrangling over New Orleans is a preview of what will happen over the coming decades.
Storm Warning: The Unlearned Lessons of Katrina, By John McQuaid -August 26, 2007 Mother Jones

Isn't this already happening? More 'natural disasters' are happening all over the world. Flooding and tornadoes has plagued the Mid-West and NorthEast this year.

Isn't it unrealistic to expect the government to rebuild homes placed in naturally dangerous areas? Isn't it unrealistic not to look at the developers who built homes in potentially dangerous areas and those in government who helped them? And what about the ignorant public?

Ignorant is not stupid, or is it? This is a capitalistic run society. The adage is: "Let the buyer beware!"

So how did these developers in the last 100 years manage to create these housing developments in these dangerous areas?

Prospective homeowners in the New Orleans and adjacent areas are now studying the projected flood-prone and protected areas maps recently released by the US Army Corps of Engineers before making purchase or rebuilding decisions.

And FEMA sends a herd of Deathly Trailers to Oklahoma for tornado victims just before announcing that FEMA would no longer use those trailers because of the formaldehyde issue.

What a herd of vultures have taken advantage of the huge windfalls from charity and government relief programs, leaving many who actually needed the relief still struggling to get promised assistance.

Herds of politicians are now descending on the Crescent City for the anniversary of the Katrina to get their sound-bites in, a multi-million dollar memorial is planned, that has some residents up in arms.

"Why don't they build a school instead?" demanded one angry New Orleanian. Yeah, they could make that the memorial with an even better warm-feeling. Anything else will be rubbing the wounds with salt. IMHO.

New Orleans is not just a tourist destination, or a city consumed by decadence and crime. It is a major port.

First defence against monster storms on the Gulf Coast is not getting enough attention. Projects in the huge Water Resources bill scheduled for Senate decsion this fall include a dangerous coastal levee that is projected to greatly increase wetlands erosion while protecting a mere 100,00 population. This is a stickler for Pres. Bush, and a legitimate one.

"I can see the Gulf from the ramp. There is no marsh left to speak of. I wonder if anyone in this state realizes what is happening?" asked one fishing business owner from Buras, the town on the Mississippi Delta, the Louisana toe, that got a direct hit from Katrina. "The amount of marsh we lost in those storms and since then is just staggering....when the marsh is gone we won't have any fish, shrimp, oysters or crabs." Treading Water, by Bob Marshall, Times-Picayune, August 26, 2007

So everyone is on notice: Your catfish, shrimp and oyster supply is in extreme danger of disappearing.

"It isn't some nameless entity known as 'the government.' That entirely takes culpability away from the INDIVIDUALS in the government who believe stupid things and make stupid decisions. Can we please stop electing these idiots, already? Lives depend on it. Literally." posted one Mother Jones reader.

And stop believing none of them take bribes or accept other benefits to make those stupid decisions.

Maybe we need to ask these candidates what reassurances they can offer that they would not be, will not be, and have not been suborned? (Suborned, induced secretly to do an unlawful thing. )

Hurricane Anything, Polictical cartoon by Mark Fiore.

References to Important stories:

Mother Jones

  • Mysteries of New Orleans - 25 questions

  • Why are They Making New Orleans a Ghost Town?

    • The Renters Quandry

      October 31, 2005
      Fully armed National Guard troops refuse to allow over ten thousand people even to visit their property in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood. Despite the fact that people cannot come back, tens of thousands of people face eviction from their homes. A local judge told me that her court expects to process a thousand evictions a day for weeks.

      Renters still in shelters or temporary homes across the country will never see the court notice taped to the door of their home. Because they will not show up for the eviction hearing that they do not know about, their possessions will be tossed out in the street.

      New Orleans renters facing evictions from landlords who want to renovate and charge higher rents to the out of town workers who populate the city. Some renters have offered to pay their rent and are still being evicted.

  • The Levees

Analysis by René O'Deay, August 28, 2007 New Orleans


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