04 August 2007

'Bout damn time

The most important thing to remember about the drowning of New Orleans is that it wasn't a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities and pork-barrel politics.

Read the whole article here.

The good news is that scientists believe they know how to save it. They want the Corps to let go of the river in strategic areas so it can get back to work building land, even if that requires rearranging navigation at the mouth of the Mississippi. They want to fill in oil and gas canals, constrict the Gulf Outlet and start pumping sediment back into ridges and barrier islands. The Corps developed $14 billion worth of Louisiana restoration plans before Katrina, but Bush scaled them back to $2 billion.

OK - so we KNOW how to fix it - why the bleppity bleep bleep aren't we?! Oh wait there it is - BUSH. I know it's not ALL his fault, but damn man. Get the hell out of the way and let the grown-ups take care of this.


Anonymous said...

Time Magazine made many, many errors in its article.....and hurt the recovery of New Orleans in the process. If you want to read the truth, go to: http://www.usace.army.mil/response.htm

A. said...

I read their response and it didn't really say anything (typical Corps) to refute the gist of the Time article: The disaster in New Orleans was a man-made disaster, not a natural disaster; the Corps screwed up royally and perpetually; the subsequent damage to the ecosystems of Louisiana and the lower Mississippi basin is reversible, if the monolith that is the the Corps will act upon it and the state and federal governments would stop kow-towing to big oil and the moribound Corps bureaucracy.

Scientists have been bemoaning the levees only strategy for over a hundred years. I suggest you read Rising Tide, Bayou Farewell and one other - the name escapes me, but I'll find it and post it.

I know the people of the Corps work hard and mean well, but the Corps system is a bloated behemounth that refuses to admit error, ever. Its levees policy failed and the levees themselves failed - with disasterous results. There have always been, and still are, more environmentally friendly, safer and effective methods of flood control than levees. The Corps needs to admit that and move on to repair the damage they have done, not only to New Orlenas, but the entire Mississippi/Atchafalaya basin.

B said...

The Corps manages its finances and projects like a rich college kid with a trust fund. There are some great minds working there, but they are not allowed to use science because policy trumps science every time.

Regardless, Louisiana knows where it stands with the govt. and especially with the Bush administration. I would expect any niche in the Corps' authority to be taken by the state at every opportunity to make sure Louisiana can take care of its own.