New Orleans satellite images - before/after

| 35 Comments

This is off topic, but over on my personal blog I have some low-resolution before and after pictures from New Orleans. The flooding, even at the very low resolution of these images, is simply mindnumbing.

My heart, and I’m sure the heart of everyone here, goes out to all those impacted by this tragedy. People will need lots of time, lots of effort, and lots of assistance before they can begin to recover from this disaster.

35 Comments

The depth of this tragedy is truly mindboggling. The broken levee is being left for the night… being too dangerous to try to fix it in the dark. The French quarter could be under nine feet of water by morning.

My kid went through a phase of acute interest in weather disasters a few years ago. He had a video that reviewed the damage of some of the more devastating storms of the recent past. The ultimate nightmare scenario the video ended with was the possibility of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans.

I think your labels are reversed. Presumably the image with clouds and the bigger lake is the “after” image.

The links to large picturess are in reverse order of the thumbnail graphic. However, the thumbnails themselves are properly labeled.

While unfortunate, this was also inevitable. The Mississippi delta was built from soil scoured off the midwest during periodic floods, and deposited at the gulf. As soil built up, its weight caused it to sink. Meanwhile, the river itself periodically found drastically new channels through the Atchafalaya; as one course silted up, another had sunk to a lower elevation. The Mississippi has been trying to change course for decades, and the Corps of Engineers has been fighting against this 24/7.

Meanwhile, the city itself has been sinking, and new soil hasn’t been arriving because the river is bordered by barriers and concrete all the way to Minnesota and Idaho and Pennsylvania. By now, the Mississippi/Missouri riverbed is 10 feet or more above the surrounding countryside in many places, but walled in by levees. So the subsiding delta hasn’t been replenished, and New Orleans falls another fraction of an inch below sea level every year. It’s in a big bowl by now, pumped out with every rainstorm. Graves are above ground.

So it’s a city living on borrowed time, and it has borrowed about all there was to borrow. We knew this was coming, as sure as someone jumping out a window. A bit strange to say “what a terrible thing” when he hits the ground.

The scenes from Louisiana reming me of Banda Aceh.

Really Bad.

It’s not really of the topic Mike from the view of certain creationist organisations.Answers in genesis had a big write up by Ken Ham on their website yesterday.It has all the usual nonsense taken from reading the book of Genesis literally.

The situation is headline news here in the UK and some of the pictures are pretty awfull.

While the weather here in Northern Ireland is never very good (drizzle and cloud would sum it up on most days) we are very fortunate in that we very rarely get extremes of weather.

Peter, don’t be such a hater! I read Ham’s article and you have totally mischaracterized it. Your obvious disdain for his work has colored your objectivity when you read anything by him. Ham empathizes with the tragedy and gives his opinion, God didn’t do it. You may have a problem with the whole concept of God, but at least be a nice person while you are at it. … no, nice is not relative, nice is nice. Do like Ham and send some money instead of just feeling bad, just maybe if there is a God you will rack up some brownie points, if there isn’t it will make you feel better. That would be nice.

I am a christian Antony and do not have a problem with the concept of God.It’s just that I don’t agree with Ken’s views.On the many occasions that I have heard him speak he frequently quotes the passage from Romans”the whole of creation groans” I felt that what he was trying to say in the article was that ultimately all natural distasters go back to Adam’s sin.I certainly do not agree with his idea that before this the world was perfect and that a few thousand years ago there were no hurricanes,no earthquakes, no death,or no disease (I bet there will be something from AIG on the impending bird flue pandemic when it happens !)

I don’t mind giving money to charity organisations when disasters hit third world contries but when so much money is being spent on something which I know is wrong (ie the creation museum etc.) it really makes me angry.As someone who suffers from an incurable illness (I have Ulcerative cholitis and have gone through a number of operations since being diagnosed) I often think that if all the money and effort that was being put into promoting creationism by groups like AIG was instead directed towards finding cures for conditions like UC the world would be a better place.

I don’t hate Ken Ham by the way.I just don’t agree with what he is doing.

There are additional satellite images of New Orleans before and after the hurricane at geology.com

While unfortunate, this was also inevitable.

Not all the devastation was inevitable. Monies for levies were spent elsewhere, National Guardsmen are deployed elsewhere, response was slow when it should have started before landfall, and the poverty that resulted in so many people not having the means to leave NOLA was a consequence of enomomic policies.

enomomic -> economic

BUSH WILL PAY BY THE LORDS HAND FOR THIS THAT HE IS DOING TO OUR PEOPLE WE THE BLACKS HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH

Are you saying that it is Bush’s fault that the hurricane and destruction happened? Are you also saying that black sufferage is his fault too? He may be one of the most religious and equal presidents that we have had in a long time. Tell the idiots in NOLA to stop shooting at everyone and to stop looting so that the people wanting to GIVE aid can.

Are you saying that it is Bush’s fault that the hurricane and destruction happened?

I already answered this in http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives[…].html#c46145 It has also been addressed in Paul Krugman’s NYT editorial, and hundreds of other articles written in the last few days. Even the people over at National Review recognize the inadequacy of the Bush response. Here you can listen to a lively discussion of the issues: http://kcrw.com/cgi-bin/ram_wrap.cg[…]ature_and_Hu

He may be one of the most religious and equal presidents that we have had in a long time.

Oh, that must explain why the number of people falling below the poverty line has increased, and why his top agenda item is to repeal the estate tax on the very richest of the rich.

I have to say, i have very pissed at the time it took to respond to this tradedy, and it obviously was not something that was prepared for enough by FEMA or the local governments, given that for at least 2 days before it hit, every news station and forcast called for the entire area of the gulf states to pay attention.I understand many people had no means to leave to begin with ,or could not afford to, even some of the looting to save yourself I can understand . Nobody wants to die. Duh… I think the best thing to learn is don’t f*** with nature, and take it seriously, and when government says help is on the way, support their help, but don’t wait for it, and do every bit of your part to help if you are able to. We have a right in this country to scream about the slow response, but to blame anyone personally for an act of nature is the kind of thing that shows us how much we think we deserve from others.This world aint a rose garden, as we can see. The president ain’t God. Also, did we blame the president or God when 9/11 happened? No,we blamed other Humans,and we prayed to God more than we had in years. We build on stupid areas like our coastlines, below sea-level areas, and wonder why some of these things things happen? We live on Earth, they have always happened..and we knew it could, but we though we were smart enough and powerful enough to beat the odds. The truth is, we won’t ever be.It’s that simple. If the cavemen expected someone else to do everything or fix everything, we would all be dead long ago.Just help find solutions, please.

but to blame anyone personally for an act of nature

No one has blamed anyone for an act of nature, dimwit. The blame is for reducing funding to FEMA, sending needed National Guard across the globe, refusing to implement plans that numerous studies said were needed, going on TV and saying that no one expected the levees to be breached when that’s utter BS, and generally being as stupid and ignorant as the people for voted for that chimp.

We build on stupid areas like our coastlines, below sea-level areas

The port of New Orleans is located at the junction of the Mississippi and the Gulf; it is the largest seaport in the U.S. and the fifth largest in the world. What is stupid is people like Dennis Hastert saying NO isn’t worth rebuilding; morons like that shouldn’t be leading us.

We live on Earth, they have always happened..and we knew it could, but we though we were smart enough and powerful enough to beat the odds.

That is stupid. The smart people among us knew that the failure of the government to spend the several billions of dollars that were required to be spent to protect NO would lead to tens or hundreds of billions of dollars of destruction. Bush Sr. put a moratorium on wetlands destruction that Bush Jr. lifted; smart people knew how to keep NO from being flooded by a cat 5 hurricane; STUPID people put STUPID people into the White House.

[smart people knew how to keep NO from being flooded by a cat 5 hurricane; STUPID people put STUPID people into the White House.]

I know about the studies and lack of money given to UPGRADING the system. They could have done more long ago. I agree totally. But, how much is ever enough? You just made my main point-some people think they are more powerful than the very world we have to live in.How much money or government intervention will stop our entire planet from total destruction by a comet collision? I don’t give a crap if your political leanings are against bush or the entire government,its not the issue. Why don’t we all give every penny and build a forcefield against everything in the universe. Sounds like Political bs to me. Case closed for me.

But, how much is ever enough?

$14 billion is the best estimate I’ve seen for the project that would have defended NO against Katrina.

You just made my main point-some people think they are more powerful than the very world we have to live in.

I can see how a stupid person might think I made that point.

Why don’t we all give every penny and build a forcefield against everything in the universe. Sounds like Political bs to me. Case closed for me.

The hallmark of the stupid.

Posted by ts (not Tim) on September 2, 2005 08:52 PM [I can see how a stupid person might think I made that point.] [The hallmark of the stupid.] .….….….….….….….….….….….….….….….…. Nice comments… you understand the point. This whole thing is nothing more than a personal attack against anyone who believes in ID verses the belief in evolution . It does not show any proof we have evolved, its seems more to show that we continually decay from our original state.. Most creationists I know encourage debates. It will eventually lead to the truth. Is that not what you want to eventually show everyone? I was making a comment on my opinion, whether you agree or not, how crazy i think it is to think we can fix everything. Maybe 14 billion would have fixed New Orleans, maybe not. Every spot in the world needs more protection eventually. Wont ever happen. We built New Orleans, we have an obligation keep it alive now that we did. Lets get smarter in the future, if we are so brainy. Money and politics isn’t all there is to it. We were told the world was flat once, and it was only because of the unbelief of some of us, that it was later proved the prevailing ideas were critically flawed. The scientific world must have eaten crow one that one. Nobody would think of questioning the world is round now. We have hard data, pictures from space, ect. I have no problem with a reasonable,open minded debate, same as the ID people I know do. I know how to attack personal opinions also, but it always is a waste of everyones time. Do the work and PROVE ID wrong.

Before/After satellite images at Geology.com

Most creationists I know encourage debates. It will eventually lead to the truth.

Glad to hear it.

Why don’t you go ahead and start the, uh, “debate”.

I have just one question. All I want to know is this: what is the scientific theory of creation (or intelligent design) and how can we test it using the scientific method?

I do *NOT* want you to respond with a long laundry list of (mostly inaccurate) criticisms of evolutionary biology. They are completely irrelevant to a scientific theory of creation or intelligent design. I want to see the scientific alternative that you are proposing—- the one you want taught in public school science classes, the one that creationists and intelligent design “theorists” testified under oath in Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and elsewhere is SCIENCE and is NOT based on religious doctrine. Let’s assume for the purposes of this discussion that evolutionary biology is indeed absolutely completely totally irretrievable unalterably irrevocably 100% dead wrong. Fine. Show me your scientific alternative. Show me how your scientific theory explains things better than evolutionary biology does. Let’s see this superior “science” of yours.

Any testible scientific theory of creation should be able to provide answers to several questions: (1) how did life begin, (3) how did the current diversity of life appear, and (3) what mechanisms were used in these processes and where can we see these mechanisms today.

Any testible scientific theory of intelligent design should be able to give testible answers to other questions: (1) what exactly did the Intelligent Designer(s) do, (2) what mechanisms did the Designer(s) use to do whatever it is you think it did, (3) where can we see these mechanisms in action today, and (4) what objective criteria can we use to determine what entities are “intelligently designed” and what entities aren’t (please illustrate this by pointing to something that you think IS designed, something you think is NOT designed, and explain how to tell the difference).

If your, uh, “scientific theory” isn’t able to answer any of these questions yet, then please feel free to tell me how you propose to scientifically answer them. What experiments or tests can we perform, in principle, to answer these questions.

Also, since one of the criteria of “science” is falsifiability, I’d like you to tell me how your scientific theory, whatever it is, can be falsified. What experimental results or observations would conclusively prove that creation/intelligent design did not happen.

Another part of the scientific method is direct testing. One does not establish “B” simply by demonstrating that “A” did not happen. I want you to demonstrate “B” directly. So don’t give me any “there are only two choices, evolution or creation, and evolution is worng so creation must be right” baloney. I will repeat that I do NOT want a big long laundry list of “why evolution is wrong”. I don’t care why evolution is wrong. I want to know what your alternative is, and how it explains data better than evolution does.

I’d also like to know two specific things about this “alternative scientific theory”: How old does “intelligent design/creationism theory” determine the universe to be. Is it millions of years old, or thousands of years old. And does ‘intelligent design/creationism theory’ determine that humans have descended from apelike primates, or does it determine that they have not.

I look forward to seeing your “scientific theories”.

Unless, of course, IDers don’t HAVE any, are are just lying to us when they claim they do. …

“We were told the world was flat once, and it was only because of the unbelief of some of us, that it was later proved the prevailing ideas were critically flawed. The scientific world must have eaten crow one that one.”

Uh, yeah, “the scientific world” once told us the world is flat.

Like I said, stupid person.

Congrats, You anti GWB people have really hit the bottom of the barrel with this one. You have no class. I don’t like GB or the republican party for that matter, but your hatred for him is bordering on psychotic. All the same predictable paranoid garbage that you have probably been spouting for the last 4 years about 9/11 and Iraq, and every other hiccup we have encountered since he took office. You don’t even have the decency to come up with fresh fantasies, it’s still all about “Bush knew”, and “he should have acted sooner.” Someone here posted some crap about “the idiots who voted for that chimp”. Know what? no one cares who you voted for, tiger. Your little democrat club is so worthless, it couldn’t even come up with someone 51% of the country found more appealing than GB. What the hell is that comment supposed to mean anyway? Like You warned everyone? No one listened to you, and now look what happened? Seriously, not only are you an ill-informed punk, You have a serious mental disorder. In seattle it takes 20 years to fix a 5 mile stretch of freeway. You think they could have fortified those levees in the time GB has been in office? Maybe bush could down to lowe’s and grab some sandbags to throw on there. If you want to blame a president for not starting a construction project on the levees, I think you need to go back to like Nixon. definately not anyone in the last 15 years. Just try closing that big mouth of yours for a couple years until the death tolls are in. Nothing gives you guys a woody like a death toll to attach to your george bush conspiracy. You don’t really care about “Iraqi civilians”, you don’t really care about bringing the troops home, and it’s safe to assume that you don’t care about anyone directly affected by this natural disaster, so have some decency for once in your life and show a little restraint. The only real interest you have in the world is fueling your own ego. I think that people like you get high on it. I sent $100 bucks to the Sal. Army a couple days ago, which leaves me with $40 to live on until the next time I get paid. It will be tight, but I figure it beats having all my stuff destroyed by a hurricane. And it also beats sitting on my candy ass trying to come up with some lame story about how it took george bush too long to react. The loss of life in new orleans has really just begun. At this point, It would take an army of boats and helicopters weeks to access each and every one of the affected residences to search for survivors. Don’t believe me? check out the satellite imagery. No one is going to be there to bail your ass out under every set of circumstances, It sucks, but that’s why they call them disasters. Something like this is unprecedented. As far as reconstruction is concerned, Who do you think you’re kidding? You think they are just gonna lay down some new rugs, and turn on the taps like normal in there or what? I would venture to say that 75% of the structures in New Orleans are total losses, as in, tens of thousands of structures. The only reconstruction happening there will be with a bulldozer, you can bet your bottom dollar on that one. Not to mention about 10 years of dumptrucks hauling away debris. How many months did it take to clean up the aftermath of 9/11? That was tiny in comparison. besides, I think time will show that the very land it all sits on has been rendered useless. Try to come up with one real tangible thing that could have prevented this horrible tragedy since GB took office, Then pitch it (the way you do with horse dung) to the mayor of N.O. all the way up through the governor, senators, congresspersons of Louisiana. then after proceeding up the chain of command for another couple hundred people, you can piss all over the president’s cheerios. Better yet, find a dangerous situation in your own home town, and address it through the proper channels. I’m willing to bet that doesn’t mean going directly to the president of the united states. Obviously this will never happen, because you don’t actually have any interest whatsoever in making anyone safe. It’s just another chapter in a long list of bullcrap you’ve designed to make yourself feel special. Have a nice life

Have a nice life

Buye. (waving as you ride off into the sunset on your pure white horse)

So many of these fanatics seem to have paragraph phobia. Or they are just incapable of posting coherently - possibly as a result of not thinking coherently.

At least that one had some grasp of punctuation. Though I still couldn’t be bothered to read its diatribe properly.

I tried to quote everything ts and ggou812 wrote that I wanted to reply to, but the quotes extended to infinity and beyond. I think you are both wrong and both right. The failure to protect NO in the first place and to provide for NO after the disaster are political failures at all levels and the behavior of president chimp and his immediate cabal after about Monday evening (Aug 29th) was reprehensible. (Of course when is it ever not reprehensible?) An ounce of prevention ($14 billion) would have prevented a pound of catastrophe ($100 billion and perhaps 10,000 dead). However, that ounce of prevention would never have been necessary if a gram of intelligent planning had been done before allowing the growth into marginal areas all over that corner of Louisianna. Yes, the port is large and necessary and a small city must exist to service it, but trying to protect all 10,000 square miles of the Mississippi River delta south of I12 from the river and the ocean is unnecessary to that purpose. Every single person who has ever moved into the delta region of Louisianna and then demanded to be protected from river flooding is materially resposible for 10,000 deaths. Reinforced concrete levees 200 feet high and 200 feet across would only delay the day of reckoning and in fact make it worse when it finally does come, as they would make people feel safe to build ever more, larger, expensive, and populous. And to remain just as delusionally oblivious to the danger as everyone was this time. Flint explicated it very well above but here is a picture demonstrating it. A Shrinking Coast

Is it a coincidence that the only part of NO that still bears any resemblance to its former self is the French Quarter, built on the high ground by the original settlers. I’m reminded of the barrier island here in North Carolina that was split into two when Hurricane Isabel struck Cape Hatteras two years ago. The ACoE spent millions filling it in instead of simply building a cheap, disposable pontoon bridge, all so a small tourist village wouldn’t lose its access.

Isn’t it about time to start working with nature before the catastrophes, rather that living with nature after the catastrophes; http://news.nationalgeographic.com/[…]erbanks.html http://www.capecodonline.com/cctime[…]nefolo22.htm because, once we’ve built in the marginal areas, were committed, and it’s to late to do anything but shore up against nature’s inevitable tumult.

reality wrote in Comment #46566:

In seattle it takes 20 years to fix a 5 mile stretch of freeway. You think they could have fortified those levees in the time GB has been in office? Maybe bush could down to lowe’s and grab some sandbags to throw on there. If you want to blame a president for not starting a construction project on the levees, I think you need to go back to like Nixon. definately not anyone in the last 15 years.…..Try to come up with one real tangible thing that could have prevented this horrible tragedy since GB took office, Then pitch it (the way you do with horse dung) to the mayor of N.O. all the way up through the governor, senators, congresspersons of Louisiana.

The US fought and won WWII in less than five years. Building Liberty ships in days, aircraft carriers in weeks, and battleships in months. How long did the Panama canal take?

The failure of Seattle to fix a highway or of Boston to complete the ‘Big Dig’ or of Louisianna et al to shore up levees is a failure of political will. Our government allows absolutely everyone(and that means everyone, Dem and Rep alike) to think they have the right to gridlock the absolutely essential infrastructure that those very people depend upon. Before the Iraq war, Bush had political capital to burn and demonstrated political will. If his priorities had been more rationally examined, than yes, the levees could have been raised and reinforced in two years. This is not, however, something that is important enough that the president should be concerned with it personally. That is why there is a Dept. of the Interior. They have the authority to see that stuff like this is done without the president having to engage it himself(and I personally don’t think he should have had to). Then there is also the Congress which has to approve all money. And why should Louisiannans depend on the feds alone? After all it was their keister that needed protecting. Were they completely helpless for the past thirty years. How much money went into that superdome-cum-homeless shelter? What irony. That is why I said above that this was a failure at all levels.

The responsibility of the president is still there though, because the whole administration has the clearly proven anti-science attitude and an obvious head-in-the-sand attitude toward problems. In so far as the president is responsible, it is for setting this tone in his administration, and not expecting more from his dept’s.

more from reality…

It does not show any proof we have evolved, its seems more to show that we continually decay from our original state

What it shows is that this majority christian nation thinks it can ride roughshod over the earth because god gave it to us. The scientifically minded would tend to think that we should cooperate with how nature behaves so as to prevent catastrophes from being born of natural disasters.

We were told the world was flat once, and it was only because of the unbelief of some of us…

Those unbelievers were scientists, weren’t they?

…that it was later proved the prevailing ideas were critically flawed.

The prevailing ideas of ignorant(especially the earth is flat, says so right here in the, bible wielding) humans, right?

The scientific world must have eaten crow one that one.

Seeing as how the scientific world has known the earth is round since around 250BC, I say not.

Nobody would think of questioning the world is round now. We have hard data, pictures from space, ect.

All this hard data came from scientists, didn’t it?

Do the work and PROVE ID wrong.

Beyond the fact that many people already have done just that, why don’t you do the work and PROVE ID is right. That would accomplish so much more in the long run, wouldn’t it?

Actually the ‘world-is-flat’ quotes were from ggou812. Sorry.

[It does not show any proof we have evolved, its seems more to show that we continually decay from our original state]

Mr.Frank.…I dont criticize evolution, and i am not here to dump on it. I just don’t believe in it. This was a reference to the attitude of PEOPLE who tend to jump all over any opinions that do not agree with there own.. where do you see running roughshod over the world in that statement.??? The statement seems to offend people that believe we are doing so good down here in this world. I don’t think we are doing so damb great. HELLO.…it’s not a we are better than you thing. It is amazing the things that come from one comment, when it hits home.

By the way, I agree with Paul Flocken’s comments quite a bit.

[“Isn’t it about time to start working with nature before the catastrophes, rather that living with nature after the catastrophes”]

I totally agree with that..next issue.. Where in the bible did it ever say the world was flat? It didn’t say that.I didn’t either. Ok, scientists found out it was not flat. We all agree, but the issue is to keep an OPEN MIND about the current belief system. Would not that keep science moving forward? Science is only a small part of reality, as important as it might be. If we don’t keep an open mind to new ideas, science will become just another religion. Religion sucks, it is close minded, and tells you that they know more than you, so believe them. I believe in ID because i have personal experience. ID people are not your enemy unless you need them to be. God, if you believe in him, would have created science. We should work together for knowledge and truth, seems better to me.

[by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank I look forward to seeing your “scientific theories”. Unless, of course, IDers don’t HAVE any, are are just lying to us when they claim they do…]

FAITH is in no way relevent to any “scientific theories” to begin with, but if you really want data from the ID side, it’s out there in abundance. Do we really want to clog this site with all the links? I would be glad to work on that to further scientific knowledge. Glad to see the attention this subject has aroused, by the way.. May the truth be found.

P.S. to ts(not Tim)aka.” Mr close minded” .… Oh… some common dumb guy told us the world was flat and we all listened.. i think not… it was the educated smart guys (scientific ones)of that time that we listened to. We just believed because they said so. Show me that it was not science that said the world was flat. Until then, try to evolve a bit more than you have so far.

Comment #46576

Posted by SEF on September 5, 2005 08:13 AM (e) (s)

So many of these fanatics seem to have paragraph phobia. Or they are just incapable of posting coherently - possibly as a result of not thinking coherently.

At least that one had some grasp of punctuation. Though I still couldn’t be bothered to read its diatribe properly.

What’s weird is that neither random words, nor entire sentences, were capitalized in that post.

[by ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank I look forward to seeing your “scientific theories”. Unless, of course, IDers don’t HAVE any, are are just lying to us when they claim they do…]

FAITH is in no way relevent to any “scientific theories” to begin with

So ID is “faith”, and IDers (like you) are just lying to us when they say it’s not.

Glad to hear it.

Are you willing to testify to that, under oath, in Dover?

And I notice you, uh, didn’t give me any scientific theory of ID. I can only think of three possible reasons for this. Either:

(1) there is no scientific theory of ID, and IDers (like you) are just lying to us when they claim there is,

or

(2) there IS a scientific theory of ID, but you’re too dumb to know what it is,

or

(3) there IS a scientific theory of ID and you DO know what it is, but for some unfathomable reason, you don’t want anyone to know what it is.

My suspicion, of course, ios that there simply isn’t any scientific theory of ID, that ID is nothing but fundamentalist religious apologetics, and that IDers are simply klying when they claim otherwise. Your statement that “faith” has nothing to do with a “scientific theory”, strengthens that suspicion.

Am I right?

Oh… some common dumb guy told us the world was flat and we all listened.. i think not… it was the educated smart guys (scientific ones)of that time that we listened to.

There was no science when the thought first entered a human brain that the world was flat. And today there are people who believe the world is flat, and it isn’t “educated smart guys” or scientists that they got their ideas from. Of course, not being an educated smart guy yourself, you might simply not believe that.

We just believed because they said so.

Your own epistemological process doesn’t generalize to the rest of us.

Show me that it was not science that said the world was flat.

The world is flat. There, I said it, and I’m not science. Of course, I don’t believe it, but the folks in the Flat Earth Society do (or at least they claim to).

Paul Flocken Wrote:

I think you are both wrong and both right.

I can’t figure out what you think I was wrong about. You agreed with my statement about $14 billion. You say that, however, the $14 billion wouldn’t have been necessary if certain other things had been done earlier – but, as I never spoke to those particular things, that can’t be something I was wrong about. As for working with nature, my one comment on that score was “Bush Sr. put a moratorium on wetlands destruction that Bush Jr. lifted.”

OTOH, you may well think I’m wrong about what I’m about to say. I disagree with your statement about material responsibility; I think it’s largely a fantasy that it’s people who moved to NO who demanded protection from river flooding. Those systems were built by governments and engineers because it was cheaper in the short term than building the proper sort of systems outlined in the $14 billion Gulf Coast 2050 plan.

Many people people in NO were born there, they didn’t move there, and that doesn’t seem like a proper dividing line between those who demanded protection from river flooding and those who didn’t. And it isn’t just those individuals who live in NO who demand that they be protected from river flooding so much as the rest of us who travel to NO as a vacation destination. Most of the individuals living in NO have probably never voiced an opinion on being protected from river flooding, let alone demanded it. They aren’t the ones who acquisitioned, planned, designed, or built those systems. Many of those who suffered the most were probably unaware of details of the systems that have been built to prevent river flooding, if they were familiar with the systems at all. Many of them have lived there or are descendents of people who lived there before these measures were taken. For many, their approach to hurricanes and floods was to move up to the next floor and wait it out – some are still doing so, and others have died doing so.

If we didn’t want people to live there, then we would all have needed to devalue NO as a rich historic location of music and culture and as a tourist destination, and to provide the people there the financial incentives and disincentives to move elsewhere. Even now, with NO virtually empty, it seems very unlikely that that is going to happen. What might happen, though, is that the “with nature” approaches of the $14 billion Gulf Coast plan might get more support if people educate themselves and seek realistic measures.

P.S. The name of the plan is actually “Coast 2050”; here’s a link: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conte[…]001/art00002

Abstract: The loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands continued at a rate of over 60 km2 per year in the 1990s and continued losses of an additional 1295 km2 are projected by 2050. The rapid rate of land loss is attributed to a complex combination of natural landscape dynamics and massive human alterations of deltaic and wetland hydrology. While the problem was recognized in the 1970s, concerted attempts at restoration did not begin until the 1990s. Initial efforts largely focused on addressing local problem areas and were often defensive in nature; that is they sought to prevent future losses rather than restoring any of the wetlands which had already converted to open water. In the late 1990s, a new plan was developed with a more systemic approach to restoration. The Coast 2050 plan embraces the problems at the ecosystem scale and seeks to restore essential processes rather than continued manipulation of wetland hydrology. Implementation of this plan in the 21st century will require detailed consideration of riverine and deltaic processes, ecosystem response to changes in those processes, and the socioeconomic implications of major re-plumbing of the Mississippi River Delta.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Dunford published on August 30, 2005 8:05 PM.

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