A few years ago, in one of my Geography courses, we talked about rivers and how they erode and deposit material seasonally, necessitating periodic changes of course, as the elevation changes. Gravity, doncha know. Kind of a market correction for waterways. We specifically talked about the Mississippi river and the problem in New Orleans. See, the river has been trying to shift for decades now (actually, more like centuries or millennia), and we've built dikes, levees, and pumping systems to try and stop it. The whole Mississippi delta has lost much of its buffer of coastal wetlands and is not as stable as it once was. And it will keep getting worse. Unless you can stop it from raining.
Seems the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, in early 2001, issued a report (see link above) listing the three catastrophes most likely to hit the United States: a terrorist attack on New York, an earthquake in San Francisco and a hurricane in New Orleans. Eep. Katrina makes it two out of three. As sad as I am for everyone dealing with this disaster, I'm especially disheartened to read that Bush has been cutting funds for flood and hurricane projects presumably to fund his war (which he now says is actually for oil).
Perhaps it's just optimism on my part, but I always thought that good governance involved getting the most comprehensive information available and working with experts to find answers. That's what JFK did. The current president, however, seems to only listen to people with a specific, ultra-conservative agenda and a narrow range of interests, not to mention they seem to be morons. By morons, of course, I mean the classical dictionary definition of a person with subnormal intelligence. Not that I'm a big fan, but even George Bush Sr., when explaining why he didn't keep going into Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein, said that he didn't want to get stuck in a hostile environment with no exit strategy. Bush Jr. is actually on record as saying he did not discuss it with his father before he went and did just that. Even if he did get some sound advice, I suppose he just would have ignored it anyway. Just like the hurricane preparedness. Just like the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." memo. For the sake of millions, let's hope he doesn't ignore any earthquake memos he gets.
P.S. I just found another blog discussing this very issue in greater detail. Thanks, Martian Anthropoligist!
**Title of this blog courtesy of The Tragically Hip's "New Orleans is Sinking..." from the album Up To Here.