Saturday, September 03, 2005

John McPhee on the Mississippi and NO in 1987

4 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

Btw, I agree with Dennis Hastert that New Orleans should not be rebuilt. All residents should be evacuated and reimbursed and put in other places, but New Orleans is not meant for habitation. The Mississippi and hurricanes together make this far different from's just not tenable or supportable.

Let's not compound an error that took centuries to build up.

Saturday, September 03, 2005 2:14:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


I disagree. Firstly, it's a gem of a city and has great historical significance. Secondly, the amount of money and resources required to protect the city is relatively modest. Had the appropriations requested by state and local officials been honored by the Bush administration we would be looking at a very different situation today. Why should we balk at making a capital investment to protect a national treasure (and the people living there) when it amounts to less than half a week of war spending for Iraq? The cuts made by the Bush administration lead to the cancelation of the 17th bridge levee improvements. Improvements, by the way, which would have prevented the levee from failing at that location.

Saturday, September 03, 2005 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I hear you, Andrew, but read this McPhee article and watch the 45-minute video on the natural history of NOLA, and then come back and tell me what you think.

Higher levees actually cause subsidence; even though they should have been raised, that, alone would not have solved the problem. In fact, it would have worsened it.

I haven't been there, but I do know that it was one of the last cities with some actual character in this country; it should be rebuilt on solid ground (literally). The people make the place as much as the place.

Saturday, September 03, 2005 4:22:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...


Maybe you are right, but I would hate to see such a beautiful city disappear. There is so much history there.

There has to be a way to save the city, it just will be expensive. What's a couple of billion to save a treasure like that?

Sunday, September 04, 2005 9:48:00 PM  

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