Katrina, 5 years later: still no global warming connection

I remember vividly being on the air at KHSL-TV reporting on this hurricane. I showed the actual path and projected path…

…and told people this during my live weather broadcast on Saturday night:

This storm will severely impact the critical oil drilling and refining area in the Gulf of Mexico. Better fill up your gas tank while you can, because gasoline prices will surely go up quickly.

I was derided by some callers to the TV station and editorial letter writers for that remark, saying that I was being “irresponsible”. A couple of days later, the inevitable happened, gas prices went up sharply.

Now, thanks to the Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth, Katrina is still being used as the poster child for “global warming” even though the actual data does not support that conclusion. For example last September WUWT carried this article:

Global Warming = more hurricanes | Still not happening

So far the hurricane season for the Atlantic has been pretty quiet for 2009. Ryan Maue from Florida State University explains why. In related news, Al Gore has dropped the [hurricane frequency] related slide in his traveling PowerPoint show. – Anthony

Great Depression! Tropical Cyclone Energy at 30-year lows

FSU-ACE_vs_GISS-oceantemp4

Global hurricane frequency versus global ocean temperatures – Top image from FSU ACE, bottom image from GISS ocean data plotted by WUWT – click for larger image===============================================

And it’s still not happening this year so far:

Global Tropical Cyclone Activity still at 30 year low

 

From: Ryan N. Maue’s 2010 Global Tropical Cyclone Activity Update Figure: Global and Northern Hemisphere Accumulated Cyclone Energy: 24 month running sum through July 31, 2010. Note that the year indicated represents the value of ACE through the previous 24-months …

Figure: Global and Northern Hemisphere Accumulated Cyclone Energy: 24 month running sum through July 31, 2010. Note that the year indicated represents the value of ACE through the previous 24-months for the Northern Hemisphere (bottom line/gray boxes) and the entire global (top line/lime green boxes). The area in between represents the Southern Hemisphere total ACE.

==============================

Even the World Meteorological Organization agrees that Gore’s Katrina connections are rubbish:

WMO: “. . . we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.”

 

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a stunning statement in a  recent report. Roger Pielke Jr. has the details on his blog. Just to remind folks that we’ve been saying much the same thing for months on WUWT…

==============================

Of course, the statistical sophistry of Michael Mann says otherwise:

Mann hockey-sticks hurricanes: Hurricanes in the Atlantic are more frequent than at any time in the last 1,000 years

Michael_Mann_hurricane_matrix

Michael Mann: “This tells us these reconstructions are very likely meaningful,”

And, if this paper were a movie pushing non-existent hurricane to global warming connections like AIT, we might hear dialog like this in the vein of Apocalypse Now :

I love the smell of bullshit in the morning.

========================================================

Perhaps though the best way to remember this day is to have a look at the folly of failed environmental and flood management policy, and the photos that document the event.

From Boston.com and the “Big Picture” slideshow; praying is as futile as statistical sophistry.

Blae Bryce, 40, of Memphis, Tennessee, prays the Lotus Sutra on an Interstate 10 overpass as floodwaters rise in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. (AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Gary Coronado)

See the complete photo essay here at the “Big Picture” slideshow

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92 thoughts on “Katrina, 5 years later: still no global warming connection

  1. People do need to remember that most of the flooding damage in New Orleans had nothing to do with the storm effects of Katrina. The flooding came due to breaches in the levees to Lake Pontchartrain that had not been properly reinforced over the last thirty years, even though the U. S. Congress had allocated the money to do the reinforcement to the State of Louisiana and the Army Corps of Engineers three times during that period. The local government had elected to use the money and the Army’s services on other commercial related projects.

  2. Ed said: Well done for your consistency and doggedness in holding warmist feet to the fire!
    I love the smell of burning warmist feet in the morning. ;->

  3. The alphabet says it all. Every year when the Katrina stories come around I think, if hurricanes are increasing we should be past K by now, and we never are. This year we’re only at D and E.

  4. Keith W., I’m not sure where you’re getting your information. While there may be some room to argue that the incompetence of local levee boards contributed to the catastrophe in New Orleans, the bulk of the responsibility has been shown to be with the Corps and its contractors. The levees which failed had not been built to spec, and inspection and maintenance had been woeful. Those levees were primarly on the outflow canals through which rainwater is pumped out of the city into the lake. They were not the levees that directly protect the city from Lake Ponchatrain’s water. Moreover, the Corp’s constuction of the MR GO, and its failure to properly maintain that fools errand of a waterway, greatly enhanced Katrina’s surge into the city, and especially St. Bernard Parish. And, to say that Katrina had nothing to do with the flooding, although a meme here in New Orleans, is of course untrue on its face. Even though the so-called experts insist Katrina was a Cat 2 at New Orleans, I find that hard to believe to this day. In Slidell and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Katrina did far more damage then 1969’s Hurricane Camille, a documented Cat 5 at its landfall. My wife’s house in Pass Christian, which survived Camille, was but a slab after Katrina. The wind damage in New Orleans from Katrina rivaled that from Cat 3 Betsy in 1965, a storm which made a more or less direct hit on The Crescent City. Experts notwithstanding, Katrina was a vicious storm here in the Big Easy, and one which brought powerful forces to bear on the city’s flood protection system. I tend to believe that even if the Corps had done its job properly, some flooding would have occurred in the city, albeit nothing like what actually happened.

  5. Someone will jump on the current series of close storms in the Atlantic (Danielle, Earl, and ???) as “proof” and claim we dodged a bullet if none of them hit the US. If not now, they will be included in the year-end summary of “extreme weather” worldwide in 2010 thanks to the year being warmest/second warmest/whatever.

  6. Physics deniers. Living below sea level is risky.
    I still remember my surprise at the president telling them to evacuate.

  7. Katrina five years later. Was it:
    A proof of global warming? Don’t be silly; of course not.
    A demonstration of the power of a hurricane? Close but no cigar.
    An illustration of the impact of state & local government corruption? We have a winner!
    And what happened? The sheep herded themselves to the Super Dome, waiting for their masters to take care of them as they always kept promising through many years. Or, as Dorothy Parker once said, “The power to do things for you is the power to do things to you.” And boy oh boy, did the people of New Orleans ever have something done to them five years ago!
    And, as for lessons learned? None, as the memory fades and the stupid politicians keep trying to rebuild the city that’s too big for its environment.
    After everyone who is alive today is long dead and buried and the city gets hit again it will once again be an unprecedented disaster.

  8. In related news, Al Gore has dropped the [hurricane frequency] related slide in his traveling PowerPoint show. – Anthony

    Gore is merely updating his portfolio of Fear, discarding broken weapons.
    He’s still at it with his mantra of clearcutting civilization and personal freedom as the only solution.

  9. I remember prior to Iniki one radio broadcaster who was new to Hawaii bemoaning the lines at service stations and at dump sites that were being regularly reported. He “rhetorically” asked how people could be so selfish and foolish prior to a hurricane. His cohost calmly told him that the public were carefully following the instructions given on page 44 of the telephone directory. lol. Stock up on fuel, water. food, batteries and canvas. And dispose of all garbage and unsecurable items about the yard.

  10. The Katrina disaster was anthropogenic, all right, but had nothing to do with CO2.
    First, the government encouraged hundreds of thousands of people to live below sea level behind a level 3 levee.
    And second, since the 1920s the US Army Corps of Engineers has been diverting the Mississippi silt out to sea rather than allowing it to form a natural delta to the east and west of NO.
    The country needs a deep water port with a big labor force at the mouth of the Missippippi, but it doesn’t have to be at the historic NO. The logical thing to do in 2005 would have been to designate a new main channel for the Mississippi to the E or W of the old channel, and then to build a port of Newer Orleans on it, above sea level. A downsized historic NO would then be retained as a cultural and educational center.
    But no, the government continues to encourage hundreds of thousands to live below sea level behind dubious levees, and to channel the Mississippi mud far out to sea.
    Deja vu all over again…

  11. Phil Nizialek writes:
    “The wind damage in New Orleans from Katrina rivaled that from Cat 3 Betsy in 1965, a storm which made a more or less direct hit on The Crescent City.”
    Put this in context. Point 1: The Crescent City is what Americans think of as New Orleans. The place that tourists love did not disappear. Point 2: The Crescent City is on a ridge and was not affected by flooding; in fact, some would say it suffered very little. Point 3: Do not compare Camille to anything if you were not there. I was.

  12. Tyop: “So far the hurricane season for the Atlantic has been pretty quiet for 2009.”
    It’s been pretty quiet so far in 2010, too. Though I note that the longterm average (including cold AMO) says that on average, the first Cat-3 storm is on September 4, and the third hurricane is on September 9. So we’ve caught up to the long term average, if not the warm AMO (e.g. since 1995) average.
    REPLY: That post was written in 2009, follow the link – A

  13. Phil Nizialek says:
    August 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm
    I tend to believe that even if the Corps had done its job properly, some flooding would have occurred in the city, albeit nothing like what actually happened.
    ============================================================
    The only mistake the Corps made was building the levees in the first place. Their construction led to the false sense of security that modern engineering techniques could protect land that is below sea level from damage during a common, natural occurrence.
    Everyone in New Orleans who chose to live below sea level bears the majority of the responsibility for the damage to their homes. Hurricanes are real, they happen, and a category 5 will come someday.
    Anyone living in the sections of New Orleans that abut the ocean or are below sea level are simply rolling the dice and betting the normal forces of nature will not effect them during their lives.

  14. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 29, 2010 at 3:00 pm
    Phil Nizialek writes:
    > Point 3: Do not compare Camille to anything if you were not there. I was.
    I wasn’t there, but I think it’s safe to say Camille was a very compact storm, so while it may not have had as widespread an impact as many storms, people who got the brunt of the storm had a rather wild ride. (In some cases, literally. Oh good grief – there’s a Camille mattress in the UK – http://www.imattresses.co.uk/camille-pocket-memory-1400-mattress.html ) Sigh.
    (Note – the stories about people floating out on mattresses are not as well corroborated as would be nice.)

  15. Well, here we go again with trying, but I am sure failing, to correct the misconceptions of those who want to prove that New Orleanians are somehow fools who don’t know any better than to get out of the drain. First, let’s deal with Mr. Brozyna’s multiple calumnies. Note my earlier post. Read the investigations of what happened. While local and state governments reacted badly to the storm, the flooding resulted in large part from failures of the Corps of Enginners. The citizens of New Orleans had valid reasons to believe the levees would not fail during Katrina.
    As for your off the chart offensive “sheep” comment, over 98% of the metro area’s population evacuated as Katrina approached, despite the short notice and hellish conditions on the roads out of town. The vast majority of those who stayed and fled to the Superdome or Convention Center for shelter did so because they had neither cars nor other transportation to evacuate. I’m not sure what you expected of those several thousand souls Mr. Brozyna. Would you have been happier if they stayed in their flooded houses and drowned? I’m also not sure where you live, but if it’s a big city, I wonder if all your citizens could evacuate with less than 48 hours notice before all hell broke loose, and what you would expect them to do if they couldn’t. No offense to the the TPC, but that’s about the warning NOLA got that Katrina was going to threaten the city.
    And yes SSam and all you who constantly remind us that parts of the city are below sea level. We know that and choose to live in this great city nonetheless. And most of us rebuilt with our insurance money and bare hands, and will always do so because this city’s soul is like no other in America.
    And before you all start bleating about how you don’t want federal dollars dedicated to our “foolishness”, think about what you are going to tell the people of LA or San Francisco or Memphis when those cities are destroyed by earthquakes? Or the good folks of Seattle after their fine town is buried in volcanic ash? Or the people of the plains when the rivers flood their homes? There’s virtually no place in the US that’s immune from natural disaster, and believe me you insensitive gollums, when it happens to your town the people of New Orleans will be there to help you without question as to why you lived in a place where such a disaster could occur.

  16. The effects of Katrina on New Orleans could arguably have been predictable and certainly should have come as no surprise to public officials. 40 years before what was then the nations 1st billion dollar hurricane caused eerily similar effects on New Orleans and the response had similarities: The 9th ward flooded after the flood wall failed and people drowned in their attics, charges were made that the levees were purposely destroyed and the president had to be convinced with political reasoning to visit the devastated city. In 1998, there was a fiasco at the Superdome similar to that that happened in 2005. It is remarkable that no one even seemed to suspect that what happened before could happen again. Of course, the media remains ignorant to this day. It was not global warming…it happened before and some day will probably happen again. See link http://wp.me/pduTk-2UO

  17. New Orleans is a lost cause. Deal with it. For the bad news read… http://pesn.com/2005/09/23/9600175_Rebuild_Energy_Systems_Not_NewOrleans/
    New Orleans is subsiding 1 to 2 feet a year *IN ADDITION TO ANY ALLEGED SEA LEVEL RISE*. And it’s also sliding horizontally towards the edge of the continental shelf. Ask any rational engineer if levees/dams can be built to withstand those conditions. Even if it could be done, New Orleans will become a very tempting and vulnerable terrorist target. One or two properly-placed explosive charges will start a major leak into the bowl, which will erode a wider channel, which will eventually flood the place. Every wannabe Bin Leyden or McVeigh will be trying to go down in history for flooding the place. Only one has to succeed, and it’s game over.

  18. symonsez says:
    August 29, 2010 at 3:43 pm
    The effects of Katrina on New Orleans could arguably have been predictable and certainly should have come as no surprise to public officials.

    It was predicted, and was widely known in the emergency management community for decades. I recall New Orleans being discussed in emergency management conferences in the late 1980’s as an example of a city that was living on borrowed time.
    It was not a question of “if a Katrina like disaster would happen in New Orleans” but a quest of “when a Katrina like disaster would happen in New Orleans.
    The topography of the coast and the city made this disaster (ie major hurricane related flooding) inevitable. The only question was what the specific failure would be that would cause the flooding (storm surge, levee failure, or pumping failure) and would the local authorities plan effectively for the obvious consequences of those likely modes of failure, and respond according to that plan in a timely manner so that the citizens could get out of the basin before the storm induced flooding overwhelmed the pumping capacity that keeps New Orleans dry in a storm.
    Larry

  19. One of the lasting effects of Katrina is the continued replenishment of the flood insurance fund. Since then my flood insurance has gone up about $100 per year, this year I just paid $1013. Now you may think that is what I get for living near the beach but in my case it isn’t so. I live about 1 mile inland at an elevation of 15 feet. That is correct, 15 feet above sea level in Florida. I am in a Cat 5 evac zone. My flood insurance requirement comes from the fact that there was once a small lake down the street from my home. That lake was filled in many years ago and made into a county park. But because we are still using the FIRM maps from 1993, my property shows up in the flood zone from that old lake. About 3 years ago the FIRM maps were being redone in this area to bring them up to date but that has been stalled. The County cannot give me any answers. Can anyone guess why? My suspicion is that the flood insurance fund still wants more money put into it and no properties will be deemed out of any current zone for as long as they can get away with it.

  20. Hurricane Katrina was more about a failure of the Army Corps of Engineers than it was a fierce, massive (insert adjective) storm. No doubt Katrina was a major hurricane, but she was a CAT-3 when she hit NOLA. But there were other storms that were just as windy and dumped just as much rain on NOLA, but the pumps designed to remove the flood water from the city worked in those cases. Theoretically the levees surrounding the city were designed to withstand a CAT-3 hurricane.
    The biggest problem that Katrina posed was she did not strike the city with a direct blow. The Army Corps had fortified the levees on the Gulf of Mexico side of the city excepting a direct hit, but they pretty much ignored the levees on the Lake Pontchartrain side. These levees had sunk about 1 metre since they were built in the 1960’s until 2005, since as we all know; NOLA is sinking about an centimetre every year.
    Unfortunately, because of the track that Katrina took to the east of the city, the return flow from the storm in the northeast quadrant cause a high storm surge on Lake Ponchartrain, breaching the levees on the north side of the city, and finally causing them to fail. All the flood control in NOLA also failed simultaneously as it was overwhelmed by the flood waters.
    You can watch a presentation titled “Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans: Subsidence Measurements from Space” here:
    http://www.cspg.org/events/webcasts/2007-webcasts.cfm
    In addition, this disaster was predicted in a 2001 article in Scientific American. It’s amazing how humans have the capacity to ignore patently obvious disasters that are just waiting to happen.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=drowning-new-orleans-hurricane-prediction
    New Orleans is still sinking, thanks again to the Army Corps who have channelled all the sediment from the Mississippi river out to the Gulf of Mexico instead of allowing the river to flood over the delta to replenish the delta with sand, silt and mud allowing it to stay above sea level. They do this to preserve the deepest sea port in the United States and to try to save the city of New Orleans. But New Orleans will have to be abandoned eventually because the sinking is accelerating – not decreasing.
    Additionally, geological history tells us that the Mississippi River has built 7 lobes of the entire Mississippi Delta in the past 4600 years. Including the current location. This occurs when the Mississippi River breeches its levees upstream (avulsion). It is reasonable that the Mississippi River will switch lobes and New Orleans will have a creek flowing through it. I think the Army Corps is in a fight with the river to prevent it from switching again, in the area of Baton Rouge. The current delta location will be abandoned because when humans get into a fight with Mother Nature, she always wins!
    Today, President Obama announced he was going to help NOLA rebuild . I’m not arguing politics since George W. Bush also made the same promise, but it is a huge mistake to pump billions of dollars into the sinking city which will have to be abandoned one day anyway. When I was in NOLA in April, I stopped to look at how much the downtown area is BELOW the level of the surface of the Mississippi River. Even the Tragically Hip know that, “New Orleans is Sinking”

    Hurricane Katrina and the associated flooding should have caused Americans to start the conversation at least about where the city of New Orleans will be relocated once the Gulf of Mexico swallows the current location. It’s not a matter of if.

  21. Phil Nizialek says:
    August 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm
    And before you all start bleating about how you don’t want federal dollars dedicated to our “foolishness”, think about what you are going to tell the people of LA or San Francisco or Memphis when those cities are destroyed by earthquakes? Or the good folks of Seattle after their fine town is buried in volcanic ash? Or the people of the plains when the rivers flood their homes? There’s virtually no place in the US that’s immune from natural disaster, and believe me you insensitive gollums, when it happens to your town the people of New Orleans will be there to help you without question as to why you lived in a place where such a disaster could occur.
    ==========================================================
    New Orleans is unique in your comparison because it requires direct and continuous human intervention to prevent its disaster.
    If the pumps fail, much of New Orleans is soaked.
    No other land you mention has the requirement that humans must continuously preserve its unnatural existence.
    And if you choose to reply, please consider that I live in Tornado Alley, and accept the risk. However, I do not expect the local government to maintain wind barriers. I do not expect the Canadians to prevent cold air from descending, I do not expect the Mexicans to prevent warm air from rising, and I do not expect the ski resorts in Colorado from preventing the mix of warm and cold air from cascading across the mountain’s eastern face and heading my way.
    On the other hand, the people of New Orleans expect that technology and others will prevent disaster from overwhelming their city. There is a difference.
    I’m done “bleating”.

  22. Thanks to all of you who have provided me evidence of your consensus based on the settled science that we New Orleanians should abandon our heritage, architecture, music, cuisine, lifrstyles and over 300 years of history so as not to ever trouble you again. Help me out here, but haven’t I heard these settled science requires giving up our lifestyle arguments made by others on this blog? Oh, yeah, wait . . . . AGW supporters, that’s it.
    Be sure when y’all finish getting rid of the all of us down on the bayou that you give the Dutch a call. And the people of Venice. And . . . . and . . . .

  23. Phil Nizialek says:{August 29, 2010 at 6:45 pm}
    I have no objection to you keeping whatever you want, just stop asking me to pay for your folly 5 years later. Pay for it yourself.

  24. Phil Nizialek says:
    August 29, 2010 at 6:45 pm
    Thanks to all of you who have provided me evidence of your consensus based on the settled science that we New Orleanians should abandon our heritage, architecture, music, cuisine, lifrstyles and over 300 years of history so as not to ever trouble you again.
    ==========================================================
    You’re too emotionally involved to see the situation from a rational viewpoint.

  25. Sure, Tom. So long as none of my federal dollars are used to rebuild the Floriday Gulf Coast barrier island playgrounds after the next hurricane to follow Ivan’s path . Oh, or to rebuild Miami Beach when the next Andrew comes through.

  26. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm
    I’m done “bleating”.
    ==========================
    Well that’s a relief.
    Some people forget [including you] the geopolitical importance of New Orleans. You may not like it, but the Mississippi River is the inland waterway that empties the bread basket of the USA.
    That is the reason that New Orleans is there.
    And your comment: “No other land you mention has the requirement that humans must continuously preserve its unnatural existence.”
    HA!!! You may want to look into the hydrology history of California, bud.
    Or the history of the Colorado River.
    You are correct. You are bleating.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  27. Stanwilli says:
    August 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm
    Hurricane Katrina and the associated flooding should have caused Americans to start the conversation at least about where the city of New Orleans will be relocated once the Gulf of Mexico swallows the current location. It’s not a matter of if.

    A big chunk of it relocated to Houston and San Antonio 5 years ago.

  28. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm
    Preserve your culture by moving it north to higher ground.
    =================================
    Its prejudice like this that has actually created the misinformation we have with our Corp of Engineers, thanks to NASA and NOAA…today.
    Many of them have bought into the “sea level rise” fallacy, therefore they leave the coastal cities, in their minds, to fend for themselves.
    New Orleans is built on alluvial soil, true.
    But its geopolitical significance, is not to be underestimated.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  29. Have you ever considered, Scott, that maybe the irrational ones are those that advocate the abandonment of a 300 year old city? Should we abandon all the hurricane prone coasts? There have been destructive, devasting hurricanes in New England, Long Island, the Carolinas, Florida, and all up and down the Texas Coast. All these places have been rebuilt, often with federal dollars. All will absolutely suffer catastrophic damge in the future from hurricanes, yet I don’t hear you calling on the people there to abandon their homes. And how about all those who develop the shifting sands of barrier islands, don’t buy insurance, and insist that their homes and businesses be rebuilt after storms. Let’s get rid of them while we’re at it. Are those who insist on living in river floodplanes irrational as well? To the extent they think about it, they buy federally subsidized flood insurance to protect them when their federally built levees are overtopped or fail. I have no doubt the Missouri will flood far more often than hurricanes will hit New orleans. Why don’t we stop helping them as well? Make ’em move to high ground, i say! The feds spent billions rebuilding the Bay area after the ’89 earthquake. No doubt that will happen again, to devastating effect. Why not abandon San Francisco? Move that culture to less shakey ground, as you say. What’s the difference?

  30. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm
    @ Phil Nizialek
    You’re too emotionally involved to see the situation from a rational viewpoint.
    =====================================
    You are using a logical fallacy to advance your viewpoint.
    Complete red herring subject changer.
    There is nothing wrong…whatsoever…for him to use a little passion and heat to defend his point….which is valid in the first place.
    So your point is not taken.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  31. Tom in Florida says:
    August 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm
    Phil Nizialek says:{August 29, 2010 at 6:45 pm}
    I have no objection to you keeping whatever you want, just stop asking me to pay for your folly 5 years later. Pay for it yourself.
    =============================
    Tom in Florida??
    In Florida, Tom??
    In Florida??
    How many hurricane disasters have “we” paid for there??
    Where is your American generosity??
    What an ingrate!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  32. Look the main thing is that we have to learn to live with nature….not against it.
    That means paradigm shifts in our development, city planning, and coastal engineering policies.
    But it doesn’t necessarily mean relocating cities.
    Get over it, guys. That just AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.
    You just gotta have a good geoengineering plan.
    Trust me…I know.
    Where I live…I doubt very seriously you will be able to relocate the largest natural deepwater harbor in the world and also the planet’s biggest, baddest Navy base….now can you??
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  33. I see a lot of people discussing how NO should be moved or shouldn’t…but I think the largest factor is the Mississippi in the end. We know from history that it shifts and when it does, do we keep NO where it is? Or do we move NO to where the Mississippi moves to? It is a relevant question, is NO culture based on its actual location or its location where the Mississippi meets the Gulf?
    I don’t care who you are, but fighting against a river the size of the Mississippi is foolhardy… And someday that decision will have to be made. It might be 100 years from now, when the city is 350 years old (?)…. but it is a question that will someday need to be answered.
    As for moving the city, I am not sure what the issue with this is at all…
    To me, a city is the culture of the people and if you move the people, the city stays the same, its just rebuilt. But I digress..

  34. The root of the problem here is not the cities, or their location.
    The root of the problem is that for many, many years…the US government has been negligent on one of its mandates: INFRASTRUCTURE.
    Rather, the Government would rather focus taxpayer-robbed [er um] “funded” projects on “ending the drug war” or advancing this political agenda or that…right or left.
    How many billions…or even trillions…in that light….have been wasted??
    Meanwhile….the power grid stays 50 – 100 years behind the times, and completely vulnerable to another disastrous and global 1859.
    Meanwhile….interstate bridges fail, without a moment’s notice.
    Meanwhile….a horrific flood ensues in New Orleans thanks to bad city planning and even worse, US government negligence.
    Meanwhile….many BILLIONS have been spent on a trace gas in the atmosphere that is beneficial to plants and thus beneficial to us….when all of those many billions could have been spent on real scientific advancements.
    Balls!!!
    When Government fails to provide us basic infrastructure…at the expense of pork and political tripe…you’d better believe I get bloody angry.
    And you should too.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  35. Chris and Phil,
    Thank you for your replies. Obviously this is an emotional topic. My point is simply that habitable coast lands come and go with the tide.
    The historical importance of an area doesn’t matter.
    We need to get over the belief that the world needs to remain the way it was when we first discovered it as children. The world changes, that’s a fact.

  36. Ben D. says:
    August 29, 2010 at 8:53 pm
    To me, a city is the culture of the people and if you move the people, the city stays the same, its just rebuilt. But I digress..
    ===========================
    Correct. You are digressing.
    It is location, location, location, baby.
    Sure, that is gonna migrate over the eons. But we are talking about now.
    Again….if you take your argument….in reverse….then Los Angeles, just simply should not be there.
    But it is because it can and they were able to divert HUGE stores of fresh water from the Sierra, and voila…. one of the largest cities on the planet.
    And Las Vegas, another major metro area….simply should not be there. But you can thank Lake Mead.
    New Orleans, however, is a very important geopolitical port in the US.
    Sure it might migrate over the eons.
    But for now….it ain’t going anywhere….nor should it.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  37. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    Chris and Phil,
    Thank you for your replies. Obviously this is an emotional topic. My point is simply that habitable coast lands come and go with the tide.
    =====================================
    No.
    It is not an “emotional” topic. Rather, it generates “emotion” because there are some real issues of truth and falsehood to be examined here.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  38. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    Chris and Phil,
    The historical importance of an area doesn’t matter.
    =====================================
    Uhhhh…..I take it you do not spend too much time in cities like Rome, Paris, Boston and Washington DC?
    And I take it you don’t care much for art, artifacts, culture, and museums?
    Am I wrong?
    Yeah…I think I am wrong.
    Probably, history and historical importance of an area is important to you, too.
    And I think you are probably sorry for uttering that ridiculous statement!!
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  39. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    Chris and Phil,
    We need to get over the belief that the world needs to remain the way it was when we first discovered it as children. The world changes, that’s a fact.
    ===============================
    Who here….[to use your words, not mine definitely!] “believes” that “the world needs to remain the way it was when we first discovered it as children.”????
    Huh??? I certainly didn’t.
    As a child, when I “discovered” the world, the shopping mall was in full swing.
    I would be happier than a puppy with two peters [lol] if all shopping malls went away….that’s for dang sure!
    And DUH double DUH….the world changes.
    No one is saying it isn’t.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  40. Chris and Phil,
    Sorry to be rude, but I am about to go to sleep, and therefore won’t be up tonight to respond timely to your side of this debate.
    I would ask you to consider how many of the sunken cities we’ve discovered need to be raised and returned to their former glory?
    And then I would ask you what, other than time, differentiates those cities from our cities along coastal waters?

  41. Tom in florida, lol..sorry to go off topic, just had to respond to your flood insurance thing. I live in Nevada at an elevation of 5200 feet, my mortgage requires I get flood insurance which costs me 1000 a year. Supposedly, the valley I live in is subject to a 500 year flood. I paid good dollar to get my house surveyed, and it is over 5 feet above the “500 year flood” elevation, yet I still could not get out of the requirement. Even if I did flood, my carpets might get a little wet, but there would be a niagra falls of water taking out the entire city of reno before it could physically get higher than that.

  42. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm
    Chris and Phil,
    Sorry to be rude, but I am about to go to sleep, and therefore won’t be up tonight to respond timely to your side of this debate.
    ===================================
    No big deal. Sleep tight. Your response or non response pretty much generates the same effect either way.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  43. Scott Ramsdell says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm
    Chris and Phil,
    I would ask you to consider how many of the sunken cities we’ve discovered need to be raised and returned to their former glory?
    And then I would ask you what, other than time, differentiates those cities from our cities along coastal waters?
    ===============================
    Are you talking about “Atlantis”???
    Oh. OK. Gotcha.
    Keep that up, bro.
    You obviously have NO recon or intel about the geopolitical significance of coastal cities.
    I would be interested to know….where you live!
    Maybe that would explain the source of your bias??
    Or is it just your ego??
    That unique and fatal flaw in homo sapiens to NOT back down on an argument, even when they are wrong….and even when the longer they talk…the more ridiculous they sound.
    Atlantis?? Please spare me. ROTF.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  44. Robert Wykoff says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:33 pm
    Tom in florida, lol..sorry to go off topic, just had to respond to your flood insurance thing. I live in Nevada at an elevation of 5200 feet, my mortgage requires I get flood insurance which costs me 1000 a year. Supposedly, the valley I live in is subject to a 500 year flood. I paid good dollar to get my house surveyed, and it is over 5 feet above the “500 year flood” elevation, yet I still could not get out of the requirement. Even if I did flood, my carpets might get a little wet, but there would be a niagra falls of water taking out the entire city of reno before it could physically get higher than that.
    ===========================
    Well if your carpets getting a little wet is all that happens, then no big deal, right, bro?
    Since you live just east of the Cascadia uplift, your more pressing concern is volcanoes. But El Nino years for Reno can be a bitch, too.
    Nonetheless, it is sad that the insurance industry has capitalized on the flood thing and abused a property owner like yourself.
    500 year floodplain…read by a bureaucrat….is a 500 year flood plain…..what ever that is….statistically.
    I get your point.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  45. Hurricanes are untamed beasts. And New Orleans could not survive a real one. oh Katrina was big. But during Iniki, the anemometer at Lihue, 20ft above sea level, failed at 130 mph. A mere hour into the event. At The Pacific Missile Range (about 1000 ft, Makaha Ridge), at 228mph. One hour, That is sustained winds over an hour or so. The hurricane lasted about 4 hours.
    I saw one house literally disappear in seconds. It appeared to blow up.
    In an after study, Fujita wondered that the mini-tornadoes may have generated winds in the F-4, F-5 range. Luckily these beasts are small in area.
    The water mass was incredible. Easily going 400 yards inward, sometimes twice that distance, on an island that is steep, with masses of beach sand, rock, hard surfaces and serious slope intervening.
    A city built on silt, under water, does not have a chance.
    Sorry.

  46. Walter Dnes says:
    August 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    “New Orleans is a lost cause. Deal with it.”
    I wonder what Walter and others would advise the Dutch to do? Seems to me they handle the threat of flooding etc with good engineering and common sense.

  47. People have mentioned the Netherlands and Venice in the context of New Orleans. Please note that neither location, thankfully, is known for its hurricane risks.

  48. Katrina was a long way from Wingham so I only know what I read. I also read that the ACE is way down but Michael Mann says AGW is causing more cyclones. Is anyone taking this guy to task over his blatant false prophesies? Or does his fame protect him from society’s norms? We do have our own Dr. Tim Flannery, well known to Australian bloggers as one who has had the most prophesies fail yet is still the go to guy by the MSM. He and MM will have much in common in their dotage, liars both.

  49. “Phil Nizialek says:
    August 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm
    …San Francisco…earthquakes?”
    Are you talking about the 1906 quake? If you are most damage was caused by a firestorm, which, in some part was started by the fire department.

  50. Just a thought, looking at that Global and NH ACE graph. It seems to me that there could indeed be a link between global warming and ACE. Hold fire a second and let me explain.
    There’s a lot of sound physics gone into the modelling of the effects of GW – whether ACE or ice or whatever. In fact, looking at that graph it does, indeed, seem to increase with the warming up to around the start of the millenium. Then it diverges. As have ice predictions, as did the tree rings.
    Now, if we have several natural phenomena (out of Mann‘s control) where the modelled physical behaviour diverges from the (adjusted) temperature readings, which should we suspect?
    So, perhaps the physical effects are real and the temp adjustments have simply got so large in an attempt to “keep up the warming” that they no longer match reality but no-one’s thought to tell Mother Nature yet?

  51. savethesharks says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm
    Are you talking about “Atlantis”???

    Talk about cutting a strawman out of whole cloth (to murder the proverb…) but did you see “atlantis” mentioned even once?
    Five minutes research can show you that there are many examples of submerged towns and cities around the world. The Black Sea is littered with them. Ancient Mycenaean Greece is surrounded by then. Hell there are even submerged towns around the coast of England. Dogger Bank is probably full o submerged settlements too, but nobody’s really checked so I can’t say for sure.
    Your talk about “geopolitical significance” misses the point, I believe. The city isn’t the significant item. The river and the coast and the natural harbour formed there are what matters. Maintaining New Orleans may be important but it will be submerged one day. Man can only do so much against nature before nature inevitably wins, as teh inhabitants of Alexandria can attest only too well.
    In fact Alexandria is a pretty good comparison. It thrived as a major port city, serving as a cultural centre to boot and was the single most important city in Egypt for hundreds of years. It had that “geopolitical significance” thing going for it. Then the canal silted up, half the city fell in to the Mediterranean and things sort of went downhill from there.
    New Orleans serves a similar role, but its time is limited by two factors: the river will move one day, and the city will be overwhelmed by a natural disaster. It’s inevitable, when you have a city built so precariously, that it will be destroyed one day. And yes the same goes for LA and Phoenix and all those other cities that are built in precarious places.
    The problem is that the maintenance of New Orleans increasingly doesn’t make sense. The city is sinking faster and further and the process of attempting to preserve it is only making things worse in the long-run. Pumping water out of the city is what is causing it to sink below sea level in the first place.
    All cities sink. London is sinking all the time because of its location on what was once a tidal marsh and because water is constantly pumped out of the ground beneath it. Thing is, the city has been sinking for centuries. Originally it was built on aluvial loam but now, to steal from Pratchett, London is mostly built on London. You dig down and you find old buildings in the foundations.
    Chicago is even more extreme. In order to mitigate the problem of floods in a city that was sinking in to the ground they did the only thing that seemed sensible at the time. The built everything a floor higher. They built new roads over the top of the old roads and filled everything in underneath. Ground floors became basements, first floors became ground floors. Houses were extended upwards. Now, a man with a map and a sledgehammer could probably make his way across the entire city without ever seeing daylight.
    What makes New Orleans so special that it can’t engage in a little creative thinking to solve the problem? The levee system doesn’t work any more, that much is obvious. All the talk about corruption and “well they didn’t maintain it properly” doesn’t matter. They could be maintained perfectly but the city is still sinking, and it will continue sinking as long as the current thinking prevails. Abandon that. Build a giant platform on stilts, or mound up some hills or something. Anything’s better than letting it all sink and then expecting everyone else to protect it because of its “geopolitical importance”.

  52. savethesharks says:
    August 29, 2010 at 9:48 pm
    ….
    Atlantis??

    Not a bad nickname for the lower 9th ward!
    Too bad it’s not still Greater Lake Pontchartrain …

  53. Just a quick response to several of my critics before off to work I go. Scott and Ben D., I invite you to visit New Orleans so I can show you the sites, and let you steep a little in the history of this place. I’ll even introduce to my waiter at Galatoire’s. If after that you still believe that what is here can be replaced somewhere upriver, than we’ll have to agree to continue to disagree about this subject.
    Ben D, makes a good a point about The Mississippi wanting to change couse for some time now. (Really since the 1927 flood). As you are probably aware, Ben, the Corps has built control structures above Baton Rouge to deal with that eventuality. They are impressive geoengineering works. To date, they have worked during several serious river floods. If they don’t in the future, we’ll have to see what Ol’Man River will do, and deal with it then. I don’t think the possibility justifies us abandoning the city, though.
    Peter Plait objects to my mentioning The Netherlands and Venice as places prone to flooding disasters, mostly because those locales are not threatened by hurricanes. True enough. The Dutch, however, are keenly aware of what storms can do to a low lying landscape. Take a look at the history of the 1953 North Sea Storm. More people drowned during that disaster than did during Katrina.
    As for Venice, Peter is right that tropical storms do not ply the Adriatic. The engineers who work to preserve Venice, however, will tell you that tiny ripples on the sea have the same effect on Venice as do great storms in other coastal regions. My point was that Venice has been in danger of slipping into the sea for centuries, and has been beset by bad government engineering works as well. Still, no one seriously advocates its abandonment.
    Several of you have objected to my mention of San Francisco as the site of a certain, future natural disaster. I must admit to not being an expert on the earthquake threat to the Bay Area. I have read, however, that the City’s location makes it prone to large, dangerous, quakes. I apologize if my analogy is poor, and invite you to educate me about the threat, and what has been done to mitigate it.
    Finall, many thanks to Chris (aka Savethesharks) for your tireless support. As many of you have pointed out out, this is an emotional issue for us in New Orleans, and it’s nice to see that some folks around the country understand. If you ever get down here, brother, give me a ring and we’ll let the good times roll. I am, as they say, in the book.

  54. My pleasure, Phil.
    Your arguments here are by far the strongest, and thus easy to stand up for and support.
    There are a lot of big egos who like to hear themselves talk on this site [I am not dis-including me LOL]. Big egos tend to get unreasonable when backed into a corner.
    As far as the childish….”I’m not going to pay for it” line of arguing…
    Well to those, I would say direct those complaints to your congressmen who…to the direct peril of shoring up America’s cities and improving its infrastructure….squander the taxpayer money on pork.
    Meanwhile….bridges collapse….
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA [another “sinking” city]

  55. “”” Well Katrina was five years ago; and the water level has gone down to where the roads are dry again.
    Maybe it is time for the people huddling inside their homes to venture out and go to work somewhere.
    When the town of Valdez Alaska, was devastated by a major earthquake (was it a nine something) back around 1964; the people of the town just moved about three miles or so down the road, and built themselves another town. So far as I know; the president (Johnson) did not visit Valdez five years later to see if everybody got out of their home safely, and can make it to the polls in a couple of months to vote for him.
    Katrina, and New Orleans are symbols of what is wrong with America today; everybody just sits on their duff waiting for somebody to come along and move them. How does that old cowboy song go about the “houndog” that is howlin’ cos it is sittin’ on a thorn; and it’s just too darn lazy to move over.
    The new deeper swimming pool walls they are erecting around New Orleans; will simply ensure that the next big one will flood the place even deeper, and kill even more people; but it sure as hell is not going to stop any hurricane that wants to go on in there. It took the French to build a town below sea level at the end of a major river delta system. Americans shouldn’t compound the felony, by trying to rebuild the place in the same location.

  56. Ah, Mr. Archonix, welcome to the debate. May I address a couple of your points? First of all, not all of the city is sinking. The oldest areas (The French Quarter, the original American sector in what is now uptown, and the development along the Esplanade Ridge) are neither below sea level, nor sinking. In most cases the pumping system and the earliest levees deal fairly well with flooding in those areas. Severe or unusual storms (like the 15″ of rain in twelve hours that happened in 1978), will still result in some street flooding in those areas, but it’s pretty much dealt with by the pumps in a couple of hours. Other Gulf Coast cities have similar events, and survive. (witness Houston after TS Allison early this century). No way, no how will we bow to pressure to abandon these areas. Don’t know how.
    The problems with subsidence and flooding really began after WWII, when the Corps started building levees around below sea level swamps outside the city, and encouraged people to move to newly developed areas like East New Orleans. The wisdom of that decison worsened when 20th century slab on grade housing was used in new developments. Most, but not all unfortunately, of the rebuilding in these areas will have raised living spaces, not unlike those used on barrier islands. This should minimize damge from future floods. Reversing the effect of the channeling of the Mississippi below New Orleans is also a”creative way” to help protect the city from future storms by creating new wetlands that protect the coast from storm surge. Efforts are underway to do that. The levees also can work, if built and maintained properly. Much effort is underway in this regard, as in the area of increasing pump capacity. We are working on new ways to protect the city, contrary to much conventional wisdom.
    The thing that puzzles me the most is the meme that outsiders perpetuate that everyone in New Orleans is some how sitting down here begging for government hand outs before we do something to rebuild. The constant media attention on the lower ninth surely has something to do with this. Sure, we’re looking to the Corps to fix what it should have done right in the first place. And we appreciate it when FEMA fulills a promise it has made, as rarely as that happens. But I invite all you critics to come to this city and see what has been done by all of us here who have worked tirelessly to rebuild the city we love, more often than not with our own money and sweat. Look at the pictures from September 2005, and then come see what this place is like now. Pay no, or at least little, attention to the media and its prejudices. There’s more here than the lower ninth ward, and all of it suffered damage in Katrina. Most of it is back to what it was, or better, than pre storm. The rebuilding didn’t happen because we’re a bunch of whiners. Come on down and get to know us. I think you may think differently about us, and our city, if you do.

  57. The Katrina Disaster had nothing to do with AGW and everything to do with AGW. That is, it did if the first relates to ‘Warming” and the last to “Wishing”. Katrina was one of the “Natural Disasters” that humans run into every now and then that bring humans back to reality; that make us realize we’re not the Big Cheese we think we are. That make us realize that –
    1. Uncle Sam ain’t goin’ ta’ save ya’ from a big bad storm (or anything else)!
    2. It does matter where ya’ build cities! (And how far under sealevel they are!)
    3. It does matter where ya’ build houses, schools, neighborhoods.
    4. Concrete “may” or “may not” keep out storm surge, so don’t bet on it!
    5. Who the major is, who the police chief is, who the representative is, who the senator is, who the governor is, etc., does matter.
    6. When the weatherman/girl says it’s goin’ ta’ be bad, believe ’em!
    7. When ya’ get clobbered once, move before it happens again! (Especially if ya’ live in NOLA.)

  58. “”” Phil Nizialek says:
    August 30, 2010 at 10:01 am
    Mr.George Smith,
    Where do you get such ideas? Have you been here lately? “””
    Not sure what “ideas” you are referrring to; I generally don’t “get” ideas. I do see current “NEWS” bulletins; both from the national major TV networks; and other sources such as PBS on either TV or radio.
    What I do recall from the actual event, was a news account of a local politician commandeering National Guard relief personnel and equipment, to take him on a special trip to his home so he could retrieve a bunch of cash that he had stashed in his refrigerator. There was no follow up report on how many stranded perons actually drowned while he was attending to his own critical needs.
    The local Mayor, and the State of Louisiana Government were also instrumental in helping to deflect help from outside sources; that probably could have made things easier. Seems to me some teenager who figured he could drive a bus, had more common sense than the local government authorities.
    And no I have never been there; and it is not on any list of places that I haven’t been to; or would want to go to. But if you like it there, then that is great; the whole idea of having different places, is so not everybody is in the same place.
    I’m sure that at the time, there were plenty of people who may have suggested that Pompei, and Herculaneum were not such great places to be living, in the event of an eruption somewhere; but that didn’t stop people from living there (and dying).
    If the news stories that we are getting contain strange “ideas”, perhaps you should contact the media, and tell them what is wrong with their reports.
    I’m quite sure that I heard all weekend and also this morning, that the President would/did visit the city; and if everything down there is kosher as you seem to imply; then why would he go there; given that he is faced with a national collapsing economy with continual job losses; including all those jobs lost in Louisiana, because of his imperial edict on the cessation of offshore oil drilling.
    If somehow I heard it wrong, and none of this happened; then I do apologise; but they are not my “ideas”.

  59. savethesharks says:{August 29, 2010 at 8:26 pm}
    “Tom in Florida?? In Florida, Tom??
    In Florida?? How many hurricane disasters have “we” paid for there??
    Where is your American generosity?? What an ingrate!”
    You obviously miss the point. Natural disasters occur. They occur all over our land. We as a Nation pick up the tab to make things right. As we should.
    HOWEVER, when you build below sea level and then get flooded and we picked up the tab once, how dare you rebuild below sea level again and expect me to pick up the tab again in the future!!!!! In this instance, as per my previous post about flood insurance, I am being billed 5 years later to replenish the flood insurance fund that was depleted mainly by those who lived in N.O. And now you want to rebuild it there so it can be swamped again in the future. To this I say this, “Build it there if you insist but be warned the rest of us will not pay again for your repeated folly”. It has nothing to do with my generosity, it has to do with stubborn people who refuse to live with the consequences of their foolish decisions.

  60. What Phil Z and Chris said.
    For those who really want to take a look at a full assessment of the cacophony of failures, read the report (linked below) headed by Robert Bea. There were failures at all levels of government, from local boards to federal.
    One of the earliest dates from the 1960s, when the Corps wanted to build flood gates and pumping stations at the head of the outfall (drainage canals). A similar system was in place in adjacent Jefferson Parish (Metairie and Kenner) which did not flood from the storm surge (though there was some flooding, but that is a different story). This system prevents the storm surge from entering the canals and stressing the floodwalls that failed (17th Street and London canals), flooding the central part of New Orleans. Had these floodwalls held, there would have been little (if any) flooding near the Superdome as well as in the Mid City, Lakeview, and Gentilly neighborhoods (areas between the 17th Street and Industrial canals).
    The original Corps plans for the flood gates and pumping stations was opposed by the New Orleans Water and Sewerage Board, responsible for pumping rain water into the outfall canals. They feared that the pumping stations, operated by the Levee Board, would not function during a storm. The boards could never come to an agreement, and under additional pressure from the city (the stations would be ugly) and environmental groups, the Corps dropped the plan and adopted the plan of raising the flood walls on the outfall canals.
    The newly raised flood walls were completed in 1999, essentially modern structures. The construction of these structures is a lesson in how not to build anything.
    To start with, the walls were designed with a Factor of Safety of 1.3. That is that they were built to be 30 % stronger than necessary. Compounding this, the survey of the underlying strata was insufficient to demarcate the variable underground layers. This was followed by the Corps averaging the values across the length of the survey in their design specifications. Since the walls need only fail at one point, this assumption combined with the low Factor of Safety (the 1.3 value was used historically for levees that protected agricultural land) to almost ensure failure at some point.
    These mistakes might have been moot had the Corps used the data from a pilot study that built and tested the wall design on nearly identical foundation soils in the nearby Atchafalya basin. These test walls failed but the results were never incorporated into the built designs. Well when the experiment was repeated during Katrina, the walls failed in the same way (several feet below being overtopped).
    As a Russian engineer said after I related the story, “Ah, we know this well, Potemkin Village!”
    The final act has not been fully played out in court. Those flooded by the failure of the floodwalls cannot sue the government for negligence. However, the residents of New Orleans East, the Lower 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish still have a suit active in federal court (last I looked). They have standing since the damage in these areas was exacerbated by the construction of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO, “Mista Geaux”) which was a commercial project by the Corps and not a flood control project.
    Why am I still here? Too may reasons.
    Later!
    http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cenv_fac/32/
    (A very large file)

  61. Look…relocating a major metropolitan area and city…ain’t gonna happen any time soon.
    You can fume over where “my tax dollars” are going until the cows come home.
    Sure a direct hit by an actual category five hurricane or something even worse might change that in the future.
    But few of you seem to understand the terms geopolitical and geostrategic, either.
    For those reasons alone, New Orleans is where it is.
    But for now, you should direct your concerns to your congressmen to end waste and pork on stupid stuff…so that federal funds should be spent on the only two things government should actually pay for: INFRASTRUCTURE and DEFENSE.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  62. LiamW says:
    August 30, 2010 at 11:30 am
    What Phil Z and Chris said.
    There were failures at all levels of government, from local boards to federal.
    ======================================
    Exactly! This is our bloated, inefficient, bureaucratic government in action.
    It is a horrible, damnable even, shame that the USA with all its reasources, can’t even engineer a flood wall right.
    Again…for those of you who oppose “your” tax dollars on fixing these problems….I will say again:
    Direct your pressure to congress to end waste and pork spending, and concentrate on the only [ONLY] two things the federal government should ever have its greasy, greedy, bureaucratic hands in the taxpayer’s purse to fund:
    INFRASTRUCTURE and DEFENSE.
    You want to know why we risk catastrophic failure of our crumbling infrastructure??
    Because there are taxpayer-funded Senators sitting on their fat asses in their swank offices with so many taxpayer-funded support staff, you would not believe.
    And you know the rest…
    Meanwhile….bridges fail, cities “sink”, and rusty electrical grids fry.
    God help us all from another Carrington Event. You want to talk about a real disaster. That will make Katrina seem like childs play.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  63. C’mon, George. What ideas indeed? Ideas like we’ve been huddling in our houses for five years, and sitting on our “duffs” waiting for something to happen? Or that you think the French built the city on ground below sea level? Like many of you out there you think, like the media, if you repeat those falsehoods over and over they will somehow become true and vindicate your position that NOLA should be abandoned. And, Mr. George, since you seem to like to split hairs about the meaning of words, no one here thinks the levees are going “to stop any hurricane that wants to [come here]” Nothing on earth short of wind shear and dry Saharan air stops a hurricane, and those are usually in short supply in the GOM in late August. No, but it would be nice if the levees worked like they were supposed to and didn’t fail because of the Corps’ negligence. Last time I checked, I didn’t think I as a citizen needed an engineering degree so I could personally inspect the Corps’ work before I believed they built the system they told me they built.
    And where in my posts did I defend the response of the local and state governments? They failed on many levels, as we here constantly remind them as we try to prepare for the next storm. Of course you and your ilk pick a particularly egregious vignette or two that you read in some rag or maybe saw on TV and use it to tar a whole community and argue that it would be best if we were just gone. Fine. I obviously won’t convince such a deep thinker as you with your PBS news and network TV sources that maybe the people here aren’t even close to what you imagine. But spare me your gross insensitivity until you know what you’re talking about.

  64. Tom in Florida,
    Explain to me how rebuilding the resorts of Destin and Pensacola Beach, both of which appear to be in Florida, makes more sense than rebuilding New Orleans. I guess it may have something to do with the cultural significance of the strip centers, tiki torch restaurants and miniature golf courses in those places.
    By the way, one of the reasons some people in New Orleans didn’t have flood insurance when Katrina hit was because of the premium increases associated with Lily and Ivan. Who’s goring whose ox, my friend?

  65. George E. Smith says:
    August 30, 2010 at 11:06 am
    Not sure what “ideas” you are referrring to; I generally don’t “get” ideas. I do see current “NEWS” bulletins; both from the national major TV networks; and other sources such as PBS on either TV or radio.
    What I do recall from the actual event, was a news account of a local politician commandeering National Guard relief personnel and equipment, to take him on a special trip to his home so he could retrieve a bunch of cash that he had stashed in his refrigerator

    You are correct, but it was actually stashed in his self-contained freezer.
    (AP) A former Louisiana congressman who famously stashed cash in his freezer was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison for taking hundreds of thousands in bribes in exchange for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa.
    The sentence handed down in suburban Washington was far less than the nearly 30 years prosecutors had sought for William Jefferson, a Democrat who represented parts of New Orleans for nearly 20 years.
    Agents investigating the case found $90,000 wrapped in foil and hidden in boxes of frozen pie crusts in his freezer.

  66. Interesting, Tim, but note that your account does not confirm George’s that Jefferson commandeered National Guard resources during the hurricane to retrieve his loot. That, of course never happened, and is one more example of the misinformation people like George rely on for their opinions. That being said, George’s story is an amalgamation of several seedy New Orleans stories. Some politician (I don’t recall who) did use NG resources to get stuff (I don’t remember what) out of his house during the storm. Jefferson did stash bribe $$$ in his freezer. The feds found it there, and it played a major role in his conviction. Interestingly, though, the money had nothing to do with corruption in New Orleans. In any case, the two stories are wholly unrelated. That’s not to say there hasn’t been a lot of corruption here. This place is far from perfect. I’m just not sure it’s so bad we need to bury it at sea.

  67. “”” Phil Nizialek says:
    August 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm
    C’mon, George. What ideas indeed? So Phil; ou accuse me of making up stories; how about your made up stories; like the “negligence of the Army Corps od Engineers” The ACE built what they were instructed to build; a levee system designed to withstand a CATEGORY 3 Hurricane besetting the levee system from outside. Katrina was a Category 5 storm, and the levees the ACE built were never intended to withstand a ccat-5 from the outside. They werent’t designed to withstand anything much from the inside, because the pumping system the city had was supposed to keep water from accumulating inside the levees. Teh pumps failed; apparently from lack of attention the the fact they needed energy to run them; even in a storm; so the levess washed out from the inside.
    Then the city built a canal through the middle of all of this that compromised the whole system.
    And who’s cherry picking words; I said the chap had the cash in his refrigerator; and you say it was in his freezer; I’m sorry for the mistake; last time I checked a freezer was a refrigerator.
    I didn’t name the politician; you did that; his name means nothing to me; and yes he did commandeer NG equipment to suit himslef; I believew helicopter was involved at one point.
    Perhaps I am just imagining the story in last Friday’s New York Times by Trymaine Lee about post Katrina NO problems; maybe I am just imagining that story is written on the page that is sitting on my desk.
    By the way; I have the very same sentiments for those who rebuilt housing on the refill lands of San Francisco after the 1906 quake. Those were temporary landfill for a temporary fair in SF, and never engineered to have housing on them. But again in 1989 they rebuilt them from insuracne company pools ready for the next bunch of unwary buyers who think it is too good a deal to be true. (it is).
    Like any normal person, I abhor these personal tragedies when they happen. In the case of NOL the people of that city were led to believe by their elected city leaders that they were safe remaining where they were; when they had plenty of time to evacuate. We don’t have Hurricane parties or even earthquake parties in california when we head hazard warnings. But evidently the gulf coast has its stalwarts who are just waiting for the next one so they can have a party to show how macho they are to sit it out. I actually spent time on the phone during Andrew; with a woman I never met in my life and knew nothing about; trying to calm her fears to the point where she could make rational decisiosn about her safety at the time, and act accordingly. She survived; and then moved out of where she was; figuring that California was safer; for the kinds of hazards she felt she couldn’t deal with.
    So what is this 9th ward you keep talking about; is it part of the city of NO or isn’t it; and if so; why isn’t it enjoying a return to normalcy; or is the repair work being rationed out to people who are worth helping.
    When the hurricane hit; those of us out here that could contribute to aiding those down there did so, to the extent that we could; including sending our emergency resources down there to help. We didn’t specify that our assistance should only be given to those deserving of it; never entered our heads; well that would be an “idea” wouldn’t it ?

  68. Mr. George,
    The freezer was in Virginia.
    You have so many of the facts wrong, it is best that you read the report that I linked above. It is large (~650 pages). But, to really talk about decisions that we have to make down here, you need to be better informed. There are very few factually written MSM articles out there. I don’t have time to go over all of your misconceptions. I tried to give a brief summary of the actions of the Corps that led to the flooding. Finally, the pumps did not fail. The water through the floodwall breaches was about to swamp the electrically driven pumps and they were turned off. They would have been of no use anyway, since they pump the water into the outfall canals whose flood walls had breached.
    Gotta run….

  69. Phil Nizialek says: {August 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm}
    “Tom in Florida,
    Explain to me how rebuilding the resorts of Destin and Pensacola Beach, both of which appear to be in Florida, makes more sense than rebuilding New Orleans. I guess it may have something to do with the cultural significance of the strip centers, tiki torch restaurants and miniature golf courses in those places.
    Please do not confuse private hazard insurance with federal flood insurance. I have no choice but to pay what the feds determine based on 1993 maps that are out of date. I have no beef with rebuilding anything that uses private insurance money, that’s what it is for. You also have a choice of coverages and fees. My problem is that the government controls the flood insurance including the maps that dictate rates, even when they know they are out of date. They use this control to force others to pay for something they shouldn’t have to. And to compound it, they OK the reconstruction of the same situation that almost bankrupt the fund in the first place knowing full well they can continue to bill others unjustly when the same disaster hits again.
    “By the way, one of the reasons some people in New Orleans didn’t have flood insurance when Katrina hit was because of the premium increases associated with Lily and Ivan. Who’s goring whose ox, my friend?”
    Yes and my rates went up the next year. I also knew they would go up after Katrina. But they are still going up 5 years later and for what reason? Now if they had said once the fund is replenished the increases would stop AND then decided not to insure New Orleans to keep this from happening again, I wouldn’t care. But no, they are going to put the fund at risk again. They are going to encourage people to move back knowing that flooding is going to happen again, and again and again. It is pure folly. No matter to them though, they’ll just bill everyone else. After all , they are the government and can do anything they want to us.

  70. Phil Nizialek says:
    August 30, 2010 at 9:39 am
    Ah, Mr. Archonix, welcome to the debate. May I address a couple of your points?

    You may, and your points are well taken sir.
    Not been a mister for some time. It’s quite nice. 🙂
    I was originally going to mention the old quarter of the city not flooding but I took that out, as I wasn’t actually sure on the point; I knew that parts of New Orleans had flooded and that it seemed counter-productive to keep pumping those areas out when the pumping itself was taking them further below sea-level.
    What we have here is, I believe, a polarised debate. Neither side is willing to give ground to the other lest they be seen as losing face. Well I don’t mind losing face, as I’ve lost plenty of it over the years and have little left to bother with. The idea that the entire city should simply be moved is silly, and I wouldn’t think to suggest that but, on the other hand, the idea that it can be preserved in it’s present form in toto is also silly. There is no attempt at mitigation, merely the erection of barriers that reinforce a denial that things can ever change, when Katrina demonstrated quite amply the folly of denial and the equal folly of building residences on land that is below sea level in an area with historic propensity towards floods.
    Were nature to take it’s course, New Orleans would become rather like Bruges, which was once a major port but is now entirely land-locked, yet still prospered after that. The “geopolitical importance” of the city mentioned elsewhere in the thread is not inherent to the actual city, as I pointed out; it is merely a function of the connection between river and sea. Zeebrugge now serves as the port that Bruges once was.
    The city doesn’t have to move, you can just built another one further down.

  71. “”” Tom in Florida says:
    August 30, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    Phil Nizialek says: {August 30, 2010 at 12:45 pm}
    “Tom in Florida,
    Explain to me how rebuilding the resorts of Destin and Pensacola Beach, both of which appear to be in Florida, makes more sense than rebuilding New Orleans. I guess it may have something to do with the cultural significance of the strip centers, tiki torch restaurants and miniature golf courses in those places.
    Please do not confuse private hazard insurance with federal flood insurance. I have no choice but to pay what the feds determine based on 1993 maps that are out of date. “””
    Well I feel your pain; and I have the same problem. I own a home that is situated somewhere slightly above the former perimeter of the largest lake west of the Mississippi river; Tulare Lake, in Tulare County in California’s Central valley. My house is on a four foot high foundation above that perimeter to prevent any flood waters from entering the home. Adn I have an irrigation caanl that goes along my property to drain off any water that should land on my property. Oh; about that lake; it isn’t there any more; none of it; they built a duct to conenct it to the San Joachi river which drains into San Francisco Bay, and they drained every last bit of water from the lake out into SF Bay nearly 80 years ago. So the lake is now farmed growing grapes and the like.
    If any water lands in the central valley, somebody lays claim to it, and pumps it all down to Southern California to water golf courses.
    So my floor is four feet above the highest shoreline perimeter of a non-existing lake that would take years to fill even after a 5000 year storm.
    And FEMA says I need flood insurance; and my mortgage company requires that I have it. I don’t carry any insurance against being struck by an asteroid or comet; but that is more likely than my being flooded.

  72. Mr. George, I’m not sure where to start in responding to your latest post. Let’s begin, though, by my being clear that I didn’t accuse you of making up stories. Rather, I opined that your views about New Orleans and its people might have arisen from misinformation. Your latest post confirms my suspicions. Now, I’ll address your most recent points in order.
    I don’t think accusing the Corps of negligence is “making up a story.” May I suggest you read LiamW’s post of 11:30 today, and peruse the attachment thereto. After you’ve done that, if you still think the Corps is blameless in the tragedy of August 29, 2005, I would be glad to address your reasons further.
    The outflow canal levee failures had nothing to do with the failure of the pumping sysytem. It was, in large part the other way around. The pumps failed because they flooded from water entering the city after the levees breached. Don’t believe me. Read it for yourself. It’s all in the attachment to LiamW’s post.
    I’m not sure to what “canal the city built through all this’ you are referring, so I’m having a hard time addressing this point. I’d appreciate a little more information on this one.
    As for the politician with the money in his freezer, I merely pointed out to Tim that your version grouped together two unrelated stories into one Katrina myth. The freezer/fridge dichotomy is as unimportant to me as it is to you. As I said to Tim, a local politician did commandeer army resources to get to his home before others had access to the city. It may even have been the guy who later had bribe money in his freezer. No one, however, commandeered NG resources to get bribe money out of their fridge, freezer, or anywhere else during the flooding. If I’m not mistaken the guy who did these things has been sentenced to a long prison term, so I’m not sure what the point was of bringing him up in any case. If you intended to remind me that some people abuse their authority during an emergency, I freely concede the correctness of that position. I just don’t think that problem is unique to New Orleans.
    I doubt you are imagining the NYT article you reference, since I have read it as well. That being said, I don’t think I have stated in my posts that everything in New Orleans is perfect five years out. What I have said is that I object to those who, like our friend at the NYTs, focus only on the problems of rebuilding a destroyed city, and leave folks like you with the impression that nothing has been accomplished here since the storm because, as you so colorfully put it, we’re all just sitting on our duffs waiting for someone to help us. To me, that story line is disingenuous. Much has been accomplished, both with and because of outside help, for which we are grateful, and through our own sweat and toil, which we give eagerly.
    I have no views about the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. That’s a long time ago, and much has changed in that city, I am sure.
    Your comments about us having hurricane parties and not heeding warnings to evacuate are misplaced. Sure, some hundreds of reckless youths stayed behind and caused untold grief while becoming the focus for the news people looking for the worst in folks. But see the second paragraph of my post of 3:34 PM yesterday for a discussion of this topic. You are simply wrong that New Orleans had “plenty of time to evacuate.” No one who has ever evacuated a major city in the face of a life threatening event would ever make such a statement. There’s simply no such thing as “plenty of time” when major hurricanes threaten.
    Your thinly veiled accusation of racism in your ninth ward comment really grates. I really shouldn’t dignify it with a response, but what the hell, I’ve already wasted this much time trying to reason with you.
    You admit you know nothing about New Orleans, have never been here, and don’t want to, so it follows you have no understanding of the rebuilding process here and what motivates it. The fact is that when citizens, as opposed to government planners, rebuild destroyed cities, they do so by regrowing the city organically from the neighborhoods that have survived the disaster. And so it has been in New Orleans after Katrina. The first neighborhoods to rebuild were those adjacent to the French Quarter, Mississippi Ridge and Esplanade Ridge, where damage was less because those places were high ground. Those rebuilding drew on the still existing services of the areas that survived the calamity. As neighborhoods recovered, places adjacent to those could rebuild, and so on. While this organic growth wasn’t the only way places in the city rebuilt, it did predominate.
    Geographically, the lower ninth is separated from the rest of the city by a canal. As a result, it was, pre Katrina, a more or less self contained city within the city accessed only by bridges. The devastation in the lower ninth was total. Few buildings survived, and none which could offer the neighborhood needed services such as groceries, dry cleaners and such. Because it is geographically isolated, it is difficult for the folks who lived there, many of whom are poor and lack cars, to return there by drawing on the services of other, redeveloped adjacent neighborhoods. Although houses have been rebuilt, the people have not returned, in my view in large part because the services are not readily available.
    Not every problem in the South can be explained away by racism, Mr. George, despite you folks in California trying to make it so. The world really is much more complicated than that.

  73. And I don’t have any basis for believing any of the “explanations” given here any more than those given out by the NEWS media.
    If they get it wrong; then we all are misinformed; I actually have a real job to do, so I don’t have time to independently check the copy of every news reporter in the nation for factual correctness.
    But I do understand the problem. Having been from time to time, an insider on various and sundry “news” stories; and having never read one of them which failed to get the facts incorrect, then I suppose we shouldn’t believe any news stories. And that includes stories wherein I personally provided the correct facts in the first place, before they were “edited”t o reveal the creative licence of the editor.

  74. Mr. George, on the topic of the inaccuracy of MSM reporting I agree with you wholeheartedly. I, too, have had the misfortune of dealing with the media during “newsworthy” events. Not once in my experience have they ever gotten even the most basic facts correct. It boggles the mind. It’s also way off topic, Mr. Moderator, so that’s the last I’ll say on that.

  75. George E. Smith says:
    August 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm
    ….But I do understand the problem. Having been from time to time, an insider on various and sundry “news” stories; and having never read one of them which failed to get the facts incorrect, then I suppose we shouldn’t believe any news stories. And that includes stories wherein I personally provided the correct facts in the first place, before they were “edited”t o reveal the creative licence of the editor.
    ________________________________________________________________
    I can second that opinion. Every news story I have been connected with was badly mangled also. My Husband’s family owned a newspaper, and according to them the only news that is reported correctly is the sports scores, otherwise its “all the news that fits we print.” Selling advertizing and getting the paper out on time are much more important than getting the facts correct. After all tomorrow the paper will be wrapping fish or lining a bird cage so who cares about the facts as long as it sells.

  76. “”” Phil Nizialek says:
    August 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm
    Mr. George, on the topic of the inaccuracy of MSM reporting I agree with you wholeheartedly. I, too, have had the misfortune of dealing with the media during “newsworthy” events. Not once in my experience have they ever gotten even the most basic facts correct. It boggles the mind. It’s also way off topic, Mr. Moderator, so that’s the last I’ll say on that. “””
    Well Phil you may regard it as off topic; but I don’t. After all, I base my judgements on what I read; since I don’t have time to go and get all the news originally from where it happened for myself.
    So if someone accuses me of making stuff up in my “idea” generator; I feel it is quite on topic to point out were the possible errors really lie.

  77. “”” Phil Nizialek says:
    August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm
    Mr. George, I’m not sure where to start in responding to your latest post. Let’s begin, though, by my being clear that I didn’t accuse you of making up stories. Rather, I opined that your views about New Orleans and its people might have arisen from misinformation. Your latest post confirms my suspicions. Now, I’ll address your most recent points in order. “””
    So then where was it that you found anything about racism in my comments; since you did not exclude me in your comments about “you folks in California;” and nothing in any of my posts made any reference either directly or implied about any racial issues. You obviously know nothing whatsoever about New Zealanders; or you wouldn’t make such an absurd inference, and you obviously don’t know anything about me; my Mother-in-Law would burst an artery if she read your comment.

  78. “”” Your comments about us having hurricane parties and not heeding warnings to evacuate are misplaced. Sure, some hundreds of reckless youths stayed behind and caused untold grief while becoming the focus for the news people looking for the worst in folks. But see the second paragraph of my post of 3:34 PM yesterday for a discussion of this topic. You are simply wrong that New Orleans had “plenty of time to evacuate.” No one who has ever evacuated a major city in the face of a life threatening event would ever make such a statement. There’s simply no such thing as “plenty of time” when major hurricanes threaten. “””
    Well I can’t remember whether it was three days or four days of advanced warning that the city had notice from the National Hurricane center in Florida; during which time, the mayor apparently did not even conclude that he should move a whole bunch of buses to higher ground so they would be available for use in an evacuation. Maybe that is not a long time; but if that apparently too short a time had been used effectively ; perhaps a lot of people would have been saved. Even in my own family; when it comes time to go out to dinner; some family members don’t seem to understand the concept of going to the front door and exiting; shutting and locking the door behind them.
    If you have a major city like NO; and even I with very limited and indirect knowledge of the place, regard it as a major city; having a known perennial hazard situation; namely the possibility of Hurricanes or severe river flooding even; would have in place an emergency plan for dealing with such situations; time permitting; up to and including possible evacuation of the city.
    Just this past weekend; a very large number of people; some estimates put it at from 300,000 to 500,000 actually descended on Washington DC, to all gather on the National Mall, for some kind of a rally; and then they all got up and left; and even had time to pick up any trash they might have had and put it where it would not junk up the place before they left.
    And that was all completely un-organized by anybody; people just showed up. I know of persons from California who did the round trip in under 24 hours; and they were simply going to a party; not seeking to escape a major impending disaster, that they had been warned about.
    So what is a reasonable amount of time in your view for people to get in a bus, car, plane or train and go to some safer place; and I expect there are always a lot of people who have no car; which is why you have contingency plans in major cities to take care of the needs of all.
    And the Federal Government cannot do that; they are not equipped to do that; and have not the means of doing that. FEMA is a relief agency that arranges low cost rebuild loans for persons after some calamity; they have no infrastructure for moving large numbers of people.
    So what is the capacity of new Orleans Stadium; and how many days does it take to empty that place out after a football game.
    It seems that too many people simply don’t understand the concept of crisis and are ill equipped to handle a real emergency; even if their life; or the lives of others depend on it.
    And in today’s world you will have people standing around yakking on their cellphones or looking up some app on their strawberry or whatever pocket toy they can’t do without.
    I hate to mention the evaccuation of Dunkirk in 1940; not a huge number of persons by today’s standards; but they all had to be gotten onto ships; and the docks were under constant attack so they were unusable. But everybody pitched in with whatever they had to get things to work.
    I’m sure anxious to learn what you think is a reasonable length of warning that a category 5 hurricane should give to people; before it slams into them.

  79. Well, George, you did write about the failure of the ninth ward to have been repaired, “or is the repair work being rationed out to people who are worth helping.”
    If that was more innocent than I took it to be, I apologize to both you and your mother in law. Pardon my sensitivity, but I’ve heard others use similar phrases to imply the ninth ward has not recovered as well as other parts of the city only because its residents were primarily African-American, and other New Orleanians did not believe they were worthy of help as a result. In my view, that is simply untrue, and I’ll take issue with anyone who raises it.
    You are correct that I know nothing about New Zealanders. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting someone from that fair country, but certainly look forward to the day I do.

  80. I’m giving up the ghost here, Mr. George. You can have the last word on all this. No more points for me to make. See ya.

  81. Mr. Nizialek, as I said before….your comments are the most reasonable on this post so far.
    A lot of hot, dry air otherwise!
    So that’s where the bubble of useless dry hot air went after it left Moscow!
    There’s an upper level high parked right over this post, and I am parched, so I will sign off with ya.
    Don’t sweat it, bud.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  82. Here’s a good topo map of NO, from the Wiki Drainage in NO page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Msyelevst.jpg
    Most everything north of the Mississippi embankment, including Metairie, is below sea level, and Lake Pontchartrain (really an estuary opening into the Gulf) is 3 feet above sea level (on average). The Lower 9th Ward is 7-9 ft below sea level, and therefore 10-12 ft below lake level. My heart goes out to the people that the US Army COE suckered into living there!
    How about we release the Mississippi through the airport into Lake P for a half century until the lake silts up, and then turn it west for a while? It won’t really be natural, but eventually we must simulate an orderly delta buildup.
    I’ve been dutifully watching Brian Williams, but the 9th ward should have been conceded to Lake P 5 years ago.

  83. “Even the World Meteorological Organization agrees that Gore’s Katrina connections are rubbish:”
    They said nothing of the sort. Absurd misrepresentation doesn’t make you look good.

  84. Ref – RW says:
    August 31, 2010 at 2:19 am
    …”They said nothing of the sort…”
    ______________________________
    They didn’t? Hummmmm… this is worse than I thought. They agreed with him? The WMO ‘agreed’ with Fat Albert? Are you sure? Maybe… maybe.. it wasn’t that they ‘agreed’ with him, but they didn’t say anything one way or the other? Interesting! Well, maybe not ‘interesting’, maybe it’s.. ah… hummmmmmm..

  85. “”” Hu McCulloch says:
    August 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm
    Here’s a good topo map of NO, from the Wiki Drainage in NO page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Msyelevst.jpg “””
    So what are we looking at? Is that big blue region at the top the Gulf of Mexico or is that the lake they talk about.
    Do I see a canal of some sort that goes from that blue region down the left side of the 9th ward area ?
    And here I thought there wasn’t any canal cut through the city; according to the experts who apparently live there.

  86. “”” Phil Nizialek says:
    August 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm
    Well, George, you did write about the failure of the ninth ward to have been repaired, “or is the repair work being rationed out to people who are worth helping.” Well Phil, you at least did quote exactly what I wrote.
    And I did gather from what limited TV coverage of the event, I saw; that that particular area of NOL was a poor neighborhood.
    It was however you who point out that the the inhabitants are largely African-American; and it was you who equated ethnicity rather than economic status, with being worth helping (or not) I did not; and never have.
    It is not for us to judge who is or is not worth saving; we help whoever is in need; if we can.
    The Office of The Census still have some unemployed chap harassing me, because on April first of this year, I responded to their first question “How many people were living in this house on April 1 2010?” with my answer (3), and for their second question, ‘how many people live in this house?’ I put —– since I did not understand the question, and that is what I mailed in on April 1. I did not answer any of the other superfluous questions; since it is a violation of Federal Law to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or whatever; and also against my belief system.
    I told the harasser that the next census will be on April 1/ 2020 and if I am still around, I will tell them how many people live in whatever asylum I happen to be.

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