Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

06 September 2005

No end to our stupidity

Building a city of half-a-million people in the flood plain of an enormous river is stupid! Okay, okay, we'll forgive ourselves for doing it once. But when nature reclaims it - as Hurricane Katrina has done with New Orleans - and then we start rebuilding it on that same flood plain, BELOW SEA LEVEL, we're just behaving like morons.

Hey I have an idea! Let's not rebuild New Orleans! Now's the perfect time to abandon what is an unviable living space for humans. Today New Orleans is a "ghost town". It's the perfect opportunity to leave it that way! Let's allow the Mississippi River to reclaim her delta.

Well I think it's good idea, and at least that way we can be sure human lives won't be at risk again the next time one of these globalwarminginduced gianthurricanes hits.

Oh, wait a minute I forgot. We can't do that. The "price" is too high. (The cost of human lives is secondary to the monetary costs of not rebuilding New Orleans.) After all, this alluvial flood plain is an industrial hub, and a major US port located close to the Gulf of Mexico with many oil rigs lying just offshore.

Energy companies with regional headquarters in the city, include BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Royal Dutch Shell. About 5,000 ships from nearly 60 nations dock at the Port of New Orleans annually. (Source: MSN Encarta)

So guess what? Money is more important than lives. New Orleans will be rebuilt. People will move back into the city. They will risk their lives once again in order to scrape out some sort of meagre existence in The Matrix.

Welcome to the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Few reporters have the balls to say it, but one of the main reasons New Orleans is so vulnerable to hurricanes is the gradual disappearance of wetlands on the Gulf Coast. These wetlands acted as a natural buffer between the land and the storms. The Chicago Tribune's Molly Ivins says it so well: "More than a century's interference with the natural flow of the Mississippi is the root cause of the problem ... there are long term consequences to letting the Corps of Engineers try to build a better river than God."

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