Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Nuevo New Orleans 

Somebody has to be the first to say this, and it's probably not me, but I haven't actually seen it anywhere so will take the rap. Because it is a hard, hard thing to say:

New Orleans is dead.

It was a semi-stupid place to put a city anyway, everybody has long admitted. When you can't even bury the dead in the ground because the water table is so high the caskets simply bob to the top like corks, this is a clue. When the living put up with yellow fever on a hideously regular basis for centuries. Where every living thing is dependent on constantly-working pumps just to keep what's currently going on from making everybody grow gills like Kevin Costner in Waterworld.

At any rate everybody who has stopped to think about it has realized for years that New Orleans was doomed. But a city is a huge investment and something you don't just walk away from casually. So we build yet another dike, and raise the levees yet again, and put in more pumps, and hope to scrape by by the skin of your teeth just one more time.

It didn't help, of course, that Bush did what he did to FEMA, and stole the money for the Ponchartrain levee improvements to give to his rich friends and make dead Iraqis, but we've covered that elsewhere and this post is not about that shit, for once. If Gore or Kerry were in office as they should be, the facts would be the same.

Time to admit that the end has come. By most accounts the damage is now in the $25 billion range, and I suspect that is a serious underestimate that doesn't take into account the degree of contamination from pollution, the level of damage already in place from the Formosa termite and other wood-eating pests, and the astronomical levels of mold and mildew that would follow even if they could actually pump out all the water already accumulated there. Which I suspect they cant. Damn gravity anyway.

Time to decide what to do next, rather than waste more money than absolutely necessary giving the once glorious, now hideously ruined, corpse the ICU treatment. Pull the plug. Now. Go inland a ways, either west towards Baton Rouge or north of Ponchartrain, and use that $25 billion to create a new city from scratch. Get today's incarnation of Pierre l'Enfant to lay out a liveable plan, and go for it. Because otherwise you're going to have Gaza On the Mississippi with refugees living in tents for years waiting to return to a town that just isn't there any more.

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

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The Washington Chestnut
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