The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Every year some middling-stregth squall or snowstorm is billed as the Storm of the Century. Thus, as a commenter pointed out on Ace of Spade's blog, when a devastating storm really does exist we tend not to pay attention to it.

Katrina really is such a storm, a Category 5 hurricane whose 165 mile-per-hour winds and 25-foot water levels are aimed right at New Orleans. The hurricane is expected to destroy 60 to 80 percent of New Orleans' dwellings. Streets will be submerged under 20 to 30 feet of water; since New Orleans is below sea level, pumping out the water will be a difficult task. 2005 could see the end of New Orleans as we know it.

Ace linked to a web page which shows the devastation wrought by Hurricane Camille in 1969. Houses and apartment buildings were simply erased, leaving only a shading to show the location of their foundations.

Of course stories about the weather cannot avoid obeisance to the organized religion of environmentalism, which is to say that they cannot avoid bullshit. The AP article I quoted above has this to say about the cause of New Orleans' peril:


[Ivor van Heerden of the LSU Hurricane Center] puts much of the blame for New Orleans' dire situation on the very levee system that is designed to protect southern Louisiana from Mississippi River floods.

Before the levees were built, the river would top its banks during floods and wash through a maze of bayous and swamps, dropping fine-grained silt that nourished plants and kept the land just above sea level.

The levees "have literally starved our wetlands to death" by directing all of that precious silt out into the Gulf of Mexico, van Heerden said.


Uh huh. New Orleans would have no problem with Category 5 winds and 20 feet of water as long as there were nearby marsh. (For Christ's sake, the very same article blames winds for the impending destruction of three- to four-fifths of the Big Easy's dwellings. Do wetlands stop winds?) If Hamburg were to be firebombed today, the news accounts would find some well-meaning scientist to say that cutting down nearby trees had robbed Hamburg of important protection against disaster.


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