Monday, October 29, 2007

"Make Levees Not War" Read a Popular T-Shirt In N.O.

Ckicking on this picture will help you see the water mark on this building. It was surreal to drive past several street blocks with this water mark and realize how deep the water had been...and this line is not the initial depth because the water sank after a couple of days to reside at this level.
I haven't found a code for the markings made on the house, but Spike Lee's movie featured definitions in When The Levees Broke

"New Orleans Is Sinking"

Bourbon blues on the street loose and complete
Under skies all smoky blue-green
I can Forksake the dixie dead shake
So we dance the sidewalk clean
My memory is muddy what's this river I'm in
New Orleans is sinking and I don't want to swim

Colonel Tom What's wrong? What's Going On
You can't tie yourself up for a deal
He said" Hey North you're south shut you big mouth
You gotta do what you feel is real."
Ain't got no picture postcards ain't go no souvenirs
My baby she don't know me when I'm thinking about those years

Pale as a light bulb hanging on a wire
Sucking up to someone just stoke the fire
Picking out the highlights of the scenery
Saw a little cloud looked a little like me

I had my hands in the river
My feet back up on the banks
Looked up to the Lord above and said hey man thanks
Sometimes I fell so good I gotta scream
She says Gordie baby I know exactly what you mean
She said, she said I swear to God she said

My memory is muddy what's this river I'm in
New Orleans is sinking and I don't want to swim

Lyrics by The Tragically Hip 1998
Several areas transformed into trailer parks.
"Onshore damage
The onshore infrastructure associated with offshore oil or gas causes significant harm to the coastal zone. The shoreline processing infrastructure for offshore drilling often requires industrialization within the coastal zone of affected states, using installations similar to onshore storage and processing facilities including miles of pipeline and roads and other industrial apparatus like ports, helipads, and dorms.

For example, OCS pipelines crossing coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico are estimated to have destroyed more coastal salt marsh than can be found in the stretch of coastal land running from New Jersey through Maine. Years of wear and tear by the oil and gas industry had torn apart the coastal wetlands of the Louisiana Bayou. Thanks in part to drilling operations, Louisiana is losing 25 square miles of coastal wetlands each year, eating away at natural storm barriers." Sierra Club, January 2007

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the agency chartered by the legislature to coordinate coastal restoration, is calling for wetlands restoration. More than 1.2 million acres of coastal Louisiana have gradually disappeared since the 1930s, the agency reports. Katrina and Rita alone removed 200 square miles of marsh.

River dams can choke off wetlands by halting the delivery of sediments and nutrients. In Louisiana, a study group formed by the Army Corps also blames canal dredging, oil development, erosion, rising seas, and geologic forces. From Here...

You may not be able to live in your neighbourhood but don't forget to vote.
Some people had "good" insurance coverage and looks like life goes back to door to still damaged houses...
People still living in trailers outside their homes.
Katrina dealt a stiff blow to the U.S. petrochemical industry, which is concentrated in the Gulf region; to the New Orleans maritime industry, which handles about 15% of U.S. cargo tonnage; to Gulf Coast travel and tourism; and to Louisiana commercial fisheries and the state's sugarcane, rice, and cotton crops.

Suspended swing no porch left.

Even 300 years ago, New Orleans was not a comfortable place to build houses...being coastal wetlands. But the original foliage would have also protected itself by it's natural adaptation to the weather. This precarious setting was further supported by a geopolitical and cultural mélange that expanded into the organic soils between delta levees. Higher and more expansive flood protection levees were developed, which compensated—albeit intermittently—for the loss of the protective fringe of coastal wetlands.
BBQ is always a good sign...
Out of business.

It is possible that had natural plant life, trees and swamp areas been allowed to co-exist with city life hurricanes may be slowed down by such plant life. "lower the risk of flooding and mudslides that typically follow deforestation. Sustainable agricultural practices tend to help sequester carbon in the soil, while increasing drought resistance. Wetlands and mangrove protection also offers win-win benefits. Hurricane Katrina would have been less damaging had it not been preceded by decades of wetlands destruction." (from here of all places an insurance website)

As water levels continue to rise, coastal forests will be subjected to more prolonged and
deeper flood events. Even though many of the forest species growing in these areas are
adapted to prolonged inundation (Kozlowski, 1984), extended flooding during the growing
season can cause mortality of these tree species. Already, many of the trees in these areas
are showing evidence of severe stress (Conner et al., 1981). Even baldcypress and water
tupelo, two of the dominant species in Louisiana's coastal forests, slowly die when exposed
to prolonged, deep flooding (Harms et al., 1980; Brown, 1981). From here...
Another storage unit outside peoples house.
Written on the house:"Long live LV Gone to Tennesee Be back later heart Cody and Brittany"

Now that I have seen what is going on and not going on in these neighbourhoods...I see that helping these people is very easy and straightforward. Simply walk up to the distressed house and set the owners up with a renovation plan: with the money the government and donations have pledged. Here I thought people might be missing or away...but no, for many it is because their insurance policies said "wind only" or "rain only" forget about that...just go in and restore people's homes. No mystery. In neighbourhoods where people were renting with no completely new homes and offer them to people who have been relocated. Simple...if they want to stay in their new locations...fine, but allow them the choice of return transportation and a house to return at the very least. Someone else will rent or buy if we make a new set of houses in areas like the 9th ward.

And protect the wetland and aboriginal plants that should be growing near the ocean and marshes. That kind of foliage would ward off many extreme weather conditions borne from industrialization. Duh.

Addendum: I believe that the oil companies that use the area for roads, drilling, employee residents along the gulf of Mexico should donate new housing developments as well. I believe with the evidence drawn from insurance companies, from the Sierra Club that a legal lien would also be possible to replace housing...the oil companies might be well served to clear up their karma and finance rebuilding. We all might want to check where our rice and cotton comes from when we shop...maybe rice grown on the Gulf of Mexico isn't a very good idea. Lets grow food in the cities on rooftops and gardens?


Ink Casualty said...

damn...that was one serious post Candy

tweetey30 said...

This is so sad. I mean there are still so many people without homes. And Bush isnt doing a thing to help things along either. Yikes. I am not real political but this just gets me really angry to see.

Gardenia said...

Amen, amen, and amen. You had a good tour, these are good photos.

This country has made its priorities clear - oil - more oil - petroleum is King and Power, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. What they gonna do when the well runs dry?

Perhaps the study of earth science has evolved since the beginning of the destruction of the Gulf Coast - but what is the excuse now that prevents fixing the mess! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ re-diverted.

When I go to the beach to get in the water, I check the pollutant studies of the area and go where it is less. Everyday we have news stories - "don't eat mullet in Bayou [so and so] because of contamination." Why don't we just stop the contamination? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ from big companies.

I am going to have to put action to my raving and join a local environmental group, I think.

It is not just the Gulf Coast either - water resources are drying up all over the world - lakes that once were overflowing are only ghostly puddles of their former glory.

I just got our homeowners insurance bill - $1,770.00 a year. $35,000 total "hurricane deductibles" - of course water damage isn't covered - and I ask myself, when did I see a hurricane that didn't have water as part of the deal? Never, that's when. So in other words, I have a dang expensive wind damage/fire policy. And the papers are full of headlines about the insurance companies wanting to raise the rates higher.

Perhaps the government is trying to rid the Gulf Coast of generations of non-wealthy folks? I dunno.

Anyway, I cuold keep on. Excellent post - wish we could put it to the Associated Press.