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Global Warming Ghouls

Whilst the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina will take weeks to unfold, the ‘experts’ flocked to the disaster. They squawked the usual litany of ‘climate change’ and oiloholic armageddon, overjoyed that they now had a ready-made disaster to cite as evidence. And, of course, such relish could not be served without the knowledge that their moral certainty had been strengthened by the dead Americans; corpses that will serve as an additional accusation in the long list of crimes attributed to President George Bush.

James Glassman, over at TCS, quotes some of the “environmental extremists” who wrote before they thought.

But that doesn’t stop an enviro-predator like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from writing on the Huffingtonpost website: “Now we are all learning what it’s like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and – now — Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.”

Or consider Jurgen Tritten, Germany’s environmental minister, in an op-ed in the Frankfurter Rundschau. He wrote (according to a translation prepared for me): “By neglecting environmental protection, America’s president shuts his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes like Katrina inflect on his country and the world’s economy.”

The bright side of Katrina, concludes Tritten, is that it will force President Bush to face facts. “When reason finally pays a visit to climate-polluter headquarters, the international community has to be prepared to hand America a worked-out proposal for the future of international climate protection.”

He goes on, “There is only one possible route of action. Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced, and it has to happen worldwide.” In other words, thanks to Katrina, we’ll finally get Kyoto enforced. (He might start at home, by the way. Europe is not anywhere close to reducing CO2 to Kyoto standards. In fact, the U.S. is doing much better than many Kyoto ratifiers.)

Tritten is unrepentant about his article.

Yet, despite the uproar he has caused, Trittin remains unrepentant. On Wednesday, his spokesman Michael Schroeren even said that he “can’t understand … at all” why Americans are upset. Trittin’s comments “are true and he wrote what he meant.”

Perhaps he would understand if he had to hand out food parcels to the homeless or dig out corpses from the mud. But we know one universal truth about politicians from the European Union: they never dirty their hands because of their pristine ideals.

53 comments to Global Warming Ghouls

  • RAB

    First let me express our condolences to the families of the dead from us all in Britain.
    I thought that New Orleans had just about got away with it. But this turned out to be lousy press priorities and coverage over here.
    Well they didn’t . Tonight we saw the full extent of the catastrophe. And you say the the leftie moonbat enviros are already dancing on the graves of these poor people and pointing the blame!!!
    I have to go and lie down to control my temper , but before I do, theres a link to the other disaster story of the hour, that of the 1000 dead in the Bagdad, that keeps going round in my head. Every British broadcast this evening has contained these identical words:-
    The Shias are looking for someone to blame.
    Usually with this it’s one finger pointing forwards and three pointing back. But the accusers never see it that way.

  • Verity

    Bobby Kennedy- or, more pretentiously, Robert F Kennedy Jr, another preachy, power-daft Kennedy on the public tit in the name of “public service”, says: “Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.”

    Uh … Bobby, Bobby, Bobby – human beings for hundreds of thousands of years have bequeathed “climate chaos” to their children. It seems to be a condition of having children on this unruly planet, you pretentious little prat.

    More people died in your Uncle Teddy’s car in Chappaquiddick than have died of “global warming”.

  • Keith

    The opportunistic scumbags are barely worth the price of an insult.
    My condolences to our American friends.

  • ATM

    Tritten is right, we should do more. I propose that Americans stop buying fuel consuming German products like BMWs, Volkswagons, Porches, and MBs.

  • GCooper

    With the predictability of a Rolex, the BBC’s World At One this lunchtime turned to an “expert” for his considered opinion on whether the disaster afflicting New Orleans was caused by “global warming”.

    And to whom did they turn? The clown factory at the University (sic) of East Anglia – more or less unknown (pace Malcolm Bradbury) until it plugged itself into the national funding grid by becoming a fount of New Age “science”.

    Of course it is due to “global warming”, he opined.

    So it seems the poor bastards in New Orleans are under water because… err… they drive SUVs and…errr….they invaded Iraq. Well… Americans…what are they like ?

    The degree of the BBC’s hubris is amazing. The Met office’s seems little better. I religiously monitor the weather forecasts for my area. They are wrong around 75 per cent of the time. When challenged on this , the BBC’s weather “scientists” resort to spluttering obfuscation.

    The halfwits can’t even get a weather forecast right 24 hours in advance and yet they presume to lecture us on what might happen in a decade from now.

    There are no depths to which the BBC will not sink to score an anti-American point.

    Nor are there any depths too deep to bury this festering drain on the country’s intelligence.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    There are people still drowning even now. The bleating of the useless envirofascist parasites is meaningless.

  • Verity

    Keith – No, no! A scumbag is always worth the price of an insult.

    G Cooper – The halfwits can’t even get a weather forecast right 24 hours in advance and yet they presume to lecture us on what might happen in a decade from now.

    They’re above that day-in-day-out péon stuff. It is the future of the children they agonise about. And “our children’s children”. You’re not sensitive enough.

    A personal observation and no offence whatsoever to anyone, but people who talk about “our children’s children” are almost invariably gay. No offence. They are projecting an imaginery connection they simply do not feel. I’ve known so many public relations/press release writers who use this phrase, and they are inevitably gay.

  • Strophyx

    These people need to get it through their heads that none of their favorite scapegoats, not George Bush, Republicans, Conservatives or even Halliburton, are responsible for global warming. If they’d open their eyes and look at the record, they’d see that the real problem is the United States itself. After all, the evidence on climate change clearly shows that temperatures have been rising since roughly 1800, and as we all know, post hoc ergo propter hoc.

  • Verity

    When the Romans were in Britain, local Brits with aspirations to mix with the quality were wearing togas and looking ever so casual swanking about in the heat. There was viticulture – not boutique viticulture, but real commercial viticulture – back then. It was global warming.

    Then the temperatures dropped off for a couple of hundred years and it was global cooling. Except no one called it that. They said, “Oooh! Chilly out, innit?”

    This is what those of us in the trade call “temperature fluctuation”. It is normal; not just when the Democrats are out of office. It goes in great big cycles.

  • htjyang

    Some see a natural disaster. Others see an opportunity. Am I talking about looters or greenies?

  • Julian Morrison

    If I were feeling machiavellian, I would say this is a good day to bury the public credibility of global warming. After all, here we have the usual suspects, making the usual noises, exactly the same as always – and yet they are provably wrong. No wiggle room for for “it could have been a contributing factor”.

    The public don’t like people spitting on the graves of innocents. Maybe the matter ought to be brought to their attention?

  • Hurricanes tend to be more prevalent when the Sahel region in Africa is rainier than normal, and less prevalent during the drier cycles. So what we need to do is to make Africa more arid. Pave Africa!

  • Keith

    That’s a cause I could get behind,Alan K. Where do I donate a few hundred pounds of cement?

  • J

    When people say BBC here, are they refering to television news? My only contact with mainstream media these days is the Today program on Radio 4, which, this morning included, has provided excellent coverage fo the disaster, with no carping at all, and without interviewing any rent-a-quote scientists of any stance. Their website coverage is also better than cnn’s (not hard, I know).

    GCooper :- I take it you are retired or independently wealthy, or else you would have other things to do than write to the BBC about their weather forecasting accuracy. It is regrettable that my tax money has been wasted on a response to your enquiries, but there you go – such is socialism. I have sailed and climbed in many parts of the world, and have not come across a more accurate non-specialist forecast. Certainly, the US Coastguard costal weather reports are more accurate, but they cover tiny areas of coast and don’t predict far in advance.

    Perhaps the inaccurate weather is a result of the BBC’s left wing bias? I’m surprised they didn’t blame president Bush for their failures. There are many private, commercial weather forecasts available in the UK. I’m sure they must be more accurate, as they are private commercial outfits. I can’t understand why you don’t use one of these, instead…

  • Johnathan

    J, as a regular yachtie myself, I can testify to the accuracy of most Met Office shipping forecasts but they are far from infallible. The more competition there is for accurate forecasts, the better, wouldn’t you agree? If people have a financial vested interest in accurate forecasts, it is bound to drive improved standards.

    Given the increased violence of weather over the past 15 years or so, weather forecasting is bound to get more funding from the big insurance companies, not to mention those derivative dealers now speculating on weather systems. Weather derivatives is now a growing market.

  • Chris Harper

    Can anyone tell the green ghouls that there has been NO sign of an increase in bad weather? NO increase in storms?

    If hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones today are more destructive than they were 50 years ago it is only because there is more infrastructure to destroy.

    These people are either ignorant bastards or lying cunts.

  • I was sorry to hear about NO. Somethjing similar could easily happen in parts of London if the Thames barrier goes. However, I disagree that there’s no such thing asglobal warming. There is. Its caused by pirates – well the lack of them. Here’s the graph showing the correlation.

    I recently became a devotee of the cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. This is one of the revelations we have received from his noodley appendage.

  • GCooper

    J writes: “”GCooper :- I take it you are retired or independently wealthy, or else you would have other things to do than write to the BBC about their weather forecasting accuracy.”

    Your snotty presumption is wrong on all counts. I make it a principle to complain when money is extracted from me by force of law and then squandered by people who bray about how successful they are.

    As for the effort involved, I must confess didn’t find composing a few e-mails to the BBC’s weather forecasting office particularly onerous, nor did it eat so heavily into my work schedule. I do, of course, realise that it might have been harder for you. Though I’m surprised that you find the time to contribute to this blog, given the cruel demands of your daily schedule.

    On the question of the accuracy of the BBC’s weather forecasting, the shipping forecasts, as Johnathan says, are reliably accurate. Those for the mainland are, at least in the area I have in mind, very considerably less so.

    I shall, by your leave, consider to take charlatans to task. Especially when they pick my pocket.

  • GCooper

    For ‘consider’ read ‘continue’ in the post above.

    Preview is your friend. Ringing telephones are not.

  • I notice the usual suspects are wondering aloud why the defences and the city weren’t better prepared. Might it be because Louisiana is Democratic in extremis (and currupt)? Of course now we have the leftoid Dems blaming on the lack of federal funds etc etc. Even a Kennedy got in on the Bush bashing.

    Hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast of the US and have done…so how can anyone blame it on Bush/Republicans etc etc?

  • Verity

    Corruption is one of the great tourist attractions of Louisiana. Will we get stopped by the cops? How corrupt will they be? Quite a frisson. I remember when two FBI agents driving through Placamaine Parish were stopped by the police and a tribute demanded. They refused. The cops took the Feds to jail for refusing to pay a “fine”. (They were probably in LA to investigate corruption.) Two days ago, there were reports of cops looting in Walmart.

  • dearieme

    “The degree of the BBC’s hubris is amazing.” And they employ a business correspondent who yesterday evening revealed that he thought that “petroleum” and “petrol” were the same thing. What an outfit!

  • GCooper

    dearime writes:

    “What an outfit!”

    Indeed! It’s somewhat off-topic (though only marginally so, as the BBC uses any stick with which to beat the cousins), but today’s R4′s From Our Own Correspondent carried a piece titled “Iraq: another Vietnam for the US?” by Jonathan Charles.

    Leaving aside the banality of the topic (the Left were using that one before the invasion had even begun) this broadcast was one of the most slanted, offensive, vituperative pieces of anti-American propaganda I have heard. Even by the BBC’s pathetic standards it was remarkable and I commend a listen to anyone who gets the chance (I think it’s available via the BBC’s Born Again site).

    With an organisation as institutionally biased as this, what chance is there of fair, accurate reporting of the climate change debate? I’d suggest none whatsoever. Particularly so as it is a convenient weapon to use against the USA.

  • I’m patiently waiting for Jan Egeland, UN undersecretary for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, to call the nations of the world “stingy” and call for a massive relief effort for the US Gulf Coast.

    Good thing I’m patient.

  • John Steele

    Verity

    …Corruption is one of the great tourist attractions of Louisiana…

    Remember Hughie Long? I doubt that corruption was invented in Louisiana but Hughie helped elevate it to an art form.

  • Verity

    Huey Long – yes indeedy! How about Governor Edwards? What a riverboat charmer and I mean that sincerely. He was marvellous company and very witty. It was he who said he’d have to be caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy to fail to get re-elected. And he was right. He’s in prison now, unfortunately.

  • John Ellis

    Yeah, but Wayne, can you see George W humbly acccepting UN aid to help his benighted people..?
    ;-)

    Indeed, can you see ordinary Americans accepting it either? The UN know better than to bother, perhaps.

  • llamas

    Verity wrote:

    ‘When the Romans were in Britain, local Brits with aspirations to mix with the quality were wearing togas and looking ever so casual swanking about in the heat. There was viticulture – not boutique viticulture, but real commercial viticulture – back then. It was global warming.

    Then the temperatures dropped off for a couple of hundred years and it was global cooling. Except no one called it that. They said, “Oooh! Chilly out, innit?”

    This is what those of us in the trade call “temperature fluctuation”. It is normal; not just when the Democrats are out of office. It goes in great big cycles.’

    Damn you, Verity, now I have to clean all of this coffee off my keyboard.

    We may not always agree but I sure do love the way you write!

    I wonder what the Latin for ‘brass monkeys’ is?

    llater,

    llamas

  • llamas

    The NO City police force is a notorious hotbed of corruption, cronyism and ineptitude. Let’s not forget the happy tale of the officers who were running a successful dope ring on the side and contracting killings for each other and the competition. . . . .

    That’s what you get when you lower hiring standards to below-basement levels, pay poverty-line wages and allow petty corruption to become ingrained in the culture.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Hylas

    This chart could be useful if you’re in an argument with someone who thinks that global warming caused this disaster.

  • Verity

    Hylas, you honestly think that anyone here would argue with someone dim enough to think “global warming” caused this hurricane? As opposed to all the hurricanes in the 1800s?

    llamas – Thank you. Referring to the NO police officers “who were running a successful dope ring on the side” … so not everyone who works for the city is inept, then.

    People should remember that in Louisiana, bribery and corruption are career goals.

  • Colin

    If Dubya can do this while on vacation, imagine what awaits upon his return to DC!

  • Verity

    I see a Spanish MP is stranded in NO with her husband and his child. They were stuck in the Superdome where she complained about “aggressive tension”. Honestly, the lack of graciousness in people who have lost their homes and all their possessions is just too sickening.

    She has managed to call her embassy in DC to see if they can evacuate her, as she is definitely more important than the 60,000 poor sods who have no home to go to back in Barcelona. According to CNN, Senora Muñoz is – warning: shock announcement coming up – an MP for Spain’s Socialist Party.

    And when she gets back, doubtless she will take it upon herself to “head up a task force on global warming” – given that she has direct experience an’ all. She is now Spain’s expert on “global warming”.

  • Hylas

    Verity,

    You ask,

    “Hylas, you honestly think that anyone here would argue with someone dim enough to think “global warming” caused this hurricane? As opposed to all the hurricanes in the 1800s?”

    Of course we would. :)

  • Findlay Dunachie

    Like RAB, the first to comment on this posting, I should lie to draw attention (as no one else subsequently has) to the colossal human-caused disaster in Baghdad. The evil of the perpetrators is beyond description.

    What has been the response of the “official” Sunni representatives, who were so busy trying to sabotage the Iraqi Constitution? Or that of the “street” Sunnis? Will it help their case for a non-federated Iraq?

  • J

    I found this paper quite interesting, on the difficulty in making any connection between global warming and tropical storms:

    http://wind.mit.edu/~emanuel/anthro.html

    As to the loss of temper in the superbowl – there does appear to have been a problem telling people what was happening, or in fact anything at all. Adversity tends to make people good natured and bring them together, but uncertainty does not.

  • Verity

    J – the people seem to have been told what was going on, but it was all bad news. Then part of the roof got ripped off and the people lying on the ground got rained on with no chance of getting dry. There was obviously no lighting and no air-conditioning in steaming, swampy temperatures of NO, and there were no functioning toilets for 60,000 people. Somehow, I do not see these circumstances creating a friendly environment.

  • llamas

    Verity – and now I have to disagree with you.

    During the London Blitz, tens of thousands of Londoners took refuge in the subways – the Tube. And conditions down there were very well-documented by a peculiarly British organization called Mass Observation. And those conditions were every bit as bad, and worse, than those in the Superdome, with the added joy of Johnny Boche plastering the outside world with high explosives, landing who-knows-where.
    Yet the populace had the good sense – the ‘nouse’ – to realize that, hard though it may have been, the conditions there were better than what they faced outside. And the level of social unrest reported from the Superdome was not seen there. I suspect that those in the Superdome lack the self-awareness to process what was going on around them, and an obvious sense of entitlement sprang to the fore.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Verity

    I can’t really agree with you, llamas, because there is so little similarity between the two situations. We were at war against a common enemy, and everyone was determined not to be beaten in any way – including beaten down emotionally.

    And they knew this was a long-term situation that they had to put up with in order to win, so they gritted their teeth and tolerated it with good humour. Also, a lot of them would have known one another, and there would have been a sense of community. 60,000 strangers in the sweltering heat of the NO summer and no windows to open must have tried people’s tempers.

    And there is no common purpose – except to get out.

    But from what we read, they were quite well-behaved – and that is 60,000 which, given the circumstances, is a huge crowd that could have become very volatile, but didn’t.

  • toolkien

    After 9-11, Pat Robertson was excoriated for making the connection that it happened due to the withdrawal of God’s Grace. The MSM jumped all over it as insensitive nonsense (which of course it was).

    But a hurricane kills hundreds, and likely thousands, and the clerics of science decree that it is because I mow my lawn with a gas powered mower and the MSM feeds the notion with tender care.

    I don’t need any more proof that the MSM is left biased. Supersitition is superstition no matter who spouts it. And it should be criticized equally especially when the death count has yet to be even reckoned.

  • Just a heretic

    Williiam Grey is a real hurricane expert. This article contains some of his criticism of the theory that global warming had anything to do with this.

    You don’t believe global warming is causing climate change?

    G: No. If it is, it is causing such a small part that it is negligible. I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.

  • Sylvain Galineau

    According to the IPCC’s own data, Kyoto only postpones the business-as-usual scenario by about 7 years over the next hundred. In other words, Instead of a given temperature increase in 2093, we would get it in 2100. And somehow, that’s a solution ?

    Imagine you have another 100 days to live. Then someone suggests the following : 10 days of surgery, removal of right arm and left leg, you will come out deaf and nearly blind but….you’ll live an extra 7 days. Would you refer to their suggestion as a cure ? Somehow, the promoters of Kyoto have managed this exploit, which is a proof of their considerable political skills.

    At the end of the day, Tritten is either ignorant or an opportunistic, posturing, grandstanding buffoon. Quite possibly both.

    It is truly a shame his nonsense is getting so much undeserved attention.

  • Verity

    Well, all the shrill and ignorant excerpts from NO blogs that The Telegraph ran this morning would have William Grey’s guts for garters. The concensus is, it is all President Bush’s fault. Not one opposing voice. (What is it about human beings that they cannot accept acts of nature as part of the scheme of things?)

    President Bush cut federal funding so Louisiana couldn’t pay for improvements to the dykes. Bush sent a huge contingent of men to Iraq to solve some OIL problems, meaning there weren’t enough military men (other than the roughly 118,000 in the National Guard) to stop looters and marauding gangs in NO. Bush has (quite rightly) failed to put carbon emissions at the very top of his agenda. And, of course, because the people left behind are mainly poor and black, Bush doesn’t feel any sense of urgency in getting them rescued.

    (Given that by all accounts, one of the President’s closest and most trusted friends is the foreman of his ranch, who happens to be black, it makes you wonder whether these people read the papers.)

    What is eerie is the lack of blame for the NO and Louisiana administrations. They were in charge and from day one, they appear to have failed to have grasped control and have been all over the place and panicky from the start.

  • Sue

    People are beginning to notice that Haley Barbour’s performance as governor of Mississippi has been much better than Kathleen Blanco’s in Louisiana. And for all the emphasis on New Orleans, Mississsippi is harder hit, with more widespread devastation. Although I wouldn’t let the federal government or the Bush adminstration off the hook entirely, local degrees of corruption and incompetence have had a major impact on the handling of this disaster.

  • Verity

    Kathleen Blanco looked out of her depth, so to speak, from the start. But so did the mayor. They were both indecisive and they didn’t give out an air of power and control. At first, I felt sorry for Nagin, then I began to feel, “For god’s sake, grab the reins, man! Take control!” They were both all over the place.

    I don’t know anything about the governor of Mississippi, but if he acted like a leader people would have looked to him for direction rather than freelancing it, as the poor people in NO had to do.

  • Verity

    Millard NichaelMoore – They didn’t cram 20,000 folks into the Superdome “without supervision”. They gave shelter to 60,000 adults with children who are well capable of supervising themselves. I think given the nightmareish conditions, they have behaved outstandingly well.

    Do you really think Americans do not care about the plight of other Americans because they’re black? You are out of your mind. Houston restaurants are giving free meals to anyone of any colour – wow! – to anyone who can show a Louisiana driver’s licence. That includes whole families eating free at the expense of private, capitalistic establishments.

    Louisiana and NO were let down by its indecisive governor and its indecisive mayor (who is black), not by President Bush.

    The second of one-two punches – the first being Mother Cindy Sheehan! I had to read that twice, then truly did LOL. Katrina and that Cindy! What a pair, eh?

    You are stark raving bonkers and I thought you had been banned, anyway.

  • Steve Black

    Hi
    I deeply sorry for the folk hurt by the storm, unlike my godamn gov.
    Steve

  • Susan

    Kathleen Blanco’s performance has been a disgrace and Mayor Nagin is a complete wuss. I’m sorry but he is no Rudi G. by a long shot. What a moron. And any sympathy I had for the man went out the window when he started to blame the Feds for his own incompetence.

    Take a look at these 200-plus New Orleans city-owned buses that are just sitting there in the flood waters.

    http://junkyardblog.net/archives/week_2005_08_28.html#004749

    They could have been used to bus people out before the hurricane but the NO city officials didn’t bother to find drivers for them. It’s much nicer to blame the Federal government instead of taking responsibility for your own crap isn’t it?

    The hand-wringing Chicken Littles Blanco and Nagin are, of course, Democrats. The kick-ass, get-it-done gov of Mississippi is — of course — a Republican. ‘Nough said.

  • Verity

    Susan says about the city buses: They could have been used to bus people out before the hurricane but the NO city officials didn’t bother to find drivers for them

    That’s because they had absolutely zero ability to think ahead. No one seemed to be in charge. I am not excusing the behaviour that is taking place in NO now in any way, but people panic when there’s no one in charge, and opportunists slip in fast. The administration was a mind-boggling display of lack of any sort of control, any sort of plan, any sort of vision, any sort of ability to trouble-shoot and respond to events.

    These two clowns are going to go down as the Laurel and Hardy of natural disasters. I am just so sorry that their baffling ineptitude (how did they manage to get elected?) has caused so much misery, deprivation and death.

  • Susan

    Verity, they will escape most of the censure because they are Democrats. The media will make sure of that. Republicans must behave as Ceasar’s wife while Democrats can get away with murder.

  • Verity

    Susan – You are correct. The MSM will simply ignore the facts – corruption, people afraid to take a decision because they may displease a “boss”, an appalling lack of planning and worst scenario plans, a willingness to let a terrible situation degenerate into tragedy for thousands … and on and on .. but it’s the fault of the Federal government and worse! – Dubya, Cheyney, Halliburton, Rumsfeld who planned the whole damned thing!

    I am willing to believe they thought putting 60,000 people in the Superdome was a good move because they would be able to ride out the storm dry and safe – but no supplies? No water? No food? OK, the toilets, we don’t know the story (they have yet to make it up), but I just don’t believe they could not have organised something for those poor people who were there through no fault of their own. But no one took any decisions – as the city was ripped apart, they couldn’t take a decision. The mayor and the governor are both disgraced for life.

    The lucky ones are now in the Houston Astrodome, with plenty of air-conditioning, lights, (run on OIL) water, flushing toilets, food arrangements and … this is Texas … organised … swipe cards so they can come and go like free human beings. The ones with fortitude will be out looking for jobs tomorrow morning.

  • Verity

    Re the rebuilding of the city formerly known as the Big Easy … a friend in Houston just emailed me that the city of Galveston, Texas experienced a hurricane of the same intensity and violence in 1900. It killed hundreds (and Galveston’s population was nothing near the 1.3m that are in the NO area) and wrecked the entire city. People looting the dead were put up against a wall and shot. The dead were buried or taken away on carts, and the heat was so steaming and sweltering that the bodies had already begun to decompose badly. The men burying them were given a lot of bourbon and cigars to give them the stomach for the job and to mask the smell. They were also drenching their handkerchiefs in bourbon and tying them over their noses to mask the smell.

    One hundred years later, Galveston has never been rebuilt to its former elegant glory. It was rebuilt and it’s a nice town and it still has lovely buildings and some lovely homes, but the elegance and feel that it had back then have never been recreated.

    I doubt whether NO will be rebuilt to its former glory, either. They might put up a Disneyfied Quarter, but it won’t have the feel and it won’t be the same. Some may disagree.

  • This may sound weird, but are there any lessons on emergency evacuations that the hurricane preparedness folks could glean from the example of Dunkirk?

    On the subject of boats, I’m wondering if the people of New Orleans have ever considered one particular evacuation route: the Mississippi River. I’m not sure if tugs with barges can make it as far as, say, Baton Rouge, but any private boat smaller than a yacht can go a lot farther. If I were mayor of NO, I’d look into the feasibility of coordinating evac plans with boat owners and boat dealers.