4 thoughts on “New Orleans After the Flood: Environmental Disaster in the Making? How Many Will Return? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. The bitter irony is that the reason why N.O. wasn’t flood-proofed 20 years ago is because environmentalists sued the Army Corps of Engineers in court, arging that the occasional flood was beneficial. The matter was tied up for so long, the Army eventually gave up.


    Also: many monitoring stations (http://www.deq.state.la.us/) were knocked out by Katrina, so it is probably unfair to insinuate that data is deliberately being withheld from the public. The quality of stories in The Independent varies widely with the quality of the journalist, and I know nothing about this one.

  2. Solomon2: Blaming the New Orleans flood on environmentalists is absolute idiocy and is so like the hard-right including those right wing publications you link to. You apparently neglected to read the article in today’s NYT saying that the $1.5 billion spent by the Corps of Engineers in the past few years in New Orleans went almost entirely to pork barrel projects that helped the barge industry (& others) which are entirely unessential to the region’s economy or environmental health (but which have powerful political friends in Washington). And why didn’t the Corps do anything to preserve the very wetlands whose absence caused a large portion of the flood devastation? Why didn’t the Corps do more to allow the natural flow of the Mississippi to wash sediment into the wetlands so that the barrier islands would’ve been rebuilt (& thus impeded the flood)? The reason why they did none of this is that the barge industry wanted deep channels free of sediment. So the barge industry got their deep channels and the rest of New Orleans got shafted.

    Whether or not monitoring stations were knocked out during the hurricane is irrelevant to Kauffman’s argument. The key question is what is EPA doing NOW. He’s saying that what little monitoring EPA is doing now isn’t being reported to the public. This in turn follows the typical Bush Adminsitration tactic of preventing the public from knowing anything about some of the most important decicisons it makes (and the most controversial as well).

    I wish you would avoid melodramatics & overstatement in comments like your last one. The choice about whether you visit my site again is yours & I have no opinion on it one way or the other. That being said, I welcome most of yr. comments to my site (aside fr. the last one).

    You can doubt Mr. Kauffman if you wish. But the chances that you know & understand the environmental health situation in New Orleans better than he does are nil. So I think you show hubris in placing your own judgment ahead of his.

  3. Kaufman is quite a character, long-time whistleblower. Take his stuff with a grain of salt, but he’s sometimes right on the money. And a good background in toxics.

    I’ve been trying to follow the environmental effects, too, on my Jewish environmental (etc) site, perhaps you could look at the Katrina posts:

    Thanks muchly, you’ve got a fine site.
    Kol tuv,


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