Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I Don't Know Where to Begin

There are just too many things wrong with this article in the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Like the title:
Relocating New Orleans picks up support
Really? Because, that's the first I had heard of it. And I am down here. I would like to know about it if the rest of the country was planning on relocating me.

The article focuses on Tim Kusky of 60 Minutes fame, who called for a gradual pullout from New Orleans. After he said that, more than a few people disagreed.

The article gives us an update:
Now Kusky believes he is being proved correct because fewer people are deciding to move back to the Big Easy.

"I'’ve gotten hundreds of e-mails," Kusky said in an interview last week. "At first they were about half and half. Now they are almost all supportive."
That's funny. I just read this in the paper on Sunday: "New Orleans' population is coming back more quickly than expected."

"Hold on," you say. "He's getting more supportive emails than before. He must be right!" They're probably all from his mother.

He continues:
"Many of the e-mails I'’ve had from people there are from scientists who are afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation from others down there," Kusky added in an e-mail message. "But the science must be heard to protect the people and their property."
That's all we're saying, too, that "the science must be heard to protect the people and their property." What we are hearing, though, is that it can be done. It's just a matter of doing it.

Now, on to the other scientists in the article:
"I don'’t want to say it should not be rebuilt," said Robert Young, a geology professor at Western Carolina University.

Thanks for not wanting to say we should not rebuild, except:
In testimony before a congressional committee, Young has recommended the federal government stop helping to rebuild southern coastal communities repeatedly hit by hurricanes.
Umm, okay.

But, wait. There's more:
He has called for the creation of a commission such as the one that assesses the value of military bases. The new commission would decide what areas would not eligible for federal rebuilding subsidies.
I am sure the parts of California being flooded right now would just love that idea.

Then, there's J. David Rogers, a professor in the University of Missouri-Rolla Geological Engineering Department:
The ridiculous result Rogers sees from Katrina is that some New Orleans residents who lived within dike-protected lands were not part of the National Flood Insurance Program.

"We'’ve allowed people to build in these areas, and we are not charging them the freight we should for living in those zones," Rogers said in an interview.
Look, we are not the only city protected by levees (dikes, whatever). And a lot of us were under the impression that we didn't need national flood insurance because the national government told us the levees would work.

As far as not being charged the freight we should be for living in these zones, I believe the inestimable Humid Haney has already shown us the definitive explanation as to why New Orleans is where it is, and why we live where we live. And part of that is so the good professor is not charged more than he is already charged for the freight he buys because we live in these zones.

Feel free to point out any more goofiness you might encounter in this article.


ashley said...

Hey, I'm a professor, a scientist, and my degree came from a school of engineering. That makes me more qualified than Kusky, right?

He throws the term science around like he knows what he's talking about. Perhaps one day science can find a new bowl for his haircut. Citing emails as evidence? What a buffoon.

Oh, and BTW, Dr. Young, it was the poorly constructed levees, not the hurricane. Read, man, read.

Dr. Rogers, unfortunately, makes the most correct and salient points.

Polimom said...

It's a strange disconnect indeed between "fewer people are coming back" and NOLA's "population is coming back more quickly than expected".

Last week on the drive in (from the west), it was very crowded on the highway into New Orleans. On the other hand, there was a lot of traffic heading out Sunday, too. Cars and trailers and pickups chock-full of household goods. I wasn't counting cars (either direction) but if nothing else, there's a LOT of traffic into and out of the city.

BTW - San Anselmo, one of the CA cities that flooded so badly, does so regularly. Probably all those folks should be moved too?

da po' boy said...

I guess my problem with Rogers' statements is not his scientific conclusions, but his conclusion that we should all pay more for flood insurance to live here. Although, I would certainly support some type of reasonably priced "hurricane insurance" (maybe $500 a year for the average house)that would cover wind damage, rain, wind-driven rain, and what comes afterwards, like aditional living expenses, mold remediation, house gutting, etc. I think California has a similar earthquake insurance.

oyster said...

You sliced and diced that one with fervor! I can't add a thing.

humidhaney said...

indeed, good post.

"inestimable." Thanks for that.

Had to look it up.