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The Unorganized Borough can’t wait for others to prepare for us. Why? Track the entries at The Voices of New Orleans, http://www.chinmusicpress.com/books/doyouknow/voices/ especially for the terms FEMA and Army Corps (and for Newtok, Alaska). The archive list of titles is News Archive – http://www.chinmusicpress.com/books/doyouknow/voices/news/ (Unfortunately there is no search function other than your browser’s for titles.)

“While the United States government is immune for legal liability for the defalcations alleged herein, it is not free, nor should it be, from posterity’s judgment concerning its failure to accomplish what was its task,” the judge wrote. “This story — 50 years in the making — is heart-wrenching. Millions of dollars were squandered in building a levee system with respect to these outfall canals which was known to be inadequate by the corps’s own calculations.”

Though the ruling spotlighted many missteps by the corps over the years, it made little of other possible factors, including culpability of former local officials overseeing levees and drainage, and particularly their rejection of the corps’s original plan for floodgates on the drainage canals that so devastated the city. [emphasis added]

http://www.chinmusicpress.com/books/doyouknow/voices/news/ 2008/02/nyt_of_course_the_suit_was_thr.html

2011-02-23 The website no longer exists but maybe the relevant posts exist at the Wayback machine, Excuse Me, but New Orleans is not Newtok, Alaska

Hartford: Safe in ivory tower, prof declares NOLA dead

NYT: Of course the suit was thrown out

Hartford: Safe in ivory tower, prof declares NOLA dead Source: Hartford Courant July 06, 2007 Source: Hartford Courant Here’s another one of those supposed deep thinkers who just wants to lay it on the line. New Orleans as we know it is dead, he says. As dead as the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta. Harumph. Look at my Ph.d. framed nicely on my wall:

“I think he’s saying two main points–
1) sustainable living is living within one’s environmental means. The environment is in constant flux and the cultural response (what people do) ought also be flexible, to adapt. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Rivers delta is a living biocultural system, for example.

2) ethically and morally, wouldn’t barricading NOLA against environmental change in the delta be the same as barricading change in the YK delta? and therefore the billions of dollars required for either delta to rebuild the way it was, bad infrastructure and all, (rather than working with the change) come equally from everyone else?

Now, if the efforts were directed towards living *with* a delta system, the costs over the next 100 years would be considerably less and the resilient cultures even stronger. This isn’t “writing off” the deltas and their people; it’s preserving them.

NOLA is equally entitled to re-build bad design as YK. In fact, the Army Corps would love to fix our delta the same way they fixed yours over the decades. If we “re-build” one delta, then ethically “re-build” the other. We’ll go first.

Posted by: mpb | July 7, 2007 11:45 AM

Thanks for your response. Perhaps you should have written the article. Your points are cogent and I don’t disagree for the most part.

But the professor claims that the people of the Yukon delta aren’t playing the race card when they emphatically are (check out the NYT article linked in the post above this one). The professor is at best ill-informed on the subject. His desire to strip away race and greed and other “secondary” issues in our understanding of the broken levees is horribly misguided. We need to understand all the elements of the problem, not just global warming, because, again, the floods of NOLA could have been prevented.

Rebuilding bad design, as you say, is not a great option. But the Dutch don’t have bad design. Why do we have to?

Posted by: Bruce | July 7, 2007 10:18 PM”

One remote Alaska village fights to stay alive — and stay put
Jill Burke | Feb 22, 2011 http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/one-remote-alaska-village-fights-stay-alive-and-stay-put

Koyukuk has been unable to secure upgrades to its inadequate sewer system. How did a village along one of Alaska’s Interior river systems suddenly find itself keeping company, at least on paper, with a handful of sea-battered coastal communities imminently at risk of falling into the ocean? Koyukuk Mayor Jason Malemute isn’t sure. But he’s determined to get the place he’s called home nearly all his life off the list of Alaska villages that must be relocated to survive….

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