the Kyoto protocol would harm the US economy, that’s nothing compared to what a decade of steadily-worsening hurricanes will do to it.
Now let’s set the wayback machine to February 2005:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified millions of dollars in flood and hurricane protection projects in the New Orleans district.
Chances are, though, most projects will not be funded in the president’s 2006 fiscal year budget to be released today.
In general, funding for construction has been on a downward trend for the past several years, said Marcia Demma, chief of the New Orleans Corps’ programs management branch.
In 2001, the New Orleans district spent $147 million on construction projects. When fiscal year 2005 wraps up Sept. 30, the Corps expects to have spent $82 million, a 44.2 percent reduction from 2001 expenditures.
Of course, all the levee construction in the world wouldn’t have saved New Orleans from this disaster—but it might have reduced the death toll and damage a bit. But hey, at least we all got our wartime tax cuts, right?
Will this tragedy be enough to silence the people who say that everything is OK, that global warming is a myth, that it’s a good idea to send the National Guard to Iraq, that we should keep cutting spending on infrastructure and emergency planning so we can finance a war and still have tax cuts?
I’m betting it won’t. They’ll keep shrieking their denails, and ultimately they’ll get away with it because their beliefs are so much more palatable than the unpleasant reality. I predict that the Climate Change Science Program and NASA’s studies of climate change will still get their budget cut next year. Why even study whether global warming might be causing these disasters, when you can just choose to believe it isn’t?
And remember, this is not a partisan issue. Democrats supported the major budget cuts for the US Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, and the cancellation of a study into what would happen if a hurricane hit the city. Democrats voted for the war in Iraq. When the Senate voted 95-0 against the Kyoto protocol on the grounds that it would result in economic harm to US industry and would exclude some nations (Senate Resolution 98 in 1997), those voting included John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.
New Orleans in particular is a problem people have known about for a long time. It was just waiting to happen, like the big earthquake in San Francisco, or Mount Rainier showering Seattle with ash and red hot debris. The big question in my mind is whether people will learn, or whether they’ll carry on as before and build a New New Orleans right where the last one was. Either way, I never got to see New Orleans, and now I never will. © mathew 2017
© mathew 2017