Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Orleans Redux

The media this week is going to give everyone an overdose of rehashed information on Hurricane Katrina, it's impact on New Orleans, the failures since. Every politician with enough cash for the plane fare (that may leave out McCain) will be heading there to take advantage of all those reporters and to spin the story.

There are many lessons to be learning from New Orleans. Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirschenbaum are laying out the lessons from Katrina that most of the rest won't be telling us. They do so in a series of posts today at Intersection, some of which are only summaries of similar material that Mooney has posted to Huffington Post or as "Storm Pundit" at The Daily Green.

In summary, what he has given us so far today is this:
  • "the central lesson that I think we can take away after two years of the post-Katrina hurricane-global warming debate: science doesn't confer certainty; but scientific uncertainty doesn't justify inaction, either."
  • We're not ready for any of these [major hurricanes striking big cities..Tampa, Houston, Miami]. Not by a long shot.
  • We don't know precisely what global warming is doing to hurricanes; it would be foolhardy to claim otherwise. But we do know that we have scores of population centers that are highly exposed to to these storms. And if only due to sea level rise and nothing else, the risks to these population centers are changing--probably worsening.
    In this context, here's what's truly amazing to me: There is no national project to study changing hurricane risks to U.S. cities in light of the future scenarios that global warming may bring.
Just more political gamesmanship from those whose need for power exceeds their need to really help those in need. If I were as Christian as most of these presidential candidates claim to be, I would heed the words of the savior they profess to follow. "Even as you had done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me."

Hypocrisy abounds.

Of all the journalists covering this anniversary, I would guess that Tavis Smiley may be the only one who knows Malik Rahim. The others just don't get it.

As Mooney says at the close of his Storm Pundit post "Some times you just have to act."

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I saw Malik Rahim on the Tavis Smiley show the other night, too. Good that Tavis covers the grassroots, when mainstream media (i've heard it called the Lamestream Media now) doesn't.

Rahim, former Black Panther and Green Party candidate for City Council in New Orleans, was also on Amy Goodman's show this morning: