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Collapse and New Orleans 
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Post Collapse and New Orleans
Have the events in New Oreans struck any Collapse readers? The city spread itself out over delta, built up levees to 8 ft or higher, and left itself vulnerable to an Act of Nature. Delta is supposed to flood....it's purpose is to take the river overflow during stress times. Why build on it? and when you build up the sides of a river, it makes the river flow faster. Levees higher than your head contain water that is racing along at speed much faster than nature ever intended.

It's no wonder that New Orleans 'collapsed.'

And of course they will rebuild and continue the same senseless acts. ::152

Marti in Mexico




Tue Oct 04, 2005 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
Marti

I couldn't agree more. One of my friends emailed a group of us about the New Orleans nightmare and I responded with the following reply:

The most important factor to be considered is the inevitability of New Orleans being destroyed by floodwaters. New Orleans is 100% below sea
level, so while everyone is pointing fingers and blaming one another, it ought to be considered that these people were living where fish are
supposed to live.

Imagine the State of Florida getting the brilliant idea of building a massive wall blocking the entire mouth of Tampa Bay from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The wall is built to withstand a Level 5 hurricane with winds in excess of 155 mph. The seawater is pumped out of the Bay and 250,000 people slowly make the Bay their new home. A wonderful community thrives for 30 years.

But then one fine summer day a freak storm comes along with winds in excess of 165 mph. The wall breaks and the entire Bay returns to the way nature intended - an average of 6 feet under seawater. 10,000 dead people floating in the bay, with 240,000 stupid people scratching their heads wondering what happened.

Who is really to blame? In my opinion it would be the State of Florida for building residential structures below sea level. This is the epitome
of poor judgment.

Everyone is turning towards the federal government to bail out the state of LA, but this is NOT the purpose of the federal government. Why should the people of this nation bail out LA and fund the redevelopment of an under sea-level city? It makes no sense.

Of course I empathize. I once was as poor as those people in New Orleans. I know what its like. But their situation doesn't change the laws of physics. Water runs downhill. Water will again fill New Orleans if it is rebuilt.

The bottom line is New Orleans shouldn't exist in the first place.




Now don't get my wrong. We should help these people relocate and get their lives started again, but there is no rational justification for rebuilding that city.

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 10/6/05 11:32 am



Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:32 am
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
We should help these people relocate and get their lives started again, but there is no rational justification for rebuilding that city.

There are major economic justifications for rebuilding New Orleans. For one thing, it's at the mouth of a river, and is therefore a natural position for commercial and industrial ports. For another, it just happens to be located on the coast of one of the major sources for oil in North America, and from what I understand, certain oil interests are already jockeying to put in refineries or some such. Industry is going to rebuild around New Orleans, and where there are jobs there will also be residents. Whether or not federal funds should go towards the repopulation is a distinct issue, but New Orleans will, in some fashion, be rebuilt.

There is, however, very little rational justifiction that I can see for building it in its former state. The levy system has amply demonstrated its potential for catastrophe, and it strikes me as sheer hubris to think that reinforcing the levies will prevent future flooding. There are other ways to build that sort of city, and I think the industrial engineers would do good to look at more traditional water cities -- Venice in Italy, or the flood cities of the Nile. The future citizens of New Orleans would do well to find way to live with the river rather than in spite of it.




Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:57 pm
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
Good points.




Thu Oct 06, 2005 2:14 pm
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
The netherlands has made it work for years. New Orleans can make the city survive but just like he writes in the book, they have to be smart about it. New Orleans problems go far beyond their relationship to sea level. The curruption and inefficiency in that city rivals mexico.

That hurricaine did not create problems for New Olreans, it simply revealed the ones it already had: Gang violence, poverty, worse educational system in USA, full jails, and tons of drugs.

I personally think the feds got tired of sinking tons of money into that city. Louisiana gets 4 times the money in federal aid than it pays in taxes. They just never wanted to spend the billions that it would take to protect a city that is such a money sucking hole. Why throw money into a sinking ship.




Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:25 am
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
You bring up some issues that are just not politically correct to even discuss. ::204 Fortunately, nothing is taboo here.

If New Orleans is sucking more out of the government than it puts in then something needs to change. I wasn't aware of this imbalance until you brought it up.

If this discussion progresses I'll share my not-so-accepted views on the racial factors involved in New Orleans.




Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:33 am
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
I just believe the link b/t this book and New Olreans is very strong. Not as much b/c of the environmental mistakes but more with the REACTION to the environmental problems that they have.

This goes much deeper than simply building levees too. The Louisiana marsh is sinking rapidly b/c the silt from the MS river is flowing out into the gulf, instead of flooding the marsh. In order to keep the river open as a port(which it is NOT a great place for anyway) they built jetties all the way down to the mouth of the river which directs the silt offshore instead of in the marsh where its needed. This means the storm surge reaches the city with a much more direct force than it used to.

Not to mention they built a thing call the "ship channel" which is a direct line that leads from the gulf into the port of New Olreans so that more ships could reach this city. It provides the storm surge a direct path to the city as well. Funny thing is... they don't even use it anymore!!!




Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:42 am
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
Damn interesting stuff! Are you from New Orleans? I'd love if you created an Introduction thread in the Member Introductions & Journals forum. Tell us a bit about yourself. :)

Quote:
The Louisiana marsh is sinking rapidly b/c the silt from the MS river is flowing out into the gulf, instead of flooding the marsh.
This makes perfect sense and even thinking about it makes me want to slap the people that designed that city. You can't be the only person to know that the New Orleans area is built on marsh land and for potentially hundreds of thousands of years the Mississipi River carried silt downstream to replenish the lands. By stopping this natural process they are allowing the land to sink deeper and deeper. Interesting post.




Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:51 am
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
Grew up in the suburbs of New Orleans, but no longer live there. I've watched the marsh dissappear during my lifetime. It sinks at an alarming rate. From national geographic........

magma.nationalgeographic....index.html




Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:00 am
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Post Re: Collapse and New Orleans
You beat me to it. I was about to run a search and see if I could find any supporting information for the idea that the New Orleans area is subsiding. That was a good article too.

Quote:
A cocktail of natural and human factors is putting the coast under. Delta soils naturally compact and sink over time, eventually giving way to open water unless fresh layers of sediment offset the subsidence. The Mississippi's spring floods once maintained that balance, but the annual deluges were often disastrous. After a devastating flood in 1927, levees were raised along the river and lined with concrete, effectively funneling the marsh-building sediments to the deep waters of the Gulf. Since the 1950s engineers have also cut more than 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers) of canals through the marsh for petroleum exploration and ship traffic. These new ditches sliced the wetlands into a giant jigsaw puzzle, increasing erosion and allowing lethal doses of salt water to infiltrate brackish and freshwater marshes.


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Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:31 am
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Post " How societies choose to fail..."
This is my first posting, so I decided to start with a book from the list that I had read" How societies choose to fail..." (I must say there weren't many I had read, but I'm not discouraged).
This brought me to read interesting postings about New Orleans.

I am a 48 year old teacher. I live in Tours (France) , a city on the river Loire.
When the New Orleans tragedy occurred, I and my students studied it in class, and I have kept reading about now and then.
Yes, the location of NO was badly chosen, but it's also a historical city.
If I understood correctly, the historical , business parts and wealthy parts of the city were not as damaged as the poor areas which vanished. I suppose that if everything had been destroyed, it would have been easier to make a balanced decision as to whether to rebuild or not.
Are there examples in modern history of a government deciding NOT to rebuild a city after a natural catastrophe? I can't think of any.

Evelyne



Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:23 am
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Post 
Evelyne

Welcome to BookTalk! :)

I hope you also create an Introduction post in the Introduce Yourself forum. These past book discussion forums get far too little activity. :sad: People will eventually see your comments here and will probably respond, but as a new member I would hate for you to judge the community by the lack of response to a post in the Archived Book Discussion area of the site.

Please stick around and tell us about yourself. Create a brand new thread in the Introduce Yourself forum so the majority of active members will see your words. Thanks!


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The "Introduce Yourself" forum has been replaced with member Bios. To add your own Bio click on the User Control Panel link in the top green navigation bar, select Profile, then Bio.


Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:16 pm
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