Katrina: Pointing Fingers

Actually, the finger-pointing started before the hurricane hit the mainland.

Who is to blame for lack of preparedness in this disaster? Well, since no-one in this country has EVER prepared for a natural disaster to the full extent they were capable, that is kind of a pointless question. So let us say, who was responsible for the levees bursting?

The New Orleans government? Nah, not really. New Orleans has not had the money for that level of civil engineering in, well, forever.

The Louisiana government? Hmmm. Didn’t they request money to improve the levees and get turned down repeatedly? So not really their fault.

The Federal government? Well, they were the ones who refused to give the state and local government the money they needed to fix up the levees, so to a certain extent, YES. But not just this administration; for how long have the levees been too weak to withstand a category 5 hurricane? Forever. So call it the sum of the history of having a city below sea level in Hurricane Alley.

But: what was the most immediate, and most visible, nationwide result of the levees bursting?

The spike in gas prices. Across The. Entire. Country. A nationwide fuel crisis because the locals didn’t pile enough dirt between them and the lake? Don’t think so. The cognitive dissonance in that idea could kill a man.

The single most important material in our economy flows from the gulf, up through the New Orleans area, and from there to the rest of the country. And people are nitpicking about who should have been responsible for bringing in the Army Corps of Engineers last year to fix the place up.

The real answer is, the oil companies and their employees are the ones who, from the day the first pipeline went in, should have been building up the levees and hardening that whole part of the gulf against something like Katrina. Sure, New Orleans is not (officially) the property of Big Oil, but don’t you think that if you build pipelines through a city, it is YOUR responsibility to protect the city, not the city’s responsibility to protect your oil, especially if that oil is for distribution to THE ENTIRE COUNTRY????

If you want to point a finger, point it at the people who turned a sharp profit the day the Gulf coast drowned.


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