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View Diary: Is Katrina More Significant Than September 11? (42 comments)

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    Marie, Terra Mystica

    WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM THEM?

    Take the 1900 Hurricane that devastated Galveston Texas.

    What we should have learned from that is any city built on a barrier island will be severely damaged from a powerful hurricane.  [storm surge damage]

    What did we do?  Built another city on the same island.

    What happened?  Another hurricane came along and bashed the heck out of it.

    What should we have learned from Katrina?

    Building a city in a meteorological, geological and hydrological high risk zone creates the potential for massive property damage, infrastructure damage and loss of life.  We already knew that though.  Nothing new there.  

    9/11?
    The terrorists finally succeeded.  The towers had been targeted multiple times before.  Attacks - not new.

    The intel community was exposed as weak and ineffective, with various components insular at best and hostile at worst.  Congress was exposed as weak, cowardly and ready to abandon civil rights for some nebulous reasons.

    We probably knew that already.  

    In short, all of these things should have taught us things we already knew - but conveniently ignored.

    So...
    Should we continue to conveniently ignore these things, or face up to these inconvenient truths?

    Show me the POLICY!

    by Fabian on Sat Sep 11, 2010 at 11:29:16 AM PDT

    •  San Francisco (0+ / 0-)

      Why build there if the place is prone to earthquakes?  Look at Texas, it flooded this week.  What about Nashville?  Where is it safe?  Fix the infrastructure so we at least have a chance.

      •  BUT IT'S TOOOOOO EXPENSIVE! (0+ / 0-)

        Predictably the cry went up after Katrina and NOLA FINALLY started creating and enforcing the building codes that would make living in a flood prone bathtub safer.  

        Yeah.  It IS expensive.  All that infrastructure costs money.  The higher the risk, the greater the cost.  That's partly why living in Cali is so high - because all that infrastructure is built to withstand forces that much of the country is at very low risk from.

        You live in hurricane country, you either pay up front to reduce your risks or you pay later in damages and lives.

        Our choice. Pay now, or pay later.

        I could go on and on about land use - the consensus is that you don't encourage high value development on high risk flood plains.  You use it for recreation, green space, agriculture and other uses that require less infrastructure and development.  If you do invest in high risk areas, then you build the infrastructure necessary to protect it.

        Show me the POLICY!

        by Fabian on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 01:48:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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