13 years after Katrina, New Orleans plans to evacuate if bad storms come

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/23/heck-of-a-job-brownie.html

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Billions of dollars later and this is their plan…


Maybe stop pocketing the money to repair the pumps. Go ahead and put a few more in as well. Just spitballing here.


Wasn’t that Plan A last time?


No no no, plan A was for “Aqualung”, plan B is for “Begone!”

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I was just listening to a Kim Stanley Robinson lecture about sea level rise, and he equated one or two meters, based on the number of people displaced, to about 10,000 Hurricane Katrinas. “And we weren’t that great at dealing with even one Hurricane Katrina” – and according to this news, we still aren’t.


Well, it’ll be interesting to see what a shit-show the Trump federal response to this kind of event will be. And by “interesting,” I mean “horrifying.”


The federal response should be a criminal investigation into what LA and NOLO officials have been doing for the last 13 years.


Not if, but WHEN.

I think we need to come to terms that we can’t save all of New Orleans. History is full of cities and settlements now under oceans and lakes due to the melting ice of the last great ice age. Assuming they will continue to melt, we are going to lose some coastal areas. In the past, no big deal. Just back it up. Even during the fasting melting period it was like under an inch a year IIRC. We tend to be less migratory now, but in this case we need to realize when to cut bait.

Which is pretty much the opposite of what we’ll get.

It’s difficult because it’s not just human migration we’re talking about, but a great deal of economic value. Florida is in the same spot as New Orleans (worse, even). What happens when you wipe out a trillion dollars worth of real estate? (Not to mention businesses, etc. that occupy that land.) Does the government buy people out? Do we just accept that millions of people are now homeless refugees who have lost the majority of their resources (which were tied up in property) and shrug?


I hope the plan doesn’t involve blocking or threatening to shoot black refugees trying to evacuate on foot this time.



I don’t have the answers, but yes, I imagine if the government designates an area as “lost”, there should be a program to help them move closer in land.

Perhaps they could do something similar to Amsterdam, but it maybe that isn’t physically feasible, and/or it would be cheaper to relocate. Or a combination, relocate and build flood protection closer in land.

“In fact, I can’t recall ever hearing of such an evacuation anywhere in the world.” Um, heard of Oroville?

Economically valuable areas make sense to wall off behind the kind of smart flood protection that protects Amsterdam and the majority of the Netherlands. New Orleans is protectable, if there was the political will/ability. (Racism, ineptitude and corruption have prevented it so far.) Florida, on the other hand, isn’t protectable - the state sits on porous rock, which means that flood barriers can’t work. (And paying people off would mean giving billions to real estate speculators for overpriced Miami properties…)
The irony is that conservative state governments that have denied climate change and worked hard to even prevent anyone from talking about it are the ones that are going to lose the most landmass.


Yeah. Currently the whole world is basically ‘owned’ by someone. In the distant past moving to a new location didn’t necessarily mean relocating (either physically, legally, or financially) the folks who were already there.


Yeah, and even when it did, the change was so gradual that it involved impacts that were spread over generations, so it was more about people merging groups or altering patterns to deal with new groups in proximity. More recently, when property was lost to the environmental changes like the encroaching of the sea, etc., the changes were minor enough that it was never more than a handful of people impacted. That kind of loss is easily absorbed by the society at large; it’s not “the whole city must be abandoned” or “the whole state is going to be uninhabitable in a few decades.” No one has ever had to deal with these kinds of fast, massive changes before - much smaller environmental events that occurred in the past were enough to wipe out whole cultures.

TWELVE years - 2005, remember?

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In Europe, yes, one hopes. In America, land of small government and untaxed rich Randite sociopaths? the displaced will be left to fend for themselves, most will die and their deaths will be celebrated as a winnowing of poors who were holding the rich down with their horrible taking.

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It makes me wonder what Kanye will do this time.

@Falcor! Time leak!