Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans warnings ignored

As New Orleans sinks due to the pressure from hurricane Katrina, I see that the press is generally asking the same sort of question: "How could this happen to the most industrialised nation on earth?". Well the answer would seem to be fairly simple, it's because the most industrialised nation on earth has a leadership that doesn't bother listening to its scientific community. As this 2001 article, Drowning New Orleans that was published in Scientific American so amply demonstrates:

If Congress and President George W. Bush hear a unified call for action, authorizing it would seem prudent. Restoring coastal Louisiana would protect the country's seafood and shipping industries and its oil and natural-gas supply. It would also save America's largest wetlands, a bold environmental stroke. And without action, the million people outside New Orleans would have to relocate. The other million inside the bowl would live at the bottom of a sinking crater, surrounded by ever higher walls, trapped in a terminally ill city dependent on nonstop pumping to keep it alive.

Once again, the warnings were ignored and innocent people were the ones who had to pay with their lives. This is from the same administration that ignores the general scientific consensus on climate change and other environmental issues. It's just a shame that it's not the ones who make these disasterous decisions that end up having to pay for it.

Hat tip to Pharyngula, where I saw the link to the Scientific American article originally.