Sunday, August 31, 2008

After God Flushes the Gulf, It's Always Polite to Light A Match

Gustav is expected to attain category 5 status Sunday, then head in, feet wet onto the Gulf coast, possibly at New Orleans. After Katrina, the Corps of Engineers offered its honest assessment, that it was probably not possible to stabilize the city against further large storms and that such storms were inevitable. Their opinion was backed up by almost everyone, in both the meteorological and engineering communities.

I've written about the Bush administration's response, at some length. I won't bore you with it again, except to remind you that just last week, Cheetah was boasting about the 125 billion in Federal funds he had funneled into the area, to rebuild. Don't worry, the money wasn't wasted. Most has gone directly into the pockets of his rich developer friends and they wouldn't spend it on anything as wasteful as rebuilding New Orleans.

What's going on in the Mississippi Delta shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Sea levels are rising. This is especially apparent in delta regions, when tidal surges and runoff from torrential rains combine to cause flooding, during tropical cyclone storms. These delta regions will deteriorate into groups of ever smaller, low lying islands, eventually vanishing completely, becoming part of the river's outlet, through the continental shelf. We have seen this process begin not only on the Mississippi but also in Bangladesh and Burma's Irrawaddy, both of which are also doomed. Bush doesn't believe in any of this stuff. Why would he? He believes the Earth is flat, six thousand years old and that cocaine is brought down by Angels from God, in white robes and given to country club bathroom attendants, on weekend afternoons, who then sell it to him. It's OK, for his purposes, these things and many others, just as improbable, all are functionally true.

It is drolly ironic, that the third anniversary of Katrina and the Republican National Convention are coinciding with the advent of the next big storm to hit the Delta. The few still planning on attending the Convention, are grasping at straws, trying to save themselves, which is exactly what the few still left in New Orleans, next week, may be doing. McStain is considering postponing the Convention but will it really be better to have it after the storm has wreaked its havoc, than during? Another idea that he has, is to deliver his acceptance speech inside the storm zone, to demonstrate his courage and resolve. Now there is a fine idea.

Personally, I hope the storm misses New Orleans and hits a less developed and low lying area of the Gulf Coast. I hope the Republican National Convention goes well. I hope the Angels bring down an especially fine bag of dope to George Bush's restroom attendant this weekend. The Republicans can use all the good luck they can get and Bush can use all the good dope.

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