I just think that it doesnt make any sense whatsoever to buld a city that grows so fast in a place that was never supposed to have people live there to begin with. How do all those new, big suburban homes have greeny, grassy lawns in the middle of a dessert?
Those days are over. We added almost one million residents in the last 15 years w/o additional sources of water. For the last 4 years, no grass allowed in the front; small amount in the rear. Homes have gone to approved xeriscaping, all rock or artifical turf. Our water use has gone done each year for 4 years with 6,000 new residents a month moving in. All the water used inside the house goes into the sewer system, back to the water treatment plant and released back to Lake mead. Water used inside is not the problem, outside watering is. The Southern Nevad Water District has instituted a very successful program of giving $1 per square foot credit to replace turf with xeriscaping. Over 2 million sq. feet of turf have been ripped out and replaced so far. This program and much higher fees for large water users has resulted in less water use with more residents.
However, I don't think the mismanagement was necessarily at the federal level. Rather, it seems to me that the mismanagement and poor planning was at the state and local levels.
Its always at the Federal Level - the Feds should have taken over right away - infact been waiting there when the storm left. FEMA and Homeland Security are Federal Agencies.
Watched a great CNN news report today on how the former 9/11 co-chairmen all agreed that it was a poor federal response that caused this mess. But they did agree that at the State level - the government needs to have one person or agency in charge that reports to the Feds.
It is against the law for Federal Agencies to come into the state uninvited like they did. Like I said, that was unprecedented. Maybe Bush should've went ahead and sent them in. But it shouldn't have come him making that decision. A request should've been put in by Gov. Blanco long before it was.
It was declared a 'national disaster' on the day it happened. Surely, that means the federal government is in charge from that point. Then again, what do I know about the weird workings of the US government?
Exactly...it should've been declared a disaster area days or a week even, before it happened. Once it's declared, THEN the National Guard can be mobilized and people can be sent in, etc. There's a catagory 1 storm heading towards North Carolina or South Carolina and I believe one of the two of them has already declared it a disaster area...the hurricane hasn't even struck yet. These things have to be preempted and Gov. Blanco and the mayor of New Orleans did absolutely piss poor job of making sure that people were out and that the necessary steps were taken for aid to get in.
Perhaps, but even in the days after it was declared a national disaster, the response could only be described as woeful. It's all good and well to say what should have happened before the levie (sp?) broke after the fact, once it did happen it was a national problem and the federal government wasted precious days doing very little to help. But I do agree that a degree of blame seems to lie with the local governments - particularly the responsibility for evacuation.
However, I would also like to point out that the international community is nowhere near vigilant enough in its pursuit of preventing needless suffering from third world countries.
I agree with you wholeheartedly! I was watching "Shake Hands with the Devil" last night, about the failed UN mission to Rwanda in the 1990s. People were being slaughtered, but nobody came - all that was given was a small contingent of some 300 UN soldiers headed by General Dallaire, who tried in vain to get the word out. He was told "all that Rwanda has to offer is humans, and there are too many of those anyway."
I think what bothers me so much about the media coverage of New Orleans is the comparisons. In the movie, they showed 12,000 people packed into a stadium for months - unable to leave because they feared being slaughtered, yet living in absolute squallor inside, piling up their dead because they had no where else to put them. And during the whole peak point in the genocide, the #1 news item in the West was the OJ Simpson trial. It's like we're desensitized to the terrible things happening to people we're so disconnected from, yet the media makes New Orleans out to be the next tsunami. It isn't fair - it isn't right. Just cause it happens at home doesn't make it the first, or the worst, disaster of its kind. That the US has money - no matter how it's tied up - just seems to compound the completely off-kilter comparison.
It doesn't sit right with me - although I wholeheartedly think the people of New Orleans need all the help the world can offer. If Rwanda - or any other 3rd world tragedy - was covered in as much depth and with as much feeling as New Orelans, imagine what the world could do!?
(Total American foreign aid, at $16.3 billion, is almost twice that of any other nation, and American philanthropic aid to the developing world dwarfs that - $62 billion in 2003, or nearly half the world's total, the Hudson Institute estimates.)
If one takes Sachs's warning seriously, it cannot but resonate across the wealthy world, where the United States is far from the only laggard in helping to lift the poor. - 'end quote'
I didn't quote the whole article or anything but this just doesn't sound right. How much money is the US supposed to spend on helping other nations while we a re apparently 'neglecting' those in our own country that are dealing with tragedy and hardship. If $88.3 billion in philanthropic aid isn't enough ...
How much money a country can afford to give is relative - it must be calculated, I assume, based on the number of people in the country, the country's GNP, import vs export, and so on. $88.3 billion seems huge on its own, but it has to be taken in context.
However, what struck me was this:
"To me, the main thing about New Orleans is not how much we're about to spend," (Sachs) said in a telephone interview from New York. Rather, he said, "this is a disaster that was well predicted, well understood. The topography of New Orleans; the risk of being hit by a hurricane; the risk of flooding was all very well known, well documented, reported.
"The same is true of Africa. They're not thinking at all. What's supposed to happen next year, the year after that and the year after that? We're not attending to any of those issues."
To use another overworked metaphor, Sachs essentially argues that a perfect storm is building in Africa: a confluence of the AIDS pandemic, extreme poverty, mass hunger, illiteracy and, he would say, potentially devastating climate change.