Paging Mayor Nagin, please check the BBC for relevance of climate change…
An online construction-industry source reports that Nagin rejects limits on rebuilding, saying;
neighborhood planning rests “in the hands of the residents,” Mayor Ray Nagin on Monday rejected his blue-ribbon rebuilding panel’s call for a moratorium on building permits in areas of New Orleans hit hardest by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Oh, he does, does he? Well, at least he couched his remarks in a stern warning that “residents who choose to return to some of those areas will be doing so at their own risk* until levees compromised by the storms are made safe.”
And when would that be, Mr. Mayor? Perhaps he should direct his attention to the following article on BBC News: Sea rise ‘could be catastrophic’. If that’s too many words and not enough pictures for him, it means the breakup of ice cover is accelerating and with it, the potential for a really serious rise in sea level. Even if the levees can be made safe today, (don’t hold your breath) they won’t necessarily be safe tomorrow.
“These processes of rapid ice sheet retreat are already happening … The ice sheet retreat and sea level rise on the order of what happened 130,000 years ago is inevitable and irreversible.”
Geoscientist Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University, who is not an author on the new paper, told Science: “Palaeoclimate always has a large amount of uncertainty, [but] we should take this as a serious warning sign. You could lock in a dangerous warming during this century.”
Here’s a thought: why not let the insurance industry decide? Build anywhere you want, but good luck getting a loan if it’s below sea level, or is likely to be within 30 years (the length of most loans).
This would be an excellent time for the federal government to ‘butt out’. By pouring billions of (our) dollars into the New Orleans area, it distorts economic pressures against idiotic building.
After the ‘93 Mississippi floods, some entire towns relocated to higher ground. I’m not suggesting New Orleans try to do that, but as long as you’re building, build where it makes sense to build, OK? The waterline should be a pretty good guide for where to build enormous parks and woodlands.
And no, I don’t care about ‘historic neighborhoods’. Lots of ‘historical preservation’ seems to be an attempt to freeze history in place.
*(While we’re at it, the phrase “at your own risk” doesn’t have a lot of meaning anymore. No one accepts personal risk or personal consequences – that’s so ‘last-century’. If you do something really stupid and it impacts your life, either taxpayers will have to foot the bill or somebody is going to be sued. Or ideally, both.)