Thursday, September 01, 2005

It doesn't get better. It just seems to get worse. Death and destruction - some towns in Mississippi were totally flattened. As you see the pictures you are reminded of nothing so much as the tsunami.

Katrina was a natural phenomenon. It seems likely that climate change led to warmer water in the Gulf of Mexico, but that is impossible to prove one way or the other. The destruction in Mississippi and Louisiana would have happened. But what happened in New Orleans did not have to happen. Atrios, kos and Majority Report have pointed out how the hurricane defenses were systematically underfunded, and how FEMA was gutted over the last several years. Bush is too busy with his vacation, too busy paying golf, to say anything in a timely manner. He can't be bothered to visit the affected areas. But will he show up for a rousing photo op in a few weeks as the city starts to dry out (or, more likely, in some small town in Mississippi, since that photo op will connect more with his base)? Pro-bab-ly.

Things get weirder and wierder. A 'renegade' bus makes it into Houston...loads of refugees fleeing New Orleans. Apparently those who were not in the Superdome in New Orleans were not supposed to be housed in the Astrodome in Houston. They are talking about the fact that there was no information about the buses, no information about the people on board. Granted, there are many far more important things for them to deal with at a time like that.

Destitute refugees fleeing natural disasters. It's the kind of thing that you have been hearing about for years. I didn't dismiss it as alarmist, I just put it aside as information that I could not use at this point in time. It was something you thought possible in the distant future when rising sea levels displace millions of people...or something like that.

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