I Know What It Means…

…to Miss New Orleans.   And after reading City Adrift, I fear that the day is coming that New Orleans exists only as a memory, not just for me but for everyone.    Released by Louisiana State University Press and the Center For Public Integrity, City Adrift is a very carefully reasoned and balanced review of eight serious aspects of the problems facing New Orleans before and after Katrina.

A team of investigative journalists and fellows of the Center For Public Integrity address The Storm, The Environment, The Levees, Emergency Preparedness, Social Services, Health Care, Politics, and Housing and Insurance.   Each of these areas is treated to a concise and well reasoned analysis.   Even having previously read a number of books about Katrina and its aftermath in the city,   I found this volume highly informative and very effective at cutting through all the BS that gets thrown around.  

The picture painted is generally bleak and it is unclear to what extent New Orleans will ever recover and it is still possible that Congress or the state’s oil revenues may fund the 14 billion dollar price tag to restore the Mississippi River Delta.   But the epilogue reaches a sobering conclusion— even if ways are found to build effective  levees and other flood control systems AND the delta is restored,  Southern Louisiana will remain increasingly vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding due to subsidence and global warming,  two forces of nature quite beyond the government’s control.   A geologist is quoted as giving 100–150 years at the very most before the location is no longer viable for a city of any sort whatsoever.

I kind of wonder if this is how it feels to be from Atlantis.

City Adrift   Highly Recommended