Ohh Nooo!!!

3:30 PM -- Yesterday morning, the President of the United States went on national teevee and said: "I don't think anyone could have anticipated the breach of the levees."

Red Panda's immigration status is somewhat uncertain, so he doesn't want to say this was exactly a "lie." Nor that the remark reveals Mr. Bush, for the umpteenth time, as "dumber than dirt." So let's just comment: "Close, but no stogie."

The fact is, absolutely no one anticipated this tragedy, except of course the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Mayor of New Orleans, and many, many, many, climate scientists, but who listens to what they say? They believe in that "global warming" stuff. 'Nuff said.

But more shocking than the warnings from all those usual suspects is that fact that even Mr. Bill, the animated clay figurine from Saturday Night Live, is smarter than Mr. Bush, the animatronic president-simulacrum.

In a disturbingly prescient ad that CNN aired on May 27, 2004, Mr. Bill shows he has a much better understanding of New Orleans' levee system than Mr. Bush. Then he is eaten by an alligator. Oh nooo!!!

— Red Panda, Picayune Pundit, Light Reading

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dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 2:58:48 AM
re: Ohh Nooo!!!
My boss tells me not to call Dear Readers like you "idiots" anymore. "Climate Loonies" has, however, now entered the popular discourse.
Is it a 1? Is it a 3? Gosh! Maybe it's a 2.76! Either way, it ripped the bejeesus out of New Orleans, didn't it? How this bears on global warming, I leave to you.

I suppose I was fooled in this by reading the claim in the original article. If Katrina was a category 3, it opens up a great may questions about the preparedness of hurricane measures around New Orleans. However it does not imply any particular increase in intensity of hurricanes due to global warming as has been stated in the original article and several postings to this thread.

So to the question "Do you believe in global warming?", the experience of Katrina offers no answers.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 2:58:38 AM
re: Ohh Nooo!!! Larry:

In your vernacular: eeeeerrrrrerrrhhhhhgggg, ooo, ooo, eh!

Meaning: you're begging the question, eh!

The storm SHOULD NOT HAVE ripped the crap out of NO. At that level, it should have passed over and torn a few signs down, and a couple of roofs here and there. OK, a flooded basement or two.

But politicians and the citizens of that city decided they could just put up some concrete walls, and not worry about worst case scenarios in the design of the levee system.

Overflow weir? Real dirt? NIMBY!

Nobody to blame but themselves.

Personal (collective) responsibility.

dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 2:58:37 AM
re: Ohh Nooo!!! The lessons learned from Katrina are those of government short sightedness. Governments seem incpable of dealing with long term threats. They are driven by the short term interests of the electorate.

As pointed out, one manifestaion of electoral short sightedness is NIMBY. However another one is the popular need for a cause. It is very easy to belive in global warming. It is an easy way to make one feel virtuous. Others can be blamed for the ills of the world. It also makes it easy to lobby for one's pet causes. Link it the virtuous cause and opposition to it becomes opposition to virtue. Anyone who questions your pet cause not only opposes virte but is against all scientific knowledge. It doesn't matter if the science support one's cause is tentaive at best. The causes virtue overcomes all doubt.

Anthropomorphic global warming, environmental illnesses, autism linked to vaccinations - it does not matter how many people these causes hurt or that there is little to no valid science behind them. They are virtuous and so the science must be true because it is politically necessary it to be true.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:58:37 AM
re: Ohh Nooo!!!

Just a suggestion, but there are three separate phenomenon.

1 - Global Warming: This is measurable and is factual.

2 - Causes of Global Warming: This is much more debatable, especially what is the impact that human civilization is having on this.

3 - Results of Global Warming: This is even more speculative, as we are trying to model things we barely understand.

So, I accept global warming as a factual event. I do not necessarily accept various groups statements of the Cause or Results of Global Warming.

dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 2:57:31 AM
re: Ohh Nooo!!! The appended note was posted on Davfe Farber's IP lsit. Katrina hit New Orleans wuith far less than the killer hurricane force that the press talked about. The city flooded because levees failed with a storm surge that they had been designed to withstand.

It appears that the strident I believe in global warming rhetoric was misplaced. Katrina was not a super hurricane. Global warming does not affect the inensity of hurricanes and the failue of the levees was the result of the cumulative failures over decades of succesive governments.


Hi, Dave,

For a few years now, I've been recommending John Barry's
_Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed
America_ to everyone I know (including several readers of this list).
He's got an op-ed in today's NYT that's worthwhile reading:


Here are the two key paragraphs. Note that Barry does not assign
blame to any particular administration for the failure of these
levees, although he doesdesignate responsibility for remedying the
situation squarely on the federal government:

But most of New Orleans was not flooded by water coming directly from
the Gulf. It was flooded from the north and rear by Lake
Pontchartrain, when levees failed along the 17th Street and London
Avenue drainage canals. Initially, the Corps of Engineers said that
the storm was so great that it overtopped these levees also. But
after inspecting the levees and reviewing storm data, all three
investigating teams agree: Hurricane Katrina hit Lake Pontchartrain
with far less strength than it did the Gulf Coast, and the storm
surge fell well short of the tops of the levees. In fact, a design or
construction flaw caused them to collapse in the face of a force they
were designed to hold. In other words, if the levees had performed as
they were supposed to, the deaths in New Orleans proper, the scenes
in the Superdome and the city's devastation would never have taken

Who is responsible? Many accusations, some of them valid, have been
hurled at the Orleans Levee Board, a local body. But these
accusations are irrelevant. The levee board did not design or build
these levees. That was entirely the responsibility of the federal
government, through the Corps of Engineers.
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