Politics Magazine

Welcome to New Orleans, East Coast Edition…or Why Aren’t We Talking to the Dutch?

Posted on the 02 November 2012 by Eastofmidnight

My family was in Mississippi when Katrina hit.

My family was in Mississippi when Rita hit.

I was in New England last year as Hurricane Irene developed and made landfall.

And had things gone as planned, I would have been in New York City right now. So I can talk about these last few years of my life, and the people that I love, as being affected by hurricanes.

At some point, this country must stop being paralyzed by those who want to deny science and the reality of climate change. Too many of our fellow citizens live on the coasts for this situation to continue.

Why, in the name of all that is holy, aren’t more of our policymakers talking to the Dutch (and to a lesser extent, the Danes)?  Here’s a country that knows a little bit about having to negotiate with water; a country in which a substantial amount of its land had to be reclaimed from the sea. They might have something to offer those on this side of the pond who now realize that there needs to be a plan to deal with coastal cities and their relationship to water.

I see a lot of parallels between Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Yet I see some very stark differences. I doubt there will be books about Sandy like Jed Horne’s Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City. That’s because there is no way on this green earth that New York City is going to be allowed to get anywhere close to dying (not even Staten Island, where most of the dead have been). And while there has been some mean talk about those who didn’t evacuate, there will not be the wholesale condemnation of entire groups of people.

Well…time to see what the new news about Staten Island is.

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