For what it's worth, I found your question to be quite reasonable...
Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
It has been raised that humans are sensitive, emotional beings prone to inhabit a region out of traditional "ties to the land" a concept based on
"feelings" instead of logic. Considering this matter from a logical perspective, would it not be better to abandon New Orleans as a
speaking, it would be. But then again, humans are not a very logical species. That's what we have Spock for
It would make a wonderful natural habitat for wildlife, marshland for waterfowl and it would enable a natural delta marsh to develop which would
provide considerable shielding for inland areas from future storm surges. It could be a wonderful remembrance for those who lost their lives and a
fitting monument for future generations to consider nature and mans interaction with the environment.
Although I'm not much for environmental causes such as wildlife refuges--that's an issue for another thread though--the "buffer" idea is a valid
point. Even if they rebuild NO in it's current location, it might be worth it for them to invest a good amount of money in reforming the coast.
Instead of rebuilding, could the survivors not simply move to other established communities throughout the United States? ...
While that is true, and there are quite a few areas that could potentially handle the new residents quite easily, it's still a matter of where they
want to go. I'm sure many of them will never move back to NO because of this storm, even if it is rebuilt to it's former glory. But you can't
force someone to move somewhere they don't want to live just because that city can handle it. What if by some fluke many of them decide they like
the climate of a small town in rural Nebraska for example? That small town doesn't have the infrastructure to support a large influx of people, and
the money that would've been spent on rebuilding NO would be spent there.
Granted, that's not a very likely scenario, but I hope it serves as an example to express my point. Just because the money won't have to be spent
in NO doesn't mean it won't be spent else where.
It has been mentioned that there a numerous cities across the United States that are situated in precarious geographical locations; San Francisco is
on a fault-line. There are regions in California that are prone to forest fires, high winds, rock and mudslides. And yet we do not abandon those
places and others throughout the nation. But we do not abandon those places because they are still viable!
And NO is
still viable. Although alongside Rita it's showing signs of changing, Katrina was of relatively infrequent strength for a
hurricane, and while better preparation could've been implemented, it's by no means expected that those people would have had to go through that at
any given time. The economic value of the NO region I mentioned in a previous post should show how viable the area is for a large city--there
wouldn't have been a large city to begin with if it wasn't viable.
If the worst happens in San Francisco or Los Angeles, we might just have to do so and learn from the mistakes of selecting that location in the first
place! In the future it might not be wise to build anything; a home, a city or a nuclear power plant on a fault line.
The worst has
happened in San Francisco--1906 and 1989, just to name a couple. The city was hit hard, but they rebuilt. And it will
happen again, and probably even worse. But fault lines aren't the only natural disasters we have here in the US either.
How many trailer parks and small towns have been leveled by tornados, only to be rebuilt again? Does that mean we clear out the midwest? No, we just
try harder to prepare next time, and we try and learn more of what happens when they form. Regarding other natural disasters, look at Yellowstone: we
know it's a volcano that's going to erupt with devastating results at some point in time. Why not clear everyone out of the danger area and
relocate them to the southern states, where hurricanes will hit, or the midwest with it's tornados? Granted, a Yellowstone eruption is most likely
quite a ways off, but why not take the preventative measures now? It would be cheaper and safer.
Finally, why would we build a new city with such a proximity to the Sea or Ocean? If the pundits of global warming are correct, then we can expect
sea levels to rise considerably in the next several decades. Surely we cannot build a city in the same location while ignoring a very "real"
certainty of another calimity in the not too distant future. If we rebuild New Orleans will the government be responsible to rebuild every city on
the Atlantic and Pacific Coast as the waters rise?
The primary reason is the same reason your saying we shouldn't rebuild NO: money. Coast cities allow for much, much
easier importing and
exporting than trying to fly everything in from overseas. Whether we should be relying on importing and exporting goods is an entirely different
Everyone, it seems, is blaming one man or agency or government department of one sort or another for not anticipating the natural disaster in
the making that is/was New Orleans. Why can't we anticipate, with certainty, that by rebuilding New Orleans we only serve to provide human fodder
and additional economic woe for all Americans when the next Hurricane, levee failure, New Madras fault quake or rise in the ocean level occurs?
We can't anticipate, with certainty, whether any of the nation's larger cities will have the same effect or not. Mother nature can only be
predicted so far, and she reserves the rights to do what she wishes when she wishes. Building codes in CA call for buildings to meet specific
earthquake requirements. There's no guarantee though that future earthquakes will meet those same requirements. There's no guarantees that a storm
that makes Katrina or Rita look pathetic might hit NY. Then again, we may get hit by an until-then-unknown asteroid, and that would make all of our
current concerns regarding hurricanes and earthquakes seem minor.
At the same time, there's no guarantee that the next 500 years will bring anything more disasterous than what we've seen in the past 50. A lot of
people probably aren't moving back to NO, but those who want to should be free to do so. They know the risks involved, and I'm sure the potential
economic benefits of having a good port city at the mouth of the Mississippi river will outweight any economic burden caused by rebuilding.