Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hurricane Katrina

This past weekend my wife and I attended a viewing at the Science Museum of Minnesota of "Hurricane on the Bayou" starring two musicians -- Tab Benoit, a Cajun guitar player/song writer, and Amanda Shaw, a 14 year old violin prodigy -- she is a pretty impressive musician based on the jam sessions contained in this film.

The original idea of this documentary was to show how the wetlands of Louisiana have been changed thus creating environmental concerns. Filming began three months before Hurricane Katrina hit so the documentary expanded its range a bit by including an overview of hurricanes and the devastation brought to New Orleans.

Overall I enjoyed this film as it was entertaining and educational but the one key point that stayed with me is Mr. Benoit's explanation -- two primary man-made factors to be exact - regarding why caused the destruction of the wetlands that have been lost so far:

1.) Levees -- built by "well meaning engineers in the 1930's" (quoting Mr. Benoit here) to shield us against hurricanes the levees actually altered the natural flow of soil deposits and water flow which ultimately killed parts of the mangrove forests. No doubt these engineers were part of President Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" to spend our way out of the Great Depression.

2.) Canals -- built to aid navigation/shipping from the Port of New Orleans to the sea. These canals created the opportunity for salt water from the sea to infiltrate the fresh water homes of the mangrove trees thus killing entire forests.

So what do levees and canals have in common?? Both of these projects were GOVERNMENT PROJECTS. If you don't believe me spend some time reading about the Erie Canal or the Dismal Swamp Company -- yesterday's canals seem very similar to today's light rail train networks.

Government harms us with our own money.

Move to higher ground and vote for less government programs,


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