'Death traps'New Orleans is really the nexus of a whole lotta issues facing people in disaster prone areas around our country. Do we prepare for them by spending tons of money? Government investments rarely bring direct monetary repayment, but of the $s will come back in Tax flow if it's done right and enough different people and companies benefit as well as they might.
The study to be published on Thursday in the British science magazine was produced by a University of Miami team.
It is based on new satellite radar data taken from 2002 to 2005, which show that New Orleans sank by an average of 0.22 inches (0.5cm) a year during that period.
But the study says some low-lying areas are subsiding by more than one inch (2.54cm) a year - raising concerns about the city's future.
The scientists name overdevelopment, drainage and natural seismic shifts as the main causes.
The new engineering always discovered when confronting nature and trying to hold her back is always a good thing. It just takes lots of time and money, and our governments never seem interested in investments that don't pay off until the pols voting on them are out of office.
But, and I'll be very brief here, this issue isn't just about the people of New Orleans and greater Louisiana. We can all benefit from the new knowledge and that can be used anywhere at any time. If done right, it'll also be even less expensive for the next opportunity to use what we learn shoring up this city's defenses.
Rebuilding is not the only option. It IS the most interesting and, quite possibly, the most beneficial to everyone, if we do it right and learn our lessons.
Regardless of rebuilding, lets hope this coming storm season doesn't lay wood to what's left of a swampy but incredibly beautiful part of human culture and history in the Gulf of Mexico.
Update: Report: lack of federal help has left city's storm defenses "dangerously weak"