Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, November 21, 2005

New Orleans

My mother, intrepid traveler, has ventured down to New Orleans for the second time in several weeks to aid the relief effort. She's a trained massage therapist, so her work there is to give massages to the workers who are worn out with pulling twelve-hour shifts in hot, smelly, toxic areas. She was telling me that coming to New Orleans from the east on I-10, many areas still look as if they were just hit by the hurricane. On her last visit, she went down into the Ninth Ward, the low-rent neighborhood that was the hardest-hit area of New Orleans. It looks almost unsalvageable, she said, especially since the flood walls burst again during the rains and wiped out all the previous clean-up.

The crews down there aren't necessarily concerned with the rebuilding efforts. There are many areas of Louisiana that will never have same population density they once did, and many areas that will remain uninhabitable. The priority right now is getting enough cleaning done so that even if an area will simply return to a wild state, it won't be littered with overturned cars or loads of hurricane debris. Mom says that as far as she knows, most areas of New Orleans still don't have running water. The reality is that it will take a very long time for New Orleans to even reach the point where rebuilding is feasible. Things will be permanently changed in the upper Gulf region. Despite popular committment to restoring New Orleans to its former glory (or what have you), industry and technology aren't going to stand still and wait for the years it will take to reconstruct a working metropolis.

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