Critical analysis over the devastation of Hurricane Katrina emerged as swiftly as the raging winds and heavy downpours swept over the historic city of New Orleans. The fierce power of the storm destroyed the levees, flooding the city and demolishing the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people. Also destroyed by the deluge is what many of us think of as a lively cultural mix of music, art, and Cajun food. The questions that have been raised about the city’s reluctance to invest in the costly improvements of her levees should rightfully be approached. Accountability for neglect must be discussed to prepare for any future destruction that is preventable through proper planning.
As is fairly typical when natural disasters strike, Global Warming worshippers have come out of the woodworks like critters ready to kneel down at the Altar of Mother Earth. In the meantime, their prophets continue to predict the warming of ocean temperatures that, they say, is creating more destructive storms that are becoming costlier and deadlier with each hit. One group of scientists claims Global Warming to be the cause, melting the polar ice and killing ocean life. Their warnings and accusations are directed toward nations, mainly the US, whose energy consumption and waste are the reason for warmer temperatures. Supporters of this theory are demanding preservation take place by the implementation of strict environmental laws.
Increasing support is also for those scientists who will argue that warming is cyclic and minor temperature shifts have been observed over several periods in time. The recent shifting of ocean currents can influence the path of a storm creating greater chances of a hurricane hitting land. It is also understood that environmental laws imposed by a global bureaucracy would limit the production of many nations by removing the freedom to have self-sufficiency. Proof that bureaucracy creates only a decline of environment is evident in the abuse of those nations that have no right to own. Countries that show these traits were the former Soviet Union, Africa and many other Third World countries ruled my military dictators. It is still very visible that private citizens and private businesses take care of their property voluntarily.
Unfortunately, Mr. Trittin, High Priest of the German Environmental Ministry, spouted his Global Warming beliefs by making an insensitive statement immediately after the hurricane struck the Crescent City. He was quoted in the Frankfurter Rundschau as saying that "Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced worldwide. The US has, up until this point, had its eyes closed to this emergency." His statement implies that the recent tragedy was a direct result of the US’s reluctance to support efforts in reducing practices that are purported to bring on the climate changes.
Spiegel Online published several articles under their English site regarding his statement and reactions. One article commented on the lack of voluntary aid offered by Germany’s charitable organizations. The assumption was that aid was not needed, since the US can generally handle their disasters on their own. Mr. Trittin’s comments have outraged many American readers, causing emotions to run high. Many e-mails commented on Europe’s own bloody past and America’s financial aid in helping to rebuild post-war Germany. Germans were also given an opportunity to respond, in which several readers actually apologized for Mr. Trittin’s comment. Yet, the overall division shows the different mentality that each nation has over the issue of Global Warming.
Other than a note of condolences to President Bush for the victims of Katrina, Chancellor Schröder’s government remained silent about the catastrophe for days. As the situation in New Orleans worsened, his government has since offered assistance to the relief efforts of the Gulf region. Even private financial initiatives remain very low compared to the tsunami event that happened last December.
Although German newspapers were addressing the structural damage and the city’s longtime vulnerability to storms because of her below sea-level location, several questions were raised concerning the damage the city has caused to the Mississippi Delta and the natural marshlands. However, none mentioned the possibility of the government wasting its resources on projects and aid that are not geared toward empowering the self-sufficiency of people or providing for the local needs of a community. It is doubtful that the early French settlers were worried about environmental damage when they erected the city in 1718.
Mr. Trittin, who stands behind his statement that climate changes are influenced by man’s disregard for the environment, is only mirroring the great partition that is settling between the two ideologies. Politicians can be the mouthpieces of those prophets who preach the destruction of mankind as a consequence of his own destruction of the natural environment in which he abides. Those who do not favor Global Warming laws understand the implementation of these imposed regulations would bring a different catastrophe to humanity, namely severe poverty. He would no longer be able to use earth’s resources as a productive way to employ himself.
This depression creates a thunderous fear and frustration in people, who want their environment to be controllable by benevolent lawmakers. The result of trusting federal policy makers can be seen in the horrific images of New Orleans, where local and federal officials neglected to make adequate provisions for such a natural disaster a priority for their city. Her vulnerability had been well known for years, yet federal money was used for other projects. The disaster that befell this historical city and the delayed response of planning and rescue lies more with the shortsightedness of public officials and people’s trust in the system than with a powerful storm.
Tropical depressions become tropical storms when pressure systems create 37 to 73 mph winds, with severe thunderstorms, over a body of water. At that time a name is assigned to the storm system. The storm takes on greater strength and organizes itself into a circular motion, shaping itself into a hurricane if winds can sustain up to 74 mph. The storm forms a distinct rotation around its center that contains heavy rainfall with destructive winds that can reach the magnitudes of Katrina. This is how nature produces hurricanes.
Man-made hurricanes take on a similar picture. It is no surprise that the welfare countries and states that favor Global Warming theories have depressions of their own to battle. Germany is already mired in deep financial difficulties in paying out benefits to their declining population while the "hot air" of unenlightened politicians gets added to the storm system. Germany’s red/green coalition, with its socialist platform, is preparing itself to be booted out of office during the upcoming September election. Germans want change. Much is expected of the next administration in terms of change taking place. However, how much brainwashing can be removed from a populace and its elected politicians so that the next administration is able to undo the nanny mentality that has been set into motion since the 19th Century?
The developing storm on the horizon of both continents is only exacerbated by the incessant political winds of Global Warming. It feeds the masses with unproven theories and frightening rhetoric that will have a tremendous impact on their social and economic future, if adapted. Already the increasing tolerance for any form of perversity is hurling people on both sides of the continent into a whirlpool of immoral sludge. People are blinded, unable to see the downpour of perverted laws create hardship on a larger scale. They foolishly prefer dictated rules and federal regulations that bring on a cyclic rotation of socio-economic decline for their families and communities. Such a willing abdication of freedom and responsibility in order to be safe and provided for breaks down the basic function of community. It manifests itself in the milieu of most inner cities where unemployment and poverty roam the streets. The backlash for a people who hand all power to provide for their well-being to government also becomes evident in the public complacency towards property in the cities and states that rely on government assistance for their infrastructure and safety.
The US is now facing one of the largest and most costly crises in the recent history of the nation. Many questions will surface about how to deal with the refugees of a city that, in all likelihood, will remain under water for months to come. This catastrophe opens up the possibility of a much-needed dialogue, which in turn creates an opportunity to redistribute responsibility to communities and people for the upkeep and administration of their homes and cities.
Natural disasters will always be a part of life on this earth; disasters for which man can judiciously prepare by applying his technological knowledge and wisdom. The financial responsibility for how and when to shore up the vulnerable areas of towns and cities relies, in large measure, on the willingness of private citizens, combined with the insistence of local administration, to reclaim their right to keep the tax dollars they have generated for the use of their communities. Global Warming laws and government dominance can never accomplish what people are capable of doing when given the choice to invest in their own back yard. Those who see it as a worthy venture are willing to protect, improve and keep clean that which they hold dear.
Sabine Barnhart [send her mail] moved to the US in 1980 and lives in Fort Worth, TX with her three children. For the past 15 years she has been working for an international service company.