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"..A Green Genocide

Published:

Last Edited: September 8, 2005, 8:30 am

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"New Orleans: A Green Genocide
As radical environmentalists continue to blame the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation on President Bush’s ecological policies, a mainstream Louisiana media outlet inadvertently disclosed a shocking fact: Environmentalist activists were responsible for spiking a plan that may have saved New Orleans. Decades ago, the Green Left pursuing its agenda of valuing wetlands and topographical “diversity” over human life – sued to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from building floodgates that would have prevented significant flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina.

 

 

In the 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Barrier Projectplanned to build fortifications at two strategic locations, which would keep massive storms on the Gulf of Mexico from causing Lake Pontchartrain to flood the city. An article in the May 28, 2005, New Orleans Times-Picayune stated, “Under the original plan, floodgate-type structures would have been built at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur passes to block storm surges from moving from the Gulf into Lake Pontchartrain.”

 

  “The floodgates would have blocked the flow of water from the Gulf of Mexico, through Lake Borgne, through the Rigolets [and Chef Mentuer] into Lake Pontchartrain,” declared Professor Gregory Stone, the James P. Morgan Distinguished Professor and Director of the Coastal Studies Institute of Louisiana State University. “This would likely have reduced storm surge coming from the Gulf and into the Lake Pontchartrain,” Professor Stone told Michael P. Tremoglie during an interview on September 6. The professor concluded, “[T]hese floodgates would have alleviated the flooding of New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina.

 

 

 

The New Orleans Army Corps of Engineers and Professor Stone were not the only people cognizant of the consequences that could and did result because of the environmental activists. While speaking with Sean Hannity on his radio show on Labor Day, former Louisiana Congressman and Speaker of the House Bob Livingston also referred to environmentalists whose litigation prevented hurricane prevention projects.

 

 

 

In other words, unlike other programs – including the ones leftists like Sid Blumenthal excoriated the president for not funding – these constructions might have prevented the loss of life experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

 

 

 

Why was this project aborted? As the Times-Picayune wrote, “Those plans were abandoned after environmental advocates successfully sued to stop the projects as too damaging to the wetlands and the lake's eco-system.” (Emphasis added.) Specifically, in 1977, a state environmentalist group known as Save Our Wetlands (SOWL) sued to have it stopped. SOWL stated the proposed Rigolets and Chef Menteur floodgates of the Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Prevention Project would have a negative effect on the area surrounding Lake Pontchartrain. Further, SOWL’s recollection of this casedemonstrates they considered this move the first step in a perfidious design to drain Lake Pontchartrain entirely and open the area to dreaded capitalist investment.

 

 

 

On December 30, 1977, U.S. District Judge Charles Schwartz Jr. issued an injunctionagainst the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Pontchartrain hurricane protection project, demanding the engineers draw up a second environmental impact statement, three years after the corps submitted the first one. In one of the most ironic pronouncements of all time, Judge Schwartz wrote, “it is the opinion of the Court that plaintiffs herein have demonstrated that they, and in fact all persons in this area, will be irreparably harmed if the barrier project based upon the August, 1974 FEIS [federal environmental impact statement] is allowed to continue.”

 

 

 

If the Greens prevailed, it was not because the forces of common sense did not make a compelling case. SOWL’s account reveals that during the course of the trial the defense counsel, Gerald Gallinghouse – a Republican U.S. Attorney who acted as a special prosecutor during the Carter administration –felt so strongly that the project should continue that he told the judge he would “go before the United States Congress with [Democratic Louisiana Congressman] F. Edward Hebert to pass a resolution, exempting the Hurricane Barrier Project from the rules and regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act because, in his opinion, [this plan] is necessary to protect the citizens of New Orleans from a hurricane.” Despite this, the judge ruled in favor of the environmentalists. Ultimately, the project was aborted in favor of building up existing levees.

 

 

 

However, the old plan lived on in the minds of those who put human beings first. The Army Corps of Engineers as recently as last year had publicly discussed resuming the practice. The September-October 2004 edition of Riverside (the magazine of the New Orleans District Army Corps of Engineers Public Affairs Office) referred to this lawsuit and project. Eric Lincoln’s article titled, “Old Plans Revived for Category 5 Hurricane Protection,” stated:

 

 

 

In 1977, plans for hurricane protection structures at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass were sunk when environmental groups sued the district. They believed that the environmental impact statement did not adequately address several potential problems, including impacts on Lake Pontchartrain’s ecosystem and damage to wetlands.

 

 

 

Ultimately, an agreement between the parties resulted in a consent decree to forego the structures at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass…The new initial feasibility study will look at protecting the area between the Pearl River and Mississippi River from a Category 5 storm…. (Emphasis added.)

 

 

 

The article added, “[A]lternatives that would be studied in the initial feasibility report are: Construction of floodgate structures, with environmental modifications, at Rigolets and Chef Pass.” (Emphasis added.) The Times-Picayune recorded last May, “the corps wants to take another look [at building the floodgates] using more environmentally sensitive construction than was previously available.” This time the Army Corps of Engineers would modify the original plans because of the environmentalists. However, the project was already delayed more than two decades because of the environmentalists’ lawsuit. If begun immediately it would take another two decades to complete: a 40-year delay caused by the Green Left.

 

 

 

Planning for a category five hurricane was, indeed, visionary thinking. Few people believed such a storm would take place more often than once every few centuries, and no one had the political will to fight for the funding such a project would necessitate. However, scientists had long warned about New Orleans’ vulnerability to the potential for massive loss of life caused by such things as the environmentalists’ lawsuit. A National Geographic article, written after a smaller hurricane last year, captured the sentiments of one such expert:

 

 

 

“The killer for Louisiana is a Category Three storm at 72 hours before landfall that becomes a Category Four at 48 hours and a Category Five at 24 hours – coming from the worst direction,” says Joe Suhayda, a retired coastal engineer at Louisiana State University who has spent 30 years studying the coast…“I don’t think people realize how precarious we are.”

 

 

 

As it turned out, this is exactly how events played out during the next hurricane, one year later. USA Today noted, the levees the government had constructed were no match for the vortex of this force of nature. Soon Katrina pushed inland:

 

 

 

Hurricane Katrina pushed Lake Pontchartrain over the flood walls...The spilling water then undermined the walls, and they toppled…Lake Pontchartrain, a body half the size of Rhode Island, was losing about a foot of water every 10 hours into New Orleans.

 

 

 

The rushing lake soon overwhelmed the city’s pumps. The ever-rising water soon mixed with sewage, creating a toxic liquid mixture that burned the skin on contact. When the flood levels grounded the city buses Mayor Ray Nagin never deployed, it denied thousands of New Orleans’ poorest and feeblest an escape.

 

 

 

Despite the mayor’s apparent incompetence, these floodgates environmental activists sued to prevent from being constructed may have kept a flood from consuming the city to the extent it did in the first place. The current programs aimed at reinforcing existing levees but would only prove effective against a level three hurricane; they were not adequate for a level five storm like Katrina. Moreover, they did not fortify the specific areas the government sought to protect, to keep Lake Pontchartrain from flooding the entire city, which everyone knew posed a danger to a city below sea level. In other words, this plan would have saved thousands of lives and kept one of the nation’s greatest cities from lying in ruins for a decade.

 

 

 

At a minimum, such a plan would have staved off a significant portion of the disaster that’s unfolded before our eyes.

 

 

 

Worse yet, the environmentalists’ ultimate decision to reinforce existing levees may have actually further harmed the Big Easy. There is at least one expert who claims the New Orleans levees made no difference – in fact, they contributed to the problem. Deputy Director of the LSU Hurricane Center and Director of the Center for the Study Public Health Impacts by Hurricanes Ivor van Heerden said, “The levees ‘have literally starved our wetlands to death’ by directing all of that precious silt out into the Gulf of Mexico.”

 

 

 

Thirty  years after its legal action, Save Our Wetlands boasts, “SOWL's legacy lives on and on within the heart and spirit of every man, woman, child, bird, red fish, speckle trout, croakers, etc.

 

 

 

Despite its pious rhetoric, the environmental Left’s true legacy will be on display in New Orleans for years to come."

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=19418

Entry #59

Comments

1.
Comment by healing - November 11, 2005, 4:24 pm
In 1977 Save Our Wetlands Inc.(SOWL) enjoined a planned Corps Hurricane Barrier project(floodgates), where the Gulf of Mexico enters Lake Pontchartrain at the Chef Menteur-Rigolets.
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Joe Towers, a retired Corps counsel stated that if these barriers had been constructed "New Orleans would have been saved." This statement was picked up by the right wing hate anti environmentalist spin docs into a fabricated "Green Genocide" yawn and spun around the internet.
However, it so happens that Joe Towers was the Corps counsel that SOWL complained to the FBI about when the Corps was caught criminally diking-damning 5,200 acres of navigable wetlands for the Eden Isle Subdivision, located smack dab in the middle of a hurricane tidal surge, on the North Shores of Lake Pontchartrain, Slidell,La. And it also happens that this same Eden Isle Subdivision has now been obliterated by Hurricane Katrina. So you can't help but wonder how reliable a source Joe Towers can be??
Unfortunately for the Rush Limbaugh-Fox-National Review-Karl Rowe-Clear Channel-pro Bush hate anti environmentalists-Green Genocide misinformation disinformation www.frontpagemagazine.com right wing radical groupies, Joe Towers is not the best of a reliable source. Why?
On Sept.28,2005 the GAO issued a report that stated "if the barriers had been constructed. the flooding in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina would have been worse" http://www.saveourwetlands.org/



http://www.saveourwetlands.org/
2.
konaneComment by konane - November 11, 2005, 6:18 pm
Yes and if the greens hadn't blocked so many of these proposals in court then they would probably have been built, New Orleans not damaged as heavily as it was. There is a litany of green lawsuits on the books to examine which speak for themselves.

You also need to find how much allocated money was misappropriated by state and local governments in charge. Do some research and you'll find plenty that was funneled illegally into other non-related projects .... and I believe governments in charge of that money were Democratic...... the LEFT.

However, folks are forgetting one law of nature ...... water seeks its own level and New Orleans is how many feet below sea level ?????????????

...And Katrina was a Category-4 which wipes out everything ......

Before condemning frontpagemagazine and other carefully researched and documented conservative sources, please check to see how many Marxist/communist underpinnings the sacred environmentalist groups have ..... the follow an obvious crumb trail of their mission which is to turn back the clock about 500 years and fully destroy the capitalistic economic base of this nation.   

No economic base, no nation period.... you can kiss the US goodbye if the left succeeds in its goals. We can watch the US go in the same downward spiral Europe is irreversibly committed to, and personally don't feel all the fires being set in France by molotov tails are environmentally beneficial.

With energy prices at the forefront of discussion am sure the nation will be examining environmental groups, their funding (some of the foundations which fund enviros also fund terror groups worldwide so it seems the funders know the enviros missions), their associations and in some cases some enviro groups claimed responsibility for carrying out acts of domestic terrorism. Their blockage of refineries and drilling are directly responsible for high energy costs now.   

From their sincere origins in the 60's when I was a young adult, environmental groups have mutated into a contemporary monster that doesn't have a hell of a lot to be proud of today.
3.
Comment by healing - November 13, 2005, 5:04 pm
Investigations Into La. Levee Breaks Mount

By BRETT MARTEL, Associated Press Writer Thu Nov 10,
9:27 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS - A federal prosecutor said Thursday he's
pursuing tips about corruption relating to the
building and maintenance of levees that broke during
Hurricane Katrina.
ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, new evidence has surfaced suggesting steel
reinforcements driven into parts of the failed levee
system were not nearly as deep as the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers had thought.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said his office is focused on
the political and business relationships of those
involved in building the levees, not whether the
levees were poorly designed or improperly built.

"We're not in the business of trying to second-guess
if something could have been designed and built
better," Letten said. "Our investigation is looking
into whether there was illegal conduct, whether it be
diversion of funds ... that would have contributed to
poor execution of the work."

Letten refused to give names or discuss specifically
what officials or others were alleged to have done. He
said only that he had received "information that there
were individuals in positions of responsibility that
had conflicts of interest, and that's something we're
always interested in."

Letten declined to say whether he's investigating
federal or local officials. However, local agencies
handle most of the building and maintenance of levees.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is officially
responsible for design and construction, but sometimes
that means little more than reviewing plans and
inspecting work.

Design drawings show that steel pilings reinforcing
the levees should have been driven to a depth of 17
feet below sea level.

Preliminary findings by an investigative team,
however, suggest that didn't happen in the case of the
17th Street Canal levee, which sent floodwaters
through hundreds of homes and into the center of the
city when it broke.

The team, led by Louisiana State University civil
engineering professor Ivor van Heerden, found through
sonar tests that sheet pilings at the canal went to
only 10 feet below sea level.

Steve Spencer, chief engineer for Orleans Parish
levees, said his agency followed the plans under Corps
guidelines. He said he could not explain without
further investigation the discrepancy between the
17-foot depth in the designs and the 10-foot depth
found by van Heerden's team.

Independent engineers have said the levees wouldn't
have been strong enough even at 17 feet, because they
were built on loose, porous soil that is prone to
having water seep through it. To compensate, they
said, builders should have used stronger earthen
material and driven steel pilings far below the
18.5-foot depth of the canal bottom.

Corps engineer Fred Young declined to speculate about
the implications of van Heerden's findings.

"To me, the design drawing shows it should have been
at minus 17. I don't know what (the LSU team) is doing
and how they're getting minus 10," Young said. "We're
looking into it."

No one has been able to look at the sheet piling that
was torn out of the levee when it breached. Van
Heerden said he asked to see it but was told it was
buried under dirt at the construction site where the
levee is being repaired and could not be dug up right
away.

Several agencies are looking into possible wrongdoing
in regard to levee building and maintenance. State
Attorney General Charles Foti and Orleans Parish
District Attorney Eddie Jordan have said they're
conducting their own investigations.


4.
konaneComment by konane - November 14, 2005, 8:03 am
He said he could not explain without
further investigation the discrepancy between the
17-foot depth in the designs and the 10-foot depth
found by van Heerden's team."

One obvious big hole in the initial findings is that the pilings were driven into silt and by its nature silt sinks which would make the footing of the piling go deeper into the silt over time, hence less of the top of it to be at sea level. That's a no brainer and actually not worth taking up blog space to argue.

Use street sense logic in following or building on conspiracy theories and you might look a bit more knowledgeable.

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