Seems my Pompeii comment might have some merit:

According to a Washington, DC-based news network colleague who just spoke to a reporter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the death toll from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans alone may top 4000. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said “thousands” in his city may have died. Former Mayor Marc Morial said that New Orleans may have to be abandoned like Pompeii. According to the reporter in Baton Rouge, there are hundreds and hundreds of bodies that have been seen by TV news choppers floating in the streets of New Orleans and surrounding communities. Health officials also expect further casualties from disease from people drinking contaminated water. The situation in coastal Mississippi is also dire, with the death toll there also expected to rise precipitously. Another contact in Mobile reports that a number of people who attempted to evacuate New Orleans and other surrounding communities were forced to return home after they were caught in the leading edge of Katrina while stuck in long traffic jams and feared being caught in floods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its head Michael Brown, a Bush political appointee and a partisan Republican operative from Oklahoma, have been irresponsible in planning for Katrina. Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff also bears reponsibility for not ensuring adequate planning for a major disaster that had been predicted for years.

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Playing the Odds

Nightline had a story on last night about New Orleans (yes, I actually watched a television) and the damage done by Katrina. Late in the segment was a proposal by some geologist (I think) that New Orlean’s build a 25 foot “sea wall” around the entire city. Strangely, it never seems to occur to anyone that the city shouldn’t be rebuilt in a major flood zone. New Orleans sits below sea level and “sea surge” from high winds can swamp the levies presently used to hold back the ocean.

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Top 10 Resolutions for the World

10 Resolutions for the World (repeat at least twice every day) –

1) Stop killing people.
2) Stop believing lies.
3) Stop supporting the system.
4) Stop tearing up the place.
5) Stop blowing up buildings, people, dogs, busses, trains.
6) Stop building. Everything.
7) Stop manufacturing. We’ve got enough.
8) Stop driving. Ride a bike. Walk.
9) Stop obeying. You’re a slave. Understand it and stop doing it.
10) Stop complaining. Do something about it.

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Perpetuating the Status Quo

While contemplating the fate of the world this morning, I spend a moment reading an article in the Mother Earth News magazine.

With the price of oil above $50 a barrel, political instability in the Middle East on the rise, and little slack in the world oil economy, we need a new energy strategy. Fortunately, a new stategy is emerging using two new technologies.Gas-electric hybrid engines and advanced-design wind turbines offer a way to wean ourselves from imported oil. If over the next decade we convert the U.S. automobile fleet to gas-electric hybrids with the efficiency of today’s Toyota Prius, we could cut our gasoline use in half. No change in the number of vehicles, no change in miles driven — just doing it more efficiently.

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Junk Lives

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

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Bypassing the Bush Adminstration

America’s north-eastern states are on the brink of a declaration of environmental independence with the introduction of mandatory controls on greenhouse gas emissions of the kind rejected by the Bush administration.

Cool! But it’s not enough. Not even close.

I don’t want to seem churlish, but this photo-opportunity approach to resolving Climate Destabilization is, in practical terms, more of a twitch in a toe than something as significant as a first small step.

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Religous Fervor

There is an insidious danger lurking in the world today that is hell bent on a path of destruction and death.

The religious right of the twenty-first century America is anti-American, inherently violent, and a cruel, tyrannical, punitive, force of death and destruction. In its mindset, adult human lives do not matter because the human condition itself is inherently evil resulting in eternal and everlasting punishment in hell unless its members are redeemed in a prescribed manner by the fundamentalist God/man/savior, Jesus Christ. Moreover, with an embarrassingly adolescent flamboyance, Dominionists shamelessly rape, pillage, and desecrate the earth because in the first place, their Bible has given them authority over all things human and in the second place, their “imminent” apocalyptic rapture, transporting them from the human “veil of tears” to live happily ever after in heaven, entitles them to do so. – The Religious Right – An Anti-American Terrorist Movement by Carolyn Baker

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Spread the word :)