Right hook

Blame liberals for Katrina’s carnage

“The road to hell,” it has been said, “is paved with good intentions.”

And so it is that I happened across this little well-intentioned prediction: “There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production—with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food production could begin quite soon. … The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.”

Newsweek published that on April 28, 1975. So there you have it: Hand-wringing environmentally unbalanced liberals have been bleating over the dangers of development and global warming for more than 30 years.

Yet, like many liberal causes, reality is conspicuously absent from the forecast. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, developed and rural residential land comprises about 139 million acres, or 6.1 percent, of the total land area in the United States. By comparison, forest land comprises about 747 million acres. (My goodness, if it weren’t for all the tree huggers, would there only be 746 million acres?)

So as I understand it, all the big bad development companies have to be stopped, or the environment and life as we know it is doomed. Or something.

Characteristically, global-warming Chicken Littles have hatched in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Witness Chief Chicken Little and former vice president Al Gore’s recent speech reminding his Republican (and hence “anti-environment") brethren of what we can expect from failing to learn the lessons of Hurricane Katrina.

After Katrina put the kibosh on his originally scheduled speech in New Orleans, Gore took his gig on the road to San Francisco. Once there, he had this to say to his friendly group of greenies. “[T]he warnings about global warming have been extremely clear for a long time. We are facing a global climate crisis. It is deepening. We are entering a period of consequences.”

Then, in reference to New Orleans, he continued, “It’s important to establish accountability in order to make our democracy work.” View the full text at www.commondreams.org/views05/0912-32.htm.

Unfortunately for Mr. Environment, he forgot that he was addressing the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club, you may wish to note, was one of several environmental groups that sued the Army Corps of Engineers back in 1996 to stop them from raising, fortifying and otherwise upgrading some 303 miles of environmentally unfriendly levees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. (Can anyone say, “Oops"?)

And they weren’t alone in their assault on New Orleans. Back in 1974, the stalwart guardians of the environment at Save Our Wetlands filed suit and stopped a congressionally funded plan to protect New Orleans with a hurricane barrier.

That group proudly proclaims a whole host of successes on its Web site, www.saveourwetlands.org/history.html, to-wit: “FACT: While politicians talk, SOWL sues! SOWL has been involved in countless lawsuits involving Lake Ponchartrain on every subject.”

Of course, now the dolts claim that even if the levees had been updated, it wouldn’t have stopped Katrina’s destruction. ("It wasn’t our fault,” they whine, “it was that global-warming thing.")

So my question is this: Among the people to be held “accountable” for the flooding of New Orleans, would that include all the well intentioned people at the Sierra Club and Save Our Wetlands, or are we still on the blame-Bush bandwagon?