What Went Wrong
Many, many things, but I’ll only name three:
10,000 members of the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama National Guards are in Iraq, and so are unable to mobilize for this domestic crisis.
Coastal erosion has resulted in the reduction of the buffer between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico from 150 miles of marshland to 60 miles; because of this, hurricanes have less time to lose strength over land before striking the city. Much of this erosion is due to offshore drilling, as well as to the rising seas that are resulting from global warming.
The budget for shoring up and protecting New Orleans’s levee system was slashed to almost nothing in 2003, as the administration looked for ways to fund the war in Iraq.
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