September 01, 2005

Katrina's Aftermath
**

The skyscrapers are standing but gutted. On television the French Quarter appears to be destroyed and under water. People are demonstrating the worst behavior imaginable, and flooding is getting worse. Hundreds are dead, and gas prices are going up and up. Perhaps this is a wakeup call, not just for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but the United States of America. Our behavior in Iraq and the Middle East is only symptomatic of our addiction to oil. The flow of oil can be disrupted right here at home. And, yes, we are addicted to “black gold.” We must work damn hard to achieve FREEDOM from our dependence on oil through alternative energy sources.

We need to fix New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. We need to help the unfortunate folks whose homes have been flooded and strewn over the flood plain by Katrina to reconstruct their lives. We need to make sure that Gulf Coast cities are thoroughly protected by levies of adequate construction to prevent such a future disaster. Finally, we must cure the entire nation of our disastrous dependence on oil.

I am personally donating money to the American Friends Service Committee for relief along the Gulf Coast. The Quakers are much more likely to do good things for the unfortunate people of the region than anyone I can think of, and they will not proselytize while doing so.

** “Hurricanes,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: US Department of Commerce. http://hurricanes.noaa.gov/ . August 4, 2005, 5:30 PM EDT. Viewed Monday, August 29, 2005 AM. EDT.


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