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Five of Seven
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I was going through some old magazines and found this article in the December 2005 issue of Outside magazine:

"Aftershock, by Ace Atkins
Hurricane Katrina transformed the Gulf Coast into a surreal, swiftly changing landscape of devastation and survival. In the days that followed, a photographer and a Mississippi writer traveled along the coast to New Orleans, documenting the impact of the biggest natural disaster in American history.
A few days after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, I met a geologist in Waveland, Mississippi, whose parents' home had been moved hundreds of feet to the dead center of a railroad track. He worked in what was left, pulling out family photos and mementos as he talked about the sea-floor muck that had churned up into the 20-foot surges as they beat on the house.
Covered in brown mud, he explained his M&M theory.
"Civilization is just the candy coating," he said.
I believe he was talking about the homes and businesses and roads that humans build. But in the days after Katrina, as photographer Larry Towell and I traveled the Gulf Coast, that candy coating was scraped away from normal social behavior, too. As law enforcement, public works, and the availability of gas broke down, the coasts of Mississippi and Louisiana mirrored the Mad Max movies I'd watched as a teenager.
People were stealing fuel. Looting to survive became acceptable. Survivors with demolished homes broke into nearby dwellings for shelter. There was paranoia and fear, and we were in it."

That's the beginning of the article. The rest of it is just a description of Katrina and the people trying to deal with the damage.
 

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I am good without god.
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858 Posts
I think a certain part of it is culture and how people are used to reacting to things.
 

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I am good without god.
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858 Posts
I read the full article. Coming from that and having read several other articles from that magazine I think they are the outdoor equivalent of vogue magazine. They cater to those who are more akin to white collar hikers and campers and kayak users rather than those who go to the outdoors as hunters and anglers.

I would not trust them to write much of real substance. The way the article was written reminded me more of fluff than hard news, especially after reading quite a few accounts of those who were in New Orleans before, during and after Katrina.
 

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Premium Member
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IMO, one of the best books about the whole Katrina situation was The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley. He did an excellent job of covering the many different aspects of the situation. One part I remember was where he said that within hours, the state-of-the-art communications in NO was reduced to one law enforcement officer shouting at another through the open windows of their vehicles. He also made an excellent contrast between the handling of the residents at the local Human Society shelter and that of the local nursing homes. This is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it.

Another book I read about Katrina (can't remember the title right now) dealt with the fact that almost all of our so-called natural disasters have much worse impacts due to unwise human decisions. For example, building a major population center below sea level, weakening building codes to make it easier for development, allowing destruction of the coastal marshes, etc. all combined to make Katrina's impact much worse. If the city had been differently located, with better building codes for both the levees and homes, and the natural barrier marshes and islands had been left intact, we would probably remember Katrina as a bad storm but not as one bringing such tremendous devastation. The author of this second book called for us to stop blaming nature for things that were actually due to human actions (and could be prevented if we really wanted to pay the price to stop them). Pretty interesting and an eye opening look at how many so-called Acts of God or Nature are exacerbated severely by idiot things people have done.
 
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