Katrina and Kyoto: Robert Kennedy Using Tragedy for Political Posturing

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Robert Kennedy Jr.

Breathtaking. Robert Kennedy, Jr. writes a post in today’s HuffPo entitled “For They That Sow the Wind, Shall Reap the Whirlwind.”

Incredible. There are bodies floating in the water in New Orleans and Kennedy rushes to the microphones to blame Katrina on the Bush Administration — because we didn’t sign the Kyoto Protocol:

Now we are all learning what it’s like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which [Haley] Barbour [then-head of the RNC] and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and–now–Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children.

I guess he must have missed yesterday’s New York Times which reported no link between global warming and hurricanes.

What? If you’re a Kennedy you don’t have to get your facts right?

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Hat tip to and See Jim Glassman’s outstanding Tech Central Station column today for more on the decrease in the number and force of hurricanes. . .

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14 Responses

  1. Katrina and Kyoto: Robert Kennedy Using Trag…

    Katrina and Kyoto: Robert Kennedy Using Trag…

  2. Waco Kid says:

    Sorry Charmaine, but Penguin Proletariat is firmly behind Bobby Jr. on this one. http://penguinproletariat.com/archives/379

  3. charmaine says:

    Oh no!! Say it isn’t so! 🙂

    How do you . . .

    Wait a minute! Very funny, Mike. Ya had me going there. That’s hilarious.

  4. Eric Jaffa says:

    You can make jokes about Robert Kennedy, Jr., but will you also make jokes about the Army Corps of Engineers?

    The Bush Administrations didn’t give them the money they needed to fix the levee before the hurricane.

    From

    http://www.pnionline.com/dnblog/attytood/archives/002331.html

    Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

    Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security — coming at the same time as federal tax cuts — was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars. (Much of the research here is from Nexis, which is why some articles aren’t linked.)

    In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to this Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness:

    The $750 million Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project is another major Corps project, which remains about 20% incomplete due to lack of funds, said Al Naomi, project manager. That project consists of building up levees and protection for pumping stations on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Jefferson parishes.

  5. Hurricane Blogging…Cotillion Style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  6. Hurricane Blogging…Cotillion Style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  7. Hurricane Blogging…Cotillion Style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  8. Hurricane Blogging…Cotillion Style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  9. Hurricane Blogging…Cotillion Style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  10. Hurricane Blogging…Cotillion Style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  11. Hurricane Blogging…Cotillion Style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  12. Cotillion says:

    Hurricane blogging…cotillion style

    Despite the rumors… Katrina is not a member of Cotillion. She was just a little too mean (that has to be awfully mean) and destructive for our tastes (really, disaster areas are so passe). The Cotillion bloggers have joined the…

  13. The Drill SGT says:

    Eric,

    those comments are off the mark. Here’s why.

    1. Katrina was a Cat 5 downgrading to Cat 4 as it came ashore.

    2. It came ashore East of New Orleans.

    3. Strongest winds are on the East side, e.g. Mississippi side, but the backhand West side winds would have driven the lake into the levee.

    4. Per Chicago Trib

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-050901corps,1,7189346.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday that a lack of funding for hurricane-protection projects around New Orleans did not contribute to the disastrous flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina.

    In a telephone interview with reporters, corps officials said that although portions of the flood-protection levees remain incomplete, the levees near Lake Pontchartrain that gave way–inundating much of the city–were completed and in good condition before the hurricane.

    However, they noted that the levees were designed for a Category 3 hurricane and couldn’t handle the ferocious winds and raging waters from Hurricane Katrina, which was a Category 4 storm when it hit the coastline. The decision to build levees for a Category 3 hurricane was made decades ago based on a cost-benefit analysis.

    “I don’t see that the level of funding was really a contributing factor in this case,” said Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, chief of engineers for the corps. “Had this project been fully complete, it is my opinion that based on the intensity of this storm that the flooding of the business district and the French Quarter would have still taken place.”

    5. so in summary, you have a Cat 4 storm hitting smack on a fully functional, fully completed levee operating as designed to stop a Cat 3 storm. It Failed. No surprise. No lack of funding, no conspiracy. Built for a Cat 3, it wasn’t strong enough. The decision I epxect was made after the 1965 Hurricane.

  14. Vinnie Vegas says:

    Reliance on Kyoto is misplaced. Even if we were to accept RFK Jr.’s premise, the standards would not have come into effect until 2008.

    In other words, if President Bush signed Kyoto the afternoon of his innauguration in 2000, there’s no way that move would have made an environmental impact in 2005, since the standards wouldn’t have come into effect until 2008.

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