I heard that George Bush told New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin the city could be remade into “a shining example for the whole world.” If Bush did say that, it surely wasn’t an environmentally sound renaissance he had in mind. But that is precisely what is needed.
Call it Eco New Orleans. It should encompass not just the city, but the other places blasted by Katrina and by FEMA’s impressively incompetent response. The Eco New Orleans I’m talking about should extend scores of miles in every direction. It should be a place attuned to the definition of sustainable development put forth by the U.N.’s Brundtland Commission: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Some estimates put the cost of rebuilding the city and its neighbors at $150 billion — seven times more than the total amount the feds spent on the nation’s 10 most expensive previous natural disasters. Eco New Orleans would cost even more, take longer, and require forming a plethora of public-private enterprises and overcoming immens... Read more