Learning to live in the shadow of environmental doom

Do we have what it will take for New Orleans to survive the next Big One?

One opinion from a young native New Orleanian, in view of the recent environmental devastation around the state. Some excerpts:

Growing up in Louisiana doesn’t exactly instill strong faith in the fairness or integrity of government or official agencies. The lopsided Katrina “recovery” solidified my cynicism….

…There is so much raw sadness here, so much raw joy. So many of my fellow citizens are treated without dignity or respect and they still manage to maintain open hearts and a clear-eyed love for the city. There is an art to pleasure here, life for life’s sake. Why can’t all the beauty here be enough to assure New Orleans’ survival?

The August floods spared the city while places 45 minutes away were ravaged. Countless thousands of Louisianans are now mourning a life that will be forever marked by the dumbfounding destruction floodwaters bring. My heart aches for them. And I feel stunned, the way you would if an 18-wheeler jackknifed and flipped on the Interstate 100 yards ahead of you….

…I know to live honestly in New Orleans I have to live like the imminence of disaster is a reality. If you choose to live here now, you’re signing up for a second job, which is helping this city survive. The question is whether enough of us will assume that burden.

Source: Katrina remembered: Learning to live in the shadow of environmental doom | The Lens

About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

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