‘We are not OK. We are desperate.’
“We talk,” quipped Reed Kroloff, dean of architecture at Tulane University, “about getting together to talk about the next time we are going to get together to talk about what we need to be talking about.”
“…People are killing themselves,” Tebo said this week in a Garden District coffee shop.
“All these meetings aren’t working. All these plans they talk about aren’t working.”
Reading this article in the LA Times was incredibly sobering; here’s a city and people who are desperate and yet action is lacking. This does not bode well for the predicted peak oil or global warming scenario and lots of meetings and conferences have sprung up to tackle these looming crises. Talk is good and there is a time for it; however, if talk isn’t followed by action then we are on a road to nowhere.
Meetings tend to give one a comforting feeling – perhaps too comforting? There’s a danger of havng too many meetings. We can be lulled into believing that we have actually done something to fix the problem since we went to a meeting about the problem. The hard facts are that we as individuals are going to have take steps to change our lives. One day, we are going to have journey past the comfortable zone of meetings, conference, round table discussions and into the uncharted territory of actions and those taking up this challenge for our future/survival – they are the true pioneers.
I remember walking from Bayou St John to the French Quarter down Canal Street (which was a mess, litter and junk everywhere). Many people were hanging around waiting for I don’t know what and in the midst of these loiterers, there was a one woman (not an outside contractor, day laborer or city worker) picking up trash, sweeping the sidewalk and gutter. Amazed and encouraged by what we saw, someone said “now there’s someone doing something!.” She wasn’t’ hanging around, standing in line for a hand out, waiting for assistance or attending one of the many community meetings that are popping up – she’s was out cleaning up Canal Street.
The crisis in New Orleans is real life, not some woeful scenario from a book or video. One day, there could be a lot more New Orleans and we could be in their shoes. When will we wake up and say ‘we are not OK. We are desperate’ , grab a broom, trash bag and get to work?
The other night on the NBC evening news, it was reported that the 17th street levee was built to specifications after all. Previous reports has said that the Army Corps of Engineers were to blame because sonar testing determined that the levees were not built to the mandatory height.
This latest report leaves residents, businesses and city officials all paralyzed. If there is no one to blame now, how can they rebuild if the entire system is defective?
To redo the entire levee system would cost taxpayers more than $32 billion.