Rebuilding New Orleans
There has been some chatter about whether or not we should even bother rebuilding New Orleans, given it's devestation and the very real chance that similar devastation will occur again in the future. This is, in reality, a stupid question. We must have New Orleans, and we much have it where it is. This Stratfor article does a great job explaining why. Read it all, but here is the final conclusion:
New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located, but exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given, a city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating. The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the city will return because it has to. Geopolitics is the stuff of permanent geographical realities and the way they interact with political life. Geopolitics created New Orleans. Geopolitics caused American presidents to obsess over its safety. And geopolitics will force the city's resurrection, even if it is in the worst imaginable place.Now, can we make New Orleans more resistant to hurricane damage? Possibly, although there comes a point when the cost of prevention exceeds the cost of rebuilding, even rebuilding multiple time. I don't know how hardened New Orleans can be to this sort of disaster, and I can't say if it is feasible to make it much tougher or not. We should of course do what we can. I don't know if New Orleans can ever reasonably be expected to survive a taking a Cat 5 in the teeth, but it does seem that it should have come through Katrina much better, and a few simple things could have made that happen.