Swelter In Place

To begin on a positive note, the levees and flood control system held.

Things might be bad, but New Orleans isn’t drowning.

There’s flooding south and west of the city, and I don’t want to ignore or minimize that, but this isn’t the nightmare of 2005.

Given the circumstances, that’s not good news, but better than the horror of sixteen years ago.

Also, my personal circumstances are lucky, like-winning-the-lottery-lucky. My power didn’t go out (note: I’m in Baton Rouge, not NOLA, but something like 80 percent of the grid went down here).

And this was quite the storm. As bad as I’ve ever seen.

Katrina affected this area; hurricanes in 2008 (Gustav) and 2012 (Isaac) knocked my power out for several days (others had power outages for far longer, so I lucked out there, too).

Anyway, sorry to digress, but if nothing else, the news from here is as good an argument as any that now is an excellent time to discuss infrastructure.

Because, while preferable to drowning in a mix of water and toxic residue, it sucks if you’ve got –at best– a portable or standby generator to deal with the heat and humidity of a late Loosiana summer.

(Another digression: not to get too snarky, but funny how the libertarians aren’t jumping on this, um, opportunity, if you can call it that, to make their argument…)

Standby generators are super expensive to install and run.

Portable generators cost less, but good luck finding fuel, and they’re pretty limited (lights, fridge, fans/evaporative coolers, maybe a window a/c off and on).

Plus, fans or evaporative coolers are poor substitutes for air conditioning in this day and age (can hardly believe I survived high school, a college dormitory, and one or two apartments, with only fans and large windows…but that was decades ago).

Hardening, smartening (is that even a word?), and adding redundancies to the grid should be a major part of the Democratic Party agenda.

Would it eliminate power outages caused by a major hurricane?

No, probably not, but it might speed up repair/restoration.

And when you’re dealing with the misery (and it’s fucking miserable, I assure you), any improvement is a good thing.

Of course, it would help if the Fourth Estate would, I dunno, function as something other than a gossip mill and horse race calculator, not that I have any expectations…

In the meantime, send some cool thoughts in this direction if you’re so inclined, and remember what we’re dealing with.

The Democrats might not be particularly good, but the alternative is catastrophic.

The difference between 2005 and 2021…