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2009 November 19 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Australian Bushfire Season Has Started

FireLightning from from recent storms and temperatures in excess of 40°C [96°F] have sparked fires across southern Australia and the island of Tasmania.

The ABC reports that Fire-weary residents too terrified to sleep

As bushfires burn across three states and temperatures soar past 40 degrees in areas with catastrophic fire warnings, some residents say they are too afraid to let down their guard.

Dozens of fires are burning in the north and central west of New South Wales and on Sydney’s northern outskirts.

Two homes are on fire in New South Wales – one at Castle Cove on Sydney’s north shore and at Campbelltown, in Sydney’s south-west.

The NSW Fire Brigade believes the homes may have caught fire after being struck by lightning.

Superintendent Ian Krimmer from the Fire Brigade says fire crews are on the scene and there are no reports of any injuries.

Five blazes are still causing concern at Inverell, Narrabri in the Hawkesbury region and two at Glen Innes.

The El Niño effect that reduces the Atlantic hurricane season produces hot and dry summers in Australia. It is going to be a long and tough fire season.

November 19, 2009   Comments Off on Australian Bushfire Season Has Started

The Sky Is Blue And Water Is Wet

Mark Schleifstein of the News Orleans Times-Picayune writes that reality has been accepted: Corps’ operation of MR-GO doomed homes in St. Bernard, Lower 9th Ward, judge rules

In a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge ruled late Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers’ mismanagement of maintenance at the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet was directly responsible for flood damage in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina.

MR-GO acted like a fire hose against the floodwall and battered it down. That has been shown in every study conducted after Katrina. The wall of water that wiped out the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf coast funneled into the MR-GO and slammed into the floodwall that wasn’t built or designed for such an assault. This problem has been known about since 1988, but nothing was done.

New Orleans didn’t sustain much damage at all from the storm itself, because the eye passed to the East of the city. It was the failure of the levees and floodwalls that killed hundreds and destroyed neighborhoods.

The government will certainly appeal this ruling, because accepting responsibility for their screw-ups is not in their nature.

November 19, 2009   6 Comments