Human Contribution And Environmental Issues

Better Essays
Herby Thomas
Human Contribution to Environmental Issues
SC4730 Environment Science
Roger Boeken

How did human actions contribute to increasing the devastation in this area?
Parts of New Orleans are below sea level and surrounded by bodies of water. Built on a natural levee next to the Mississippi river, the city has experienced cyclical flooding since its founding in 1718. Throughout the centuries, human intervention has reconstructed the landscape in a number of ways which has made New Orleans more vulnerable to storms and flooding: destruction of sand bars; deforestation along the riverbank; construction of ditches and levees; drainage of swamps; and the construction that accompanies urbanization and industrialization. Such
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The case historically traces factors and patterns of unsustainable development that pushed more people in harm 's way of Hurricane Katrina. It presents the constant struggle faced by the city agencies in keeping the city dry and how all their efforts focused on engineering the environment. At the turn of the century, New Orleans was as vulnerable as ever, if not more, making one ask if the transactions between human society and the environment had been worth it. The levees accentuated its bowl-like features, the pumps caused subsidence and sinking of the city, and the destruction of wetlands opened up its frontiers to an imminent "Big One". Not only did these efforts fail in keeping away the waters, but also by allowing expansion of the city into the lower ground these efforts placed more of the population at risk. Economically and racially segregated, New Orleans 's poor and black population occupied the vulnerable lower ground of the city. In the face of frequent hurricanes, the city agencies did relatively little to prepare for a hurricane of the scale of Hurricane Katrina. Failure of management local, state, and federal leaders was unable to communicate with one another to coordinate a centralized response to Hurricane Katrina.
The Louisiana state emergency plan stated that the mayor was responsible for “initiating, executing, and directing the
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