Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Doc Review: Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke"

Checked out part I & II of Spike Lee's latest the other night, a documentary that's often described as the "Hurricane Katrina story" but watching it makes you realize that the title is more apt—the situation was influenced by Katrina, but it was really the breaching of the levees that caused the flooding and the chain of events that the government failed to react to. The story was new to me, since I was unaware of the full magnitude of the situation because I was recovering from my "tree incident" which occured on the same weekend. I was shocked to see what was happening and how long it took our country to get in gear and begin the clean up. 40,000 people sleeping in filth inside the Superdome for 4 days. Dead bodies on the freeway. People trapped in their homes with water up to the roofs. No organization, no leader, no plan of escape for 4 days. What is even more frightening watching this at a distance of a year and a half later, is the fact that as global warming continues out of control, polar ice caps melt, sea levels will rise. When this happens, the world's coastal cities will face the same situation as New Orleans. We're talking cities such as Manhattan, Beijing, Boston, all of Florida, the lowland European countries, underwater. In today's Washington Post, Marc Kaufman writes: "Last year was the warmest in the continental United States in the past 112 years -- capping a nine-year warming streak "unprecedented in the historical record" that was driven in part by the burning of fossil fuels, the government reported yesterday. According to the government's National Climatic Data Center, the record-breaking warmth -- which caused daffodils and cherry trees to bloom throughout the East on New Year's Day -- was the result of both unusual regional weather patterns and the long-term effects of the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere." Is anyone else freaking out about this?

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