The weather will have turned a bit cooler, hopefully, by the time this October issue hits the street. At least it will officially be fall.
Fall means festival season hereabouts, and this month is loaded with music festivals and events every single weekend, both in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. From Festival Acadiens in Lafayette to the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, the Ponderosa Stomp, Art For Art’s Sake, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, Gentilly Fest, Oktoberfest, the Krewe of Boo! Parade and Zombie Run, even festivals devoted to mac ‘n’ cheese, cochon de lait and beignets. Every single weekend is packed with what we do best: music and food… and of course, there are football games, too (but you can get football any-old-where).
Sometimes I think we New Orleanians get too caught up in the party and the celebration that’s inherent in living in this vibrant city, and less involved in making sure we still have a city to celebrate in coming years.
In the last month we saw incredible devastation in Texas, Florida and many Caribbean islands from hurricanes and tropical storms that, this year, were remarkably strong and violent. Some areas in the Caribbean may never recover. God help the people in the Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, and so many more.
New Orleans and our neighbors on the Louisiana Gulf Coast were lucky again this year. A strong hurricane could just as easily have headed our way. To make matters scarier, New Orleans experienced a severe problem in August with mass flooding in certain areas of the city caused by an antiquated, ineffective and outmoded pumping system. Without those pumps, a bad rain could put us back in Katrina territory.
While I’m thrilled to be able to be in a city like New Orleans, whenever hurricane season rolls around, I start quaking in my shoes when I hear there’s a new tropical depression. It’s been 12 years since Katrina, but during that period of time, we’ve become complacent yet again, which is made even worse by the rising temperatures on this earth. The changing climate is not something that is going to go away on its own. I don’t think this city can possibly withstand another catastrophe like Katrina. We have to think differently and prepare for what I believe is an inevitable event.
I’d suggest that instead of the city priding itself on creating new tech companies that can make a new app to deliver food or electronic publicity, that they encourage entrepreneurs who work in engineering, flood control (call on the Netherlands, for Pete’s sake!) and infrastructure re-crafting to save all of our butts for festival seasons in the future.
We can’t afford to hide our heads in the sand and wait for the fury of nature to blast us away.