An article in the Dallas Morning News today quotes a member of the peer review team that studied the Corps of Engineers’ levee failures in 2005.
The independence of the team assembled by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) was challenged so vigorously that it prompted an investigation which resulted in stern criticism of the way ASCE does its reviews.
In the Dallas piece, Dr. Robert B. Gilbert, a University of Texas engineering professor didn’t mention an important point – that responsibility for the design and construction of New Orleans’ levees belongs to the Corps, a federal agency. Gilbert also claims “it’s hard to stop failures from happening,” which of course is complete hogwash, and a clear attempt, we feel, to deflect blame.
Since the oil geyser erupted on the Gulf floor, we firmly advised everyone to call it the BP oil disaster, NOT the Gulf disaster. This is to keep the focus on the human beings responsible for the monster.
Similarly, for the past five years, we have also firmly advised everyone to call the flooding in New Orleans in 2005 as the flooding ’caused by the Corps of Engineers’ levee failures.’
Again, using the wrong terminology protects the human beings responsible. In the case of New Orleans, blaming Katrina for the flooding protects the Army Corps.
Click here for the Dallas Morning News story.