The Memory Hole Beckons...

I’ve found the first case of the memory hole being employed in the wake of Katrina, the government has begun pulling websites that say it knew what might happen in Lousiana.

Earlier in the week, I heard Fox doing their “fair and balanced” bit by having a left leaning eco-nut (as the interoffice memo probably refered to him) on one of their shows in the middle of the day, probably about 40 minutes past the hour to insure no one would actually see him - except me as I was eating lunch at the time. Anyhow, he kept throwing out that the government has known that the destruction of the Mississippi wetlands posed a serious risk to just this type of issue with a big hurricane. The coastal regions of Lousiana have been losing 25 - 35 square miles of land each year. This brings the water in closer proximity to people, and lowers the required amount of water needed for a serious flood.

I was just reading through some of the latest news and trying to verify some of the things I’ve heard earlier in the week. The commentator on Fox said that it would have taken $15 billion to fix the problem, but no one wanted to step up to the plate for that kind of money. Of course, if the wetlands could have created IEDs, I’m sure we could have declared war on them and figured out a way to rebuild the wetland way of life, but that’s another story. Anyhow, Google came to the rescue when I searched for cost to fix the mississippi delta. #4 is a link to the American Society of Civil Engineers and their July 2004 - yes, let that sink in - their July 2004 article entitled Reengineering the Mississippi in which they mention the following…

In 1998 the State of Louisiana and the federal agencies involved in the reclamation and preservation of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands developed a new coastal restoration plan, Coast 2050: Toward a Sustainable Coastal Louisiana. The goal of the plan is to restore or mimic the natural processes that formed and sustained the Mississippi River Delta. This will require basinwide action to reestablish or simulate the natural hydrology and sediment introduction processes. Coast 2050 named some 500 potential projects and estimated the total cost at $14 billion.

Emphasis mine… Folks, we’re talking 7 years ago! They knew this was a problem and came up with a solution 7 years ago!

Ok, but the rabbit hole doesn’t end there. Now I’ve verified the dollar amount by a billion dollars. We’re at $14 billion, or three months worth of our expenses in Iraq to save American lives and insure the future stability of an entire region of our country. Time to find out about this “Coast 2050” project. Google again, Coast 2050 which couldn’t have been more helpful. They even set up a site for their project report… But wait, what’s this?

A 404 error from the USGS - and shit… 10 minutes ago I could have got a screen shot with the logo the address, everything, but now it seems the server won’t even respond from here. I can access the site from my server, so it is still up. Here’s the text that’s coming up

[tswicegood@gavel tswicegood]$ links --dump
   Link to USGS home page

                                 Lost and Found

   You have arrived at this page because there was no way to determine which
   web server you were trying to reach. The links below may be helpful in
   finding what you were looking for.

    USGS Home  Biology  Geology  Geography  Water

   Served from Menlo Park, CA .


    U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
    If you have any questions about this web page, please contact  and
    reference the site name, and the URL you were
    trying to reach, if you know it.
    Privacy Statement || Disclaimer

Folks - that is being tampered with right now… I could access it as, but now it’s only responding to Never fear though, kept a record.

Here’s the first three sentance from September 24th, 2004 which have remained unchanged since at least December 9th, 2000 :

Wetland loss in coastal Louisiana has reached catastrophic proportions, with current losses of 25-35 square miles per year. Since the magnitude of the problem was identified in the 1970s, we have gained much insight into the processes that lead to wetland creation and destruction. The disappearance of Louisiana?s wetlands threatens the enormous productivity of its coastal ecosystems, the economic viability of its industries, and the safety of its residents.

Emphasis mine again, but this is unbelievable. An enterprising journalist should file a freedom of information act suit for the server logs from the webserver that houses and figure out when it was pulled. If it was pulled this last week, this is the smoking gun that points the finger at everyone who has ever seen the Coast 2050 report and whoever ordered that the site be pulled.

I’m sure I’ll have more on this as I mull it over, but this is flooring me at the moment.

Author’s noteThe first draft of this was published without an editing - I’ve gone in and added a few words I left out and added the final sentence and this note