I'm pretty depressed about this whole mess. The human tragedy alone is bad enough. There are still ppl out there who haven't had food or water in 3 days. Some of the elderly, sick, and babies must be dieing at this point.
But for a country for whom energy is everything, and whose energy infrastructure is stretched pretty thin, it really scares me to think of the economic implications of taking such a hit. This region is vital to extracting our own crude, to importing crude, and to refining. It could have an impact on winter heating prices. Can the US absorb $600-800 monthly heating bills while motor fuel prices are above 3.00? The population is stretched pretty thin on credit already. What's that going to do to the X-mas shopping season? Where does that leave us?
Can the US absorb the hit of losing that much economic activity in such an important place for however many months it is going to take?
And finally, the management. Everyone knew NOLA was a deathtrap. And apparently the hydro-management funding was cut short to fund the Iraq adventure. W doesn't leave his vacation for three days afterwards, at which point he flies over in AF1. Couldn't this have been averted? Couldn't it have been managed more effectively? I don't know if there's anything W could realistically do, but it doesn't even look like he's trying.
I'm not comfortable seeing the US look like a third world country all day on the TV. It is so depressing, but it is too hard to turn the damn thing off. I don't like thinking, "well, I saw NOLA when I was ten" any more than I like thinking "only got to NY after the towers were gone." My children won't have seen either.
This is so fucked up. And the economic, political, energy ramifications are frightening to the extreme. This could be a catalyst. It's just going to take weeks to unfold.