Saturday, September 10, 2005

There But For The Grace of God...

Kodakgallery.com ?Slideshow

A friend of mine passed this site on to me. They are powerful photos taken by a young Honduran man who was working in one of the hotels in New Orleans during Katrina and the ensuing flood. There are almost 200 of them and it is worth every minute to look at each and read his comments as he tells the story of the storm, the flood, and his escape from the city.

What has this to do with Egypt? Like New Orleans, Cairo lies on the banks of one of the major rivers of this world, a river that has also been dammed for flood control. Like Louisiana, Egypt has been losing land as the sediments that used to feed the Delta no longer come down the river but are deposited behind the dams. Like Louisiana, Egypt has many important sites that would be damaged or destroyed by flooding and even more important we have a lot of very poor people who would have nowhere to go and no way to get there.
Are we likely to have a hurricane and subsequent damage to levees? No. But we have an enormous dam that does have a fault under it. I also daresay that most of the people living in this country have the same assurance that the dam will always be there holding back the waters of the Nile, just as the people of New Orleans were sure that they were safe behind their levees.

Guess what, everyone. Life isn't safe and we humans have been making it less safe on a daily basis. As we "improve" our world with our dams and reliance on technology, we also move farther and farther out of touch with the power of nature and the necessity of living WITH the forces of nature rather than the ability to ignore or override them. I don't think that governments and businesses are likely to heed this warning that Katrina gave us all. But maybe some of us ordinary folk can keep this in mind and be aware.

I remember a margarine commercial in the US when I was a kid, back from the days before they realised that margarine is actually as bad for you, or even worse for you, as butter. Someone gives Mother Nature a slice of bread with margarine and she thinks it's butter. When she realises that she's been taken in, she fries the person who gave her the bread with a lightning bolt proclaiming, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!"
Maybe we all need to keep that thought, with a slight adjustment, in mind...it's not wise to fool too much with Mother Nature.

2 comments:

Clara said...

That was an amazing link. Thanks for putting it up.

Mary Ann said...

Hey Maryanne I got this when I tried the link:
Album Not Found
We're sorry, but the online album you're looking for is unavailable. The owner may have deleted the album after sharing it with you, or the link you used may be incorrect.

To view the album, please contact the person who originally shared the album with you and ask them to share it again.
Can you advise???