Empire and Nationhood

The sources used by Mary Ann Heiss in Empire and Nationhood are successful in providing credible background for her statements regarding British and American sentiments during the Iranian Oil dispute. The lack of sources from Iran means that it is a largely a two, instead of three sided account of the events. She creates a detailed picture of the negotiations from a western viewpoint using largely the correspondences of Great Britain and the United States while the viewpoint of the Iranians is pieced together from secondary sources and public announcements. The cultural bias of the western representatives is commented on, so although there is a record of Iranian negotiations, they are biased and often indignant descriptions by diplomats.
The overview of the Anglo-Iranian Oil crisis draws on many secondary works and a few books or articles written by people involved or living in Iran at the time. The secondary works are for the most part written by western historians whose titles do not suggest an evenly balanced perspective. For example the official history of the British Petroleum Company is cited a few times and many of the books are primarily concerned with the cold war. Iran was certainly important in the cold war but focusing on it might tend to show the perspectives of those fighting the war rather than that of Iran, which was a chess piece in the games being played between the US and the USSR.
The sources that contribute to the descriptions of the strained relations leading up to the rise of the nationalization movement and the rise of Mossadeq are a mix of British and American correspondences and books concerning the rise of Mossadeq and the political situation in Iran before him. This chapter, “too little too late” shows the greatest balance between eastern and western sources used. The difference is that the sources from the Middle Eastern perspective are written long after the events took place while correspondence on the part of the western diplomats give a more accurate sense of the feeling at the time. Authors whose names indicate Middle Eastern heritage are significant because they are referenced sparingly once Mossadeq is prime minister. This may have something to do with the secrecy Mossadeq afforded himself once in office. Also, the remainder of the book is largely an account of the negotiations between Mossadeq and representatives of England and the US. This means that presently we can look at the negotiations because there is a record of the internal consultations on the western end but we do not know the full extent of the pressure and constraints put on Mossadeq by political entities and public opinion. A dispatch from the state department to someone involved with debating Mossadeq on a key point shows the reasoning behind the American position while the reasoning behind the Iranian posture can only be guessed at.
Another reason for the one sidedness of the documentation is that for the most part, it was a Prime Minister talking to a diplomat who is already biased against the PM. Mossadeq had the power to make concessions so the political motivations behind his actions have to be derived from the situation in Iran. We have such a good record of the western motivations because American and British agents were constantly conferring with each other and their respective governments. It is unlikely that Mossadeq communicated with his advisors in writing and probably kept the details of his situation secret.
An important factor with regard to documentation that is not discussed in the book is the fact the Tehran at this time was chock full of spies. Channels of communication are never one hundred percent secure so information that was considered sensitive would be unlikely to be sent by telegraph for example. The author demonstrates the general fears of the US with regard to soviet interactions in Iran, but the specific threats, real or perceived, are not revealed. The author mentions documents relating to the MI-6 and CIA inspired coup that are withheld but only touches upon why the US thought the USSR would automatically take power in Iran if the economy were to fail. There is certainly logic behind the containment policy in Iran but because there is little mention of popular Iranian sentiment regarding communism aside from the actions of the Tudeh party, the policy seems to stem mainly from American paranoia.
The only primary sources that voice the position of Iran are the Correspondences between his/her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Persian government, and related documents (concerning the oil Industry in Persia, February 1951 to September 1951) (Concerning the joint Anglo-American proposal for a settlement of the oil dispute, August 1952 to October 1952) The problem with these sources is that they were most likely documents that could be made public and were, if it suited a political aim. Most of the negotiations were done without the public knowledge or proposals were made informally at first with the reaction often eliminating the need to present them formally. What we can see in these formal documents are the last ditch efforts by Briton to save face by standing behind proposals they knew would be rejected.
It is clear that the United States was integral in the dispute between the Iranian Government, the AIOC and the British Government but the records taken from the national Archives verses the ones taken from the Public Record Office show that the available American records are more concise and therefore less accurate. The documents from the Public Record Office in England include minutes, memorandums and other immediate sources. These kinds of sources, if unaltered, are likely to be the most accurate and the most revealing. The record of the Secretary of Defense should in contrast be far less revealing and is certainly not cited as frequently as the Foreign Office correspondence. These American sources are not likely to contain information that could be considered inflammatory. That is to say that the United States would not be likely to make information public that could add to the hatred of the US by Iran.
The author does a satisfactory job of filling in the blanks created by the lack of Iranian primary sources. She gives a reasonable assessment of the political situation in Iran based on western perceptions that were probably fairly accurate because of the strategic concerns in Iran. The memoirs of Mossadeq may have helped to explain some of the pressures he faced in Iran but even a person’s memory of their own actions cannot be trusted as fact. While the author does not attempt to analyze individual Iranian sentiment for lack of material, it would seems possible to find a primary source written by an Iranian who was not Mossadeq or the Shah. She does a good job showing the shift from British to American domination of the Iranian oil as well as their reactions to the nationalist movement.

Review Bibiography

International History Review v. 21 no. 4 (Dec. 1999). Mejcher, Helmut, reviewerhttp://metaquest.bc.edu:4000/sfx_local?sid=HWW:ACIT&genre=article&pid=%3Can%3E199901501686015%3C%2Fan%3E&aulast=Amuzegar&aufirst=Jahangir&issn=0026-3141&title=The+Middle+East+Journal&stitle=Middle+East+J&atitle=Empire+and+nationhood+(Book+Review)&volume=53&issue=1&spage=138&epage=140&date=1999&ssn=winter—There was an error with the Factiva server when I tried to print this review before class but I had read it with the paper.
Diplomatic History v. 23 no. 3 (Summ 1999). Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs, reviewer. http://www.blackwellsynergy.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0145-2096&date=1999&volume=23&issue=3&spage=559

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Renewable Energy Types

It is indisputable fact that world economy has entered upon a new phase – an implementation of renewable energy resources in both industry and society. Such wide distribution is preconditioned by two main factors –a need of non-fossil resources and a variety of natural premises. In this context, production and usage of alternative energy sources become more and more reasonable. Moreover, some countries have found a true solution of their energy problems, most of which are related with export of fuels and dependence on prices of other states. Renewable energy is likely to change the face of global production in future regardless the attempts of large TNCs to broad their spatial structure of mining oil and natural gas.

The idea of renewable energy usage essentially leads to a discussion of the most promising natural preconditions and world leaders in related production.

First of all, much was done to implement solar energy, provided by established solar panels, solar collectors and solar power plants. Of course, generation of this type of energy is a prerogative of those states, which possess the highest temperatures and lasting sun period within a year. However, most of the biggest producers are represented by highly developed countries, which own both big investments and large power stations. So, they include the United States, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, France, China, Australia, Belgium, etc.

Wind energy industry is based on wind farms, wind turbines and wind power stations. To date, it is an achievement of both developed and poor countries. For instance, small windmills are established in Mongolia, where the lands can offer required wind speed. Among other developing countries, which are eager to succeed in wind energy production, are India, Turkey, Brazil, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia. Certainly, this list is much supplemented by global economic leaders.

Tidal and wave power are received after the conversion of energy of tides into electricity. In accordance, tidal energy has the potential energy and kinetic energy of water waves. The calculations conclude, all the energy of tides of the oceans is estimated at 1 billion kW. Therefore, countries having an access to seacoast and big waves are potential producers of tidal power. Already existing “generators” feature France, England, Ireland, the US, Russia, Japan, Canada, Portugal, Spain, etc.

Rivers are also of high benefit in energy production. In particular, hydro energy includes all the possibilities of conversion water current into electricity. The absolute record-holder is Iceland, which uses only 6% of its potential. Iceland is followed by Norway, Canada and Sweden, which possess powerful mountain river flows. To date, there are states, which crucially develop their hydro energy opportunities and construct new stations. Among them it is appropriate to name China (much due to capacity of Yangtze River) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo River). It is impossible not to mention Brazil and Paraguay, engaged in development and enlargement of Itapúa Station.

Geothermal energy is naturally reasonable in zones of volcanic activity, where underground warm waters are reached with the help of well-boring. Iceland is the world leader in this case too: five geothermal stations provide 25% of energy safety in the country. The other geothermal power generators are established in the USA (mainly San Francisco region), Philippines, Italy, Mexico, Israel, etc.

Guest post is by Maria Kruk, an author for Patentsbase.com

The Story of Graffiti

It is not a rare occasion, when going along the street you clash with some puzzled and giant inscription. Vivid colors and intricacy lead you to stare, guessing and having a hunch what is written on the wall or building. That is the first impression people get about graffiti, embellishing their buildings. Indeed, graffiti style has emerged not long ago, but simultaneous simplicity and involute plot leave us nothing but astonishment and excitement. It is an issue of street-art culture, which signifies that modern art is not a prerogative of rich and intelligent people, but talented ones.

Graffiti is recognized as street art style that embraced outdoors of New York in 1920s. However, there are some ideas that it was only an outburst of this art, which has accomplished a long history of its development since ancient times.  As strange as it may seem, petroglyphic drawings in Egypt and Greece are likely to be the first steps towards graffiti, which were executed on statues, temples and even pyramids. They carried either religious or warning meaning. Medieval graffiti is associated with pre-Columbian America and the culture of Maya people and, in addition, Vikings in Northern Europe, who were engaged in runic writings. In Early Modern Period graffiti was left by soldiers in various parts of the world, who were eager to leave some written mark about their conquest or stay in the mission station.

All in all, at the beginning of the 20th century people faced graffiti style, which slightly differs from the modern version. Moreover, the culture of this street art style was enriched with new methods, terms, authors and, of course, ideas. A critic is also included, which features the question: are graffiti images an art or an act of vandalism? There is no doubt that most of the authors (so-called writers) strived for expressing own social and political perception, but it did not obstructed to make images (tags) alerting and well-performed. Mainly, they were observed on the streets of American cities, where young people “imprinted” their dissatisfaction with the President or certain politicians.

Many tags were created in order to point out musical preferences. For example, the most prominent tag of the 20th century is “Clapton is God”, which appeared in Islington station (London subway) in 1967. In this way fans of rock-musician supported the release of his new album “Bluesbreakers” and the rock-n-roll culture.  The decades of 1970s and 1980s are a period of protesting punk rock movement. Especially, it covered streets of Manhattan, where the most visible tag was an upside-down martini glass – a symbol of Missing Foundation (punk group of 1984-1992). By the way, Manhattan is also a native place of the first recognized graffiti writer – TAKI 183; his tags were all over NYC, pointing his name (Taki is simplified from Demetrius) and address (183rd street).

To date, lots of countries have admirable and talented writers, which decorate both their native streets and make great tags in different parts of the world. Some cases might be underlined. Miss Van started with painting incredible dolls on Toulouse streets and nowadays moved to Spain, sharing her art with fashion industry (Fornarina collection, particularly). Banksy is the most well-paid and the most mysterious painter of modernity. He hides real identity behind the pseudonym of Bansky and paintings criticizing politics. He alerts an attention with his nihilism and anti-capitalism views, which only encourage people to attend his gallery exhibitions all over the world.

The Crisis of Unemployment

It can also be seen as a cris of cost and stability. For previous gnerations a person, being smart and capable, could get a job with a company and be put on a payroll and get health benifits and retirment plans.  This is not an easy task these days particularly if you want to do something you like.

We (and by we I mean the millennials myself being born at the top of that generation 1984) we were all told we could do whatever we wanted with our lives; they told us the oppertunities are limitless and all ours.  Using my friends and childhood companions as case studies, we were given all the possible advantages and yet few are prosperous enough to even consider say having a kid.  We went to the best schools and a bright future was the motivation to do well in school.

This sunny outlook on the future stuck with most people right until the end of college.  Everyone graduated but no one found the modern equivalent of a steady job and white picket fence.  We found that work was long, hard, and unrewarding…if you are lucky.  We can only afford to live with several other people or as many do, with the parents.  What do you do after graduation?  Move back home until you can find a job that will let you afford a crappy apartment with a bunch of other college graduates.

Most of my friends made it out of our parent’s houses but after that we are just treading water.  No one is optimistic about advancement, we can only afford to be optimistic about keeping whatever dead-end job we have.

Which brings up the graduate schools and how a bachelors degree BA BS is the new high school diploma.  After working for a few years and realizing nothing differant is happening, many of my friends decided to get a masters degree.  Luckily for them, all my friends are smart so the only problem is financing the endevor.  The truly practical got degrees in Chemistry or computer science while the people such as myself who still had that hope of doing something enjoyable got a degree in Television, Radio, and Film.

Conflict in Ireland–1995

                                      Conflict and Cultures    

 

 

The conflict in Ireland, while having many similarities with the current conflict in the Middle East, has a much better chance of coming to a peaceful solution.  The first and most prominent reason for this is the fact that the cultures in conflict in Ireland are very similar while the Israelis and the Palestinians are extremely different.  The animosity between the Protestants and the Catholics was probably very strong when England split from the Catholic church, but now seems to be more of a result of the conflict than a reason for fighting.  This is not to say that the Protestant/Catholic line is not the main battle line drawn by both sides, just that the closeness of the religions makes it easier to cooperate.  The Palestinians and the Israelis, however, have vastly different cultures with very distinct histories.  The conflict in Ireland is also centuries old, meaning that the native Irish people who were kicked out of their homes have been dead for hundreds of years.  Due to the closeness in culture and being neighbors for so long, the Irish Catholics and the Protestant English/ Irish are able to compromise better than in the Middle east where the battle lines are much more distinct.

          The Irish who were forcefully displaced by the English in the early 1600s were not put into refugee camps and that is not only a stronger base for grievance but also one that many Palestinians can still remember.[1]  By the time the Irish Catholics were strong enough to separate themselves, at least partly, from England, there was no suggestion or goal to kick all the Protestants out and move back onto the land their ancestors had been kicked out of hundreds of years ago.  The recent Irish Catholic grievances have more to do with being second-class citizens and under the thumb of England.  Both of these problems were much easier to approach because the Irish Catholics were asking for a lot less, in terms of what their enemies could gives them, than the Palestinians are fighting for.

          The Catholics and Protestants in Ireland have been living together for so long that despite the anger they have for each other, they have the same culture and much of the same history. “Ninety percent of what could probably be defined as culture is common in our society”—Eamonn McCain talking about the different cultures in Ireland[2]. Facing an enemy of the same religion, particularly in battles that involve civilians, does make a difference in how badly you view them and this in turn changes the way one would approach peace.  This is significant even if the only difference is that the IRA buries it’s dead in the same way the Loyalists do.  While the Israelis and the Palestinians do coexist in close proximity, their cultures and religions are very different.  “The Middle East is a mosaic of peoples, religions, languages, and cultures”[3], this is true even without Israel because the Middle East has so many independent countries and conflicting Muslim sects.

          There is a ceasefire in Ireland right now because two close cultures found a way to live in peace for now.  The war in the Middle East is escalating because the conflict is relatively new and the enemies are strangers.  At the present time the Palestinians do have stronger grievances and while Ireland was oppressed by England for much longer, the assimilation that happened made and end to the problem come a lot easier than it will in the Middle East.

[1] http:://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/facets.htm#chap2

[2] http:://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem//kerr.htm

[3] THE ISRAEL-ARAB READER. Yitzhak Shamir: Israel’s role in a changing Middle east. P.426


Brazil and Religion

To what extent has Catholicism lost its traditional strength in Brazil and how does this change a native Brazilian’s perspective on world affairs, particularly in respect to religious world view?             Brazil, like many other latin American countries, has a an extremely intricate and complicated culture, due to a turbulent history of immigration and colonialism.  The native south Americans that lived in that area before interactions with Europeans have fused, forcibly in most cases, with the successive waves of oppressors, immigrants and missionaries.  The predominantly catholic missionaries that have been common and powerful in Brazil since Europe first heard of the land have had a lasting influence on the culture of the country as it evolved from a slave labor plantation to a relatively stable industrial nation. With influx of new immigrants in the twentieth century, however, the traditionally strong hold of the Roman Catholic Church has eroded and or has been assimilated into the traditionally non catholic cultures of the people.            Before examination the present role of the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil, it is important to first understand the historical roots of the culture, as this will give clues to the world view of Brazilians in general.  The land that would later become Brazil was first “discovered” by the Portuguese in 1500 and colonization began a mere fifty years afterwards.   After most of the interior of the area had been colonized enough so that no other European country could lay claim t o the land, Portugal began building sugar plantations and importing African slaves to Brazil (Rodrigues, 1967, xi). The influx of African slaves, paired with the native susceptibility to European disease and gunshots, radically changed the ethnic makeup of the inhabitants. This change also brought together many different faiths.            Since Brazil was under the control of European powers until 1889, when the people proclaimed a republic, Catholicism was the official religion of the country for about 300 years. During this period of 1500-1889, it is safe to say that conversion to Catholicism was not optional in most cases, particularly for slaves and Indians without a recognized system of worship. There was no real distinction between church and state and as a result a productive member of society would have to be catholic. The official hold of the Roman Catholic Church eclipsed with the proclamation of a republic and allowed for the open emergence of syncretic religious practices. Despite tolerance to different religions Catholicism remained the predominant and most influential religion. In addition, “…the predominance of Catholics among the immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries contributed to the lasting predominance of that religion” (Brazil, 2006).       Despite the continuing predominance of Catholicism in Brazil, there are several other commonly practiced religions as well as forms of Catholicism that have among their roots ties to African and native South American traditions and rituals. For example, Brazil has the largest group of Japanese descendants outside of Japan and so Buddhism and Shintoism are significant religions in certain areas (Brazilian Embassy,1994 p.15).  What is most significant in regards to Catholicism and its impact on culture is the fact that Brazilian Catholicism is very different in practice to the kind practiced in Italy            The observation of Roman Catholic practices can be drawn along financial lines more than any other division.  Brazil has a high power distance aspect of culture and as such, the rich practice their faith differently than the poor, though both practices could be considered a form of Catholicism. Generally the upper class goes to church and participates mainly for social reasons.  An upper class person is also more likely to practice Roman Catholicism rather than a hybrid of African American traditions and catholic saints (Figueiredo, Jeanenne).  The lower class, particularly in small towns and rural areas, tend to take church practices and doctrines very seriously while also incorporating African and native Brazilian religious practices.            The extent to which Brazilians follows the priestly doctrines can also be looked at from a generational perspective. This is to say that the younger generations do not adhere to these doctrines as closely as their elders do.  This currently causes some problems as the elder generations strongly disapprove of the increasingly modern youth practices.  Pre-marital sex and birth control are hotly contested issues between generations (Figueiredo, Carmen).  This is a good example of how the Brazilian worldview is changing with respect to religion. While it is clear that the youth are still greatly influenced by their religious background, increased exposure to other cultures, specifically North American and European, have eroded some of the traditionally strong religious values.  This is also significant with respect to the representation of culture, as 62 percent of the population is under 29 years old (Brazilian Embassy, 1994 p.9).            One of the most interesting and significant reasons why the Catholic influence is receding is an increasingly open worship of religions thought to have been wiped out by catholic influences.  What actually happened to these native religions was that there were practiced in secret or incorporated enough catholic ideas to fool the colonialists and dictators.  African slaves and native Brazilians retained many of the practices and religions while simply changing the names of the old gods to a catholic equivalent (Durand, 2005 p.2).  Due to this historical secrecy, many of these religious groups require an intense initiation. Ironically, the initiations use methods similar to Catholics during a period of atonement such as fasting and meditation on hurtful acts (Figueiredo, Carmen).             Practices can often be traced back to a region of Africa or brazil itself, helping to further identify the cultural influences of these religions, the most well known being Candomble.  Candomble is the religion of the Yoruba slaves, descended from Africans abducted in the areas of Nigeria and Benin (Brazilian Embassy, 1994 p.15).  Capoeira, a widely practiced ritual dance also has its origins in secret religious practice.  Originally a style of combat used to resolve conflicts in the African region of Angola, the music and dance part of the ritual was a smokescreen for the slaves’ beliefs and internal conflicts (Figueiredo, Carmen).  The influence of these religions is widespread in Brazil and while most are a combination of native beliefs and catholic doctrine, the practitioners see them as native religions instead of Catholic derivatives.  This is important with respect to the Brazilian world view because it adds a unique cultural element to a country that is generally considered a devout patron of the Roman Catholic Church.          The number of Catholics in Brazil is declining from 90% of the population in 1980 to 83% in 1991 and 67% today (Winfield, 2005 p.1).  There are many reasons for this trend, the largest of which can not be measured or accurately interpreted; Globalization.  The upper class in Brazil often sends their children to study abroad and when these individuals return, they bring concepts common in some cultures but alien in theirs.  As the upper class is already in a position of influence, they are more willing and able to spread these non traditional values.           Despite this decline in numbers, the Catholic Church and its representatives still exert a strong influence over the people of Brazil.  All Catholic holidays are national holidays, most people go to church every Sunday and observe lent, take communion etc (Figueiredo, Jeanenne).  Church representatives still exert power over the political process, even if they have to go on a hunger strike to get people behind them(Brasilia, 2005 p.1).              The influence of the Roman Catholic Church is receding because of increased intercultural communication, the reemergence of native religions, and the general rejection of certain key doctrines such as premarital sex and birth control.  This is, however, analogous to spilling a drop out of a reservoir because the religion still has an overwhelming presence in the region.  Catholicism was omnipresent during the creation of what is now Brazil and can not be erased or even eroded to a large degree because it was a tremendously strong player in the formation of the region.  This idea is important because its helps us understand the culture as a catholic culture, the religion being infused with the country’s history and permeating every aspect of culture for hundreds of years.                                                                           Works CitedBrazilian Embassy (1994). Brazil in Brief. Washington, DC: Cultural Sector Brasilia (2005, October 7). Brazil Bishop ends hunger strike over river. Agence France Presse—English. Brazil. ( document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); 2006). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved document.write(mm[new Date().getMonth()][1]); March  document.write(new Date().getDate()); 25, document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online  http://search.eb.com/eb/article-25085  Durand, Irmin (2005, October 21). Brazil still worships its African Gods. Agence France Presse—English. Figueiredo, Jeanine (22 yrs old). Interview. By Alex Churchill. March 25, 2006 Figueiredo, Carmen (mid forties). Interview. By Alex Churchill. March 25, 2006 Rodrigues, Jose Honorio (1967). The Brazilians. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. Winfield, Nicole (2005, October 8). Brazilian cardinal wonders how long Brazil, Latin America will be catholic. Associated Press Worldstream.  

Katrina

                                Limited Protection       

Months after Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast of the United States, almost every aspect of Federal aid and assistance is still being debated on both the local and federal level.  There is, however, a sense of priority with respect to aid in that the victims are considered first, the levees second, and the reconstruction of the city third.  Residents of New Orleans certainly want the city to be restored to its former state but unfortunately the budget for aid and reconstruction may not allow for such an optimistic task.  The urban planners in charge of restoring the city have found it prudent to strengthen the parts of the city least likely to be damaged in the event of another storm (Allen et. al).  The people of New Orleans might find that reconstruction will be benificial with regards to long term protection and stability if the low lying areas of the city are not rebuilt and efforts are concentrated towards protection for the parts of the city that can be protected.     The first thing to try and understand is the categories of hurricanes and also their frequency.  This is important because while it is unlikely for another Hurricane like Katrina to hit New Orleans in the near future, it is inevitable another will hit that area again.  Since the frequency, path, and intensity of a hurricane cannot be predicted, we have to rely on global trends in past years. Category 5 hurricanes like Katrina are defined as systems featuring winds of 156 mph or more and category 3 hurricanes with winds of 100 mph or less.  Studies have also shown that not only has the total number of hurricane worldwide increased by nearly one hundred percent in the last thirty five years, the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has increased as a percentage of the total number of hurricanes (Ascribe 2).  The current plan for restoration of the levees will enable them to withstand a category 3 hurricane or smaller by the start of next hurricane season. Donald Powell, Director of gulf coast rebuilding stated that “once this work is done, the city will still have some flooding but that it will be manageable”. (qtd in Kafanov).  While allowing for budget considerations, many politicians took issue with this plan for category three protections. Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) responded that “studies have already been done to indicate that we need to rebuild these levees to a stronger standard that category three. Category three is asking for trouble.” (qtd in Kafanov).  The strength of the levees is not, however, the only impediment to sufficient long term protection.     The disappearance of natural hurricane protection such as wetlands and barrier islands is not just a concern for environmentalists anymore. An illustrative example of this is a stretch of marshland the size of Rhode Island off the coast of Louisiana that has receded into the ocean within the last fifty years (Tidwell 2).  These wetlands around the mouth of the Mississippi were once created and maintained by the sediment coming out of the river. As New Orleans and other cities along the river grew, the sediment was drastically reduced and the marshes eroded.  The idea is that the wetland and the levees work to supplement each other. Professor van Heerden of LSU and director of the University’s hurricane center found an important piece of evidence in that “Where you had wetland, the levees were not eroded and where you did not have wetlands, the levees were annihilated.” (qtd. in Schwartz).  This shows a clear correlation between the man made protection and the disappearing natural barriers, further decreasing the possible stability of the city.     New Orleans is an important city not only for its residents who created and embrace the unique culture.  The city is also economically important as a major port at the end of the Mississippi.  Grain, oil, and natural gas are just a few of the key exports from the port and are necessary not only for the economy of the city, but for the country as a whole.  The official position of The American Planning Association, therefore is that New Orleans should be rebuilt to insure its position as an economic trade power (Tidwell 4).  In order to be restored as a trade center, there has to be a population to support it, as well as a stable place for residents to live.     A commission headed by the mayor of New Orleans has proposed a compromise “between those who had argued for rebuilding to be allowed anywhere in the city and those who wanted the most flood prone areas abandoned.” (Ward 2).  The proposal is that for the communities where there is very little repopulation, an appointed redevelopment agency will buy condemned properties.  This is a reasonable idea because it will indirectly prevent people from moving back into the low-lying areas. It is hard to imagine that any private real estate companies will invest in the ninth ward.  Despite this projected outcome of incentive based population redistribution, many urban planners still consider it irresponsible to allow people to rebuild anywhere they have the population to support it (Ward 3). With evidence showing that the city can not be adequately protected, there is just cause for this accusation of irresponsibility.     One of the largest problems with restoring the city is how to present the environmental and engineering evidence to the residents without prompting defensive and counterproductive responses.  Without considering the costs, most residents feel that “strong protection is the linchpin that everything else depends on”, said Joe Veninata, the owner of a shopping center and rental homes in the Gentilly neighborhood, “for people to come to the city and invest, for the people to feel secure.” (Schwartz 1).  The cost of upgrading the protection system to a category 5 is by no means a agreed upon figure, but one that is certainly out of reach in the near future.     Unfortunately, due to the botched response to the disaster by the Federal Government, the private sector has clashed with beaurocracy continuously, wasting time and resources debating various conflicting approaches to reconstruction. These debates serve to confuse the local population because of the constant emotional appeals.  The environmental evidence that suggests low lying areas should not be reconstructed is often refuted by the emotional attachment of the victims.     There is no question that however much New Orleans repopulates, the number of residents will be far smaller and the city demographic completely different.  The city has been steadily losing residents for 45 years and because the city had an inordinate amount of people living at or below the poverty line, a significant part of the population  will not be able to return, even if they wanted to (Moran 1). There is an almost universal consensus that the post Katrina population will depend on the level of protection for the city as well as the perceived long term stability of the region. Palazzo Simmons, a survivor and former resident of the ninth ward lamented, “I was lucky to get out this time and they can’t even tell me they gonna make things better…my family has been here for generations but it’s the next generation I’m worried about.”(Pround).     It is easy to emphasize and understand the desire to fully restore New Orleans because at the end of the day most of us just want to return home and it’s hard to imagine your home was gone.  My family has lived in Boston since the founding of the city and if a large hurricane hit Boston, we would be mostly under water east of Kenmore Square.  It is also very important that people are optimistic about rebuilding the city due to its unique and important cultural heritage (Mandel 1).  Being rational, particularly with a limited budget, is also necessary for a successful restoration.  The people of New Orleans will eventually make the major decisions concerning which parts of the city are to be rebuilt and will err on the side of caution if the practical evidence with regards to reconstruction and regional stability is properly presented.                                                                                         Works Cited  Allen, Greg; Reporter. Anchors Siegel, Robert & Norris, Michael. “All Things Considered: Plan Allows Controversial Rebuilding in New Orleans.” National Public Radio. Jan 10, 2006 8 am EST. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 21 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Ascribe Inc. “Hurricanes are getting stronger, study says.” Ascribe Newswire. Sept 12, 2005.  Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 19 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com>   Donze, Frank & Schleifstein, Mark. “Added Protection.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Dec 7, 2005. National; Pg.1. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 19 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Kafanov, Lucy. “GULF RECOVERY: House panel calls for stronger levee protections.” Environment and Energy Daily. March 10, 2006. Spotlight Vol. 10 No. 9. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 19 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Mandel, Charles. “Rebuilding New Orleans: Economy and heritage favour city’s renewal; some say it’s too risky.” Times Colonist. Sept 24, 2005. Pg. E12. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 20 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Moran, Kate. “Shrinking City; No one disputes that Katrina will reduce the population of New Orleans area, but just how much is unclear.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Oct 23, 2005. Headline. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 19 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Pround, Geoffry; Executive Producer. “Modern Marvels: Engineering disasters: New Orleans.” Modern Marvels. The History Channel. General Electric. Org. air date Feb 28, 2006.  Schwartz, John. “Category 5: Levees are piece of 32 billion pie.” The New York Times Late Edition. Nov 29, 2005. Sec. A; Column 3; National Desk; Pg. 1. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 15 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Schwartz, John & Revkin, Andrew. “Levee construction will restore, but not improve, defenses in New Orleans.” The New York Times. Sept 30, 2005. Sec A; Column 1; National Desk; Pg.22. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 15 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Tidwell, Mike. “It’s time to abandon New Orleans; If the Bush administration continues to ignore the major fixes that are needed, it would be homicidal to rebuild the city.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania). Dec 14, 2005. Editorial; Pg. B-7. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 19 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Tidwell, Mike. “Indifference to marsh is kiss of death.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Dec 9, 2005. Metro-Editorial; Pg. 7. Lexis-Nexis Academic. Boston College, O’Neill Lib. 16 March 2006 <Http://web.Lexis-Nexis.com> Ward, Andrew. “New Orleans panel suggests demolition for no-hope areas.” Financial Times (London, England). Jan 12, 2006. The Americas; Pg. 11.