Wasteland to Resources: New Orleans rises from Katrina and Saints win Super Bowl XLIV!

Wasteland to Resources: New Orleans rises from Katrina and Saints win Super Bowl XLIV!

There might be hope for our blue green planet after all
Monday, February 8, 2010 - 4:30pm


If the New Orleans Saints win last night in Super Bowl XLIV is an indicator for what a turnaround can be, there might be hope for our blue green planet after all.

New Orleans became the unhappy poster child for environmental catastrophe back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and burst levees that put it underwater. The place was literally a wasteland. The Saint’s showcase home, the Superdome, was a trashed refugee shelter. The team nearly left town.

But the Big Easy is rising from the watery grave. Not just restoration here folks, but regeneration, just like nature does. New Orleans is talking revitalization fueled by hurricane-force idealism embodied in this year’s stunning Super Bowl win.

Young workers in the not for profit sector see the city becoming a model for innovative schools, 21st century urban planning and a Mecca for green buildings as the city is rebuilt. Small entrepreneurs are starting green energy companies. Not only the pioneering spirit of these folks but recovery money is flowing to give the city a once in a lifetime chance to regenerate a better future from the old. Groups like Women of the Storm are educating leaders on coastal restoration. Restoring Louisiana’s saltwater wetlands would capture huge amounts of CO2 and help prevent the kind of damage that Katrina caused in the future.

Tourists are back and booming, unemployment is more than 2 points below the national average. City residents and recovery organizations are translating their hard earned experience to help earthquake victims in Haiti.

So if there was ever a question that an entire city can be recycled, reused, renewed, if a wasteland can become a champion - The Saints put that to rest last night - and New Orleans is doing it every day. It’s got to give you hope that we can solve the same puzzle on this blue green ball of ours.

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