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July 03, 2010


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The truth is starting to come out, albeit slowly:

"While van Heerden seeks to allay fears about the extent of environmental damage, he bristles at the mention of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal's berm construction project that is touted as a magic bullet for blocking oil. In lieu of a clear leader and a cogent plan, many Louisianans are pulling for the project's success with a combination of religious faith and patriotic fervor. In this climate, disagreement is tantamount to disloyalty. Even so, impartial scientists are dubious.

"Sand castles" is van Heerden's succinct description of the berms, along with the scientific explanation that "There's a concept known as the equilibrium profile which is based on wave energy, the slope of the beach, and the grain size of the sediment. The sediment involved here is very fine, so the berms will erode and shape themselves at a very low angle. I've looked at it from the air and they're having a huge problem stacking the sand."

"Nevertheless Jindal is pushing the berm project with an intensity that borders on messianic zeal but – on a more worldly level – is at times disingenuous. Last month he took reporters to see an unrelated and pre-existing coastal restoration site that he represented both as part of the new berm project and evidence of its rapid progress. The two sites are entirely separate, situated many miles apart, and use completely different construction technology. But – perhaps because the current zeitgeist favors the berm project so strongly – no media coverage mentioned the discrepancy.

"Jindal didn't seek scientific info, and no copy of the final plan was ever forthcoming," van Heerden went on. "He claimed it was designed by 'Dutch engineers.' I contacted all the engineers whom I know in the Netherlands" (van Heerden hails from South Africa) "and so far none of them know of any Dutch engineer who supposedly was involved in this design."


David - thanks for the link. The entire piece is well worth reading, sobering and depressing though it is!


Yes David, thanks for the link, and your comment.

You know, they may have better luck and lower costs if they just filled Hesco baskets with one dollar bills. Those, you can wash.

It's always possible that it would be interesting to look into who might have what to gain from the sales of huge numbers of Hesco baskets.......

Hesco Bastion certainly has a lot to gain from sales. It does make one wonder to whom Hesco might be thankful for the contract.

Yes Michael, I wonder that also. They make a little on the initial contract and I guess this current failure of their system means they'll likely get a lucrative change order too.

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