Proving the old axioms
We seem eager to repeat our mistakes
By Tony Staley
Hurricane Katrina's destructive sweep proved two axioms: "A stitch in time, saves nine" and "We don't have time to do it right, but we do have time to do it over."
For more than 40 years, not all the needed improvements were made on the levies protecting New Orleans because of what they would cost. In other cases, shoddy construction work contributed to the damage. Failure to make that "stitch in time" or to do it right the first time, will end up costing this nation at least nine times what was "saved."
Now consider the cost of cleaning up the PCBs the paper mills dumped into the Fox River decades ago. Add to that the cost for Green Bay's suburbs to bring in water from Lake Michigan, an expense that would not be needed if the Fox River and Green Bay were clean.
Nor do we seem to learn. In June, the EPA, in a 268-page report submitted to the UN, confirmed that human actions were contributing to global warming. Despite that, our national policy argues that preventive actions would hurt the economy. It may prove to be the next missed stitch.