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Unnatural disaster: The fifth anniversary of Katrina

Sunday will mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Nearly two thousand people died. The economic toll is close to a hundred billion dollars.

Among the many Katrina retrospectives, a unique voice stands out. Harry Shearer, the comic actor and writer best known for his work on “The Simpsons” and the landmark motion picture “This is Spinal Tap,” has just finished a provocative documentary film about Katrina. The film, “The Big Uneasy,” will be shown this coming Monday, in movie theaters nationwide, for one night only.

In the film, Shearer argues that many of us learned the wrong lessons about what happened to New Orleans five years ago. We visited with Shearer in New Orleans to get a look at his film, and to understand why he remains skeptical that the government has done all that’s needed to prevent another flood.

Producer: William Brangham

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  • steve knauer

    most of us moss backs and very ol’ lifeguards are well aware of the DAMAGE the corps of army engineers has done over the many decades they been ATTEMPTING to “fix” the ocean and the many problems it presents…NATURE IS NOT TO BE SCREWED WITH, that’s something we all know but the CAE has NO CLUE ABOUT ! !…if you want to read a great account of how the CAE has been SCREWING UP the US coast line read: “Against the Tide”, by Cordelia Dean, a great cautionary tale of ALL THE DAMAGE that the corps could and would cause in days to come ! !

  • Wendy

    Seriously Timothy? And I guess MRGO is a good thing as well?

  • dave

    Coal ash repository
    Land fill.
    The best use for New Orleans.

    The French made a mistake of building a town below sea level, and river level.
    We should not keep trying to improve upon this mistake.
    We should correct the mistake.
    Move the city, or fill the swampy hole.

    Please stop pouring my tax dollars down the rat hole of New Orleans.

    The disaster was caused by stupid humans building a city in a swamp.

  • Ken

    An excellent, searing piece. I hope NTK does more stories like this in the future!

  • TomB

    It’s easy to point your finger at the federal government, but how about the state and local officials. A big part of the problem was the total lack of leadership from the Mayor of New Orleans and Governor of Louisiana. If you don’t look out after your own welfare, you have nobody to blame but yourself.