Posted by: atowhee | April 5, 2019


In several ways people have changed the course of the Mississippi and history simultaneously.  New Orleans is in a countdown to destruction.  To preserve corporate profits the U.S. Corps of Engineers changed the flow of the Mississippi River so it no longer provides large amounts of silt to a low and watery coast on the Gulf of Mexico.  Thus rising sea level, currents and recurrent storms ( remember Katrina?) eat away at the coast, endangering towns and farms and an entire region.

The Corps and the corporations have an ally in destroying the marshy coast: invasive nutria brought in for fur-farming, then they were either turned loose or escaped and now they penetrate the marsh, dig tunnels and channels and make it easier for salt water to kill the vegetation that might otherwise preserve the marshland.

Isle de Jean Charles is already being depopulated as it becomes impossible to save it from the sea.

To read an analysis of the situation, click here for new article by Elizabeth Kolbert.

The two maps below come from Kolbert’s New Yorker piece.  Here we see how maps can be used to enhance people’s denial of what is really happening.  How much money will the U.S. be willing to spend to try to preserve New Orleans as a habitable city?  Is it more important than Miami, New York, Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa…?

DELTA1 (2)DELTA2 (2)

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