Sunday, March 04, 2007


Many years ago I had an idea for a story I never finished. At one point a character from California was on the east coast when she watched live TV coverage of her whole state sinking into the Pacific, as a huge new earthquake fault opened up. At the end of August in 2005 I felt the same emptiness as that character, watching Katrina devastate the place that I came from.

Scout prime of First Draft (which is making a trip to New Orleans later this month to gut houses, eat, and observe, and are inviting folks to join them) has huge quotes from and links to a nightmare already taking place there at Last Chance:
"Ten years is how much time we have left -- if that."

That new time frame for when the Gulf could reach New Orleans' suburbs sharply reduces projections that have stood for more than three decades. Unless the state rapidly reverses the land loss, coastal scientists say, by the middle of the next decade the cost of repair likely will be too daunting for Congress to accept -- and take far too long to implement under the current approval process. ...

Vast sections of the state's majestic marshes, once spread across the sportsman's paradise like a thin veil of green lace, have been swallowed by the sea. The water now pushes against the city's boundaries and spreads unbroken to the southern horizon.
Never mind the music, food, culture, and history about to be lost forever, whose ruins will be seen in the future only by Jacques Cousteaus yet unborn, or the lives already shattered that will never be reconstructed. Let me put this in terms even Our Noble Lame Duck can understand:

Letting the gateway of our mightiest transportation corridor disappear is VERY BAD FOR BUSINESS. Our agricultural and industrial heartland will dry up and starve without that cheap water access to the world. People from Ohio to Texas would be able to think of the Great Depression as really good economic times by contrast.

It would be a worthwhile investment to spend everything now being spent on Operation Inigo Montoya just to shore up and rebuild the coastline and marshlands as barriers for the future. They will be needed, whether the oceans rise or not, because the ground is sinking there from all the drilling, and those wells which no politician is going to shut down because of the price of gas will all be converted unwillingly into offshore platforms if nothing is done.

You don't care about the people? All right -- look at the balance sheet. Do it for the almighty dollar.

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