The Future of the Cresent City

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been thinking. Thinking about New Orleans and the Mississippi delta of Louisiana. Given the horrible news we continue to hear from New Orleans and from the Gulf Coasts of Mississippi and Alabama it is only natural that he should think about New Orleans and its future.

Interestingly enough, the WaPo has an article concerning Louisiana’s shrinking coastline and disappearance of tidal marshes. You’ve got to love the opening lines. It will cost billions of federal dollars to repair and expand the levees around New Orleans. Thanks to the Hurricane and global warming the problems of New Orleans are made worse.

Excursus: Have you noticed that just about everything is blamed on global warming? Pacific gets hotter - global warming. Pacific gets colder - global warming. More tornados in mid-west - global warming. Teenagers reporting more pimples - global warming. Teen pregnancy on decline - global warming. Male pattern baldness - global warming. Smallholder not blogging for months - global waring. Is there any observable phenomenon that is not attributable to global warming? Just wondering…

Anyho…

Not elaborated on in great detail in the article is how the system of levees and dykes are preventing the flooding that is required to keep the tidal marshes healthy and alive. Without the periodic flooding to deposit sediment in the marshes they die. (And with them the natural habitat of so much of the wildlife that makes Louisiana a “sportsman’s paradise.”) We see the same problems along the Nile in Egypt and near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq. When the Three Gorges Dam is finished in China, one suspects that we will see the slow death of the Yang-tze river delta as well.

So your Maximum Leader will go ahead and say what many are likely thinking. We should relocate New Orleans. Let the river, the lake, and the marshes reclaim the basin. Now is the best time to discuss it. Once we start rebuilding we aren’t going to stop.

Allow your Maximum Leader to say that he loves New Orleans. LOVES it. His sainted parents even own a condo in the city (the condition of which is unknown to us now). But if there is one thing that all of history can teach you it is that if you battle the forces of nature you will lose. You might gain a temporary victory. But in the end nature will have her way with you.

Why not just let nature do what she wants to do (and has gravity on the assist) and take New Orleans? Move the city up the river. It may cost billions… But keeping it will cost just as much and potentially more over the long run. The city continues to sink and the waters to rise. At what point does it just become illogical to continue?

Think of this as, perhaps, a chance to build a new and better New Orleans. Chicago and San Francisco both rebuilt and were better than before due to natural disaster. New Orleans could be the same. Surely moving the city is a huge undertaking, but so is saving it. Herculean resources will be involved either way. Look to the future. Is it better to move the city to higher ground and then rebuild; or just rebuild and wait for the next killer storm. (Which we know is coming because of global warming.)

Environmentally it would be a boon for the Mississippi Delta. Every year many square miles of marsh dry up and fall into the sea. The loss of which makes New Orleans in it’s current location all the more vunerable to a killer storm.

Long-time readers will know that your Maximum Leader loves history and wants to preserve as much of it as we can. But sometimes there are things you can’t preserve forever. You have to decide when to cut your losses. Think about it. We’re all paying for whatever decision is taken. (It is your federal tax dollar at work on those levees afterall.) Why not try to take a good one for the future of all New Orleans residents?

Carry on.

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