Unless, within 10 years, the state begins creating more wetlands than it is losing -- a task that will require billions of dollars in complex and politically sensitive projects -- scientists said a series of catastrophes could begin to unfold over the next decade.
In 10 years, at current land-loss rates:
-- Gulf waves that once ended on barrier island beaches far from the city could be crashing on levees behind suburban lawns.
-- The state will be forced to begin abandoning outlying communities such as Lafitte, Golden Meadow, Cocodrie, Montegut, Leeville, Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.
-- The infrastructure serving a vital portion of the nation's domestic energy production will be exposed to the encroaching Gulf.
-- Many levees built to withstand a few hours of storm surge will be standing in water 24 hours a day -- and facing the monster surges that come with tropical storms.
-- Hurricanes approaching from the south will treat the city like beachfront property, crushing it with forces like those experienced by the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Katrina.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Fight or Flight?
As I read Part One of the T-P's "Last Chance" series, I thought a few things:
1. I am reading perhaps the most important article I've read in quite awhile.
2. Much of how I spend my time will look like fiddling while Rome burns in 15 or 20 years.
3. I need to turn my anger into real action, or move away, but not sit still.
4. The article feels a lot like the prophetic series on New Orleans's lack of flood protection that the T-P ran 6 years ago.
How can this NOT be the defining issue of our time? Here's the key part of the article as far as I'm concerned: