New Orleans has big problems. If you keep up with the news, you’re doubtlessly aware of their moronic-racist mayor, their rampant criminals, and their monumental struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina. What hasn’t been in the news since the storm, however, is what I find interesting.
Before Katrina, New Orleans was on borrowed time. The wetlands to the south of the city are disappearing at a breath taking rate. The Gulf of Mexico is claiming tens of thousands of acres of Louisiana every year. It’s just a matter of time, and maybe as little as a hundred years, before the sea is actually encroaching on what’s left of New Orleans.
Additionally, New Orleans is sinking at the rate of three feet a century. This is an unintended result of the levies that protect the city. The flooding Mississippi once replenished the silt the city is built upon, but no longer. As the sea continues to claim land south of the city and as the city itself continues to sink, it’s a safe bet that what’s left of New Orleans will be underwater, and probably in the not-to-distant future.
Considering the monumental cost of trying to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, does it make any sense to pour untold billions of federal dollars into a doomed city? Even if it is technically possible to save the city, is it worth the astronomical price?