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Lorin Thwaits A geek says what?

Great news from the Governor of Louisiana today!  Some federal funding is finally coming to help folks rebuild.  After driving all around New Orleans two weeks ago, I can say without reservation that the money is required.  Block after block you can see the awesome Biblical-scale power that was unleashed by mother nature.  Reminded me just how fragile a thing life is.

6.2 billion coming, with another possible 4.2 billion.  It will be only a start.  With 200,000 homes affected, doing the math, that 10.4 billion dollars ends up at best averaging out to $52,000 for each affected home.  But also in today's speech some of the money was promised for another important upgrade: strengthening the levee system.  With scientists predicting both a rise in sea level by a full meter by the end of the century due largely to the rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and also more powerful storms in the Atlantic for the forseeable future, this will be very important to the residents of Louisiana. 

To start to picture just how much water we're talking about coming from Greenland in the decades ahead, check out how different the overall melting pattern was between 1992 and 2002, at the left below.  The melted portion is shown in red and orange:

Granted that 1992 was on average a little cooler year, and 2002 on average a little hotter, but still that's an outrageous amount of water being added to the ocean over the space of a decade.  Not all of that discrepancy can be chalked up to having just a little cooler or warmer year than normal!  What we can now consider normal is a consistent warming trend, resulting in huge worldwide changes.

To picture how vast that block of ice is called Greenland, check out the other satellite view in the picture above.  The average thickness across that whole area is a staggering mile and a half!  One big ice cube, and due to melt by the end of the century.  We're going to see an outrageous impact on our environment during our lifetimes, just considering the difference ten years has already made.

Back to the here and now, I'm hoping the best for the folks in Louisiana.  I've been invited by a friend to go back out there for JazzFest coming up at the end of April, and will probably take a few extra days mid-week and pitch in with the cleanup efforts being done by my church.  There's still so much to do.


Posted on Monday, February 20, 2006 5:45 PM Trips / Vacations | Back to top

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