Eco-Living Magazine

Levees and Long Term Planning

Posted on the 29 May 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Levees and Long Term PlanningOne of the most important components of sustainable development is the ability to plan for the long term. This goes hand and hand with living within nature’s limits. The root idea behind sustainability is the notion of maintaining a process indefinitely. However, with quarterly earnings driving much of the progress today, long term thinking and planning is not as highly valued.

Recent floods and attempts to “control” them up and down the Mississippi River provide a prime example of the short term thinking that has come to dominate collective decision making. John McPhee’s The Control of Nature looks at three examples of how mankind has attempted to subdue nature for its benefit. Written more than 20 years ago, McPhee’s book starts with the Mississippi River, which has been mangled by the Army Corps of Engineers. Under the guise of economic development for the New Orleans area, the Corps has straightened and rerouted the mighty Mississippi. Unfortunately, the current path is not the one of least resistance. As McPhee details, the river continually tries to find the most expedient path. Apparently no one told it that man has figured this out. The issue comes down to one of control, hence the title of the book. Instead of working against nature, which is the unsustainable path, it is imperative to work with it. Biomimicry is a great example of learning from nature as opposed to changing it for human enjoyment.

Floods are a natural phenomenon, a necessary one. In order for nutrients to be redeposited on farm lands in many places, floods must occur. However, in this country growth has taken place in the oddest of places. After the great floods in Missouri during the early 1990s, vast tracts of land were inundated. Now, in those same locales, there are vast mega-marts. Suburban sprawl has led to construction on land such as floodplains and drained wetlands. These spaces provide ecosystem services that have not been adequately valued. This is another major component of sustainable development, proper valuation of undeveloped lands. Until we can assess their importance in terms of fiscal benefits, protecting them will be increasingly difficult.

Here’s to hoping that the enormous financial impact of floods and storms can finally help to evaluate the fiscal value of these “marginalized” lands.

[Image source]

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Go Grow Glow!

    Grow Glow!

    The yuccas in the second raised bed are enjoying the summer and growing away nicely, except for one that is... The Yucca rostrata right in the middle of this be... Read more

    12 hours, 41 minutes ago by   Alternativeeden
  • Recap: Mamby on the Beach a Breath of Fresh Lakeshore Air

    Recap: Mamby Beach Breath Fresh Lakeshore

    Chicago in the summertime is truly the best of many worlds. You’ve got a fine, world-class city made of beautiful, steel structures, gorgeous parks... Read more

    The 27 June 2017 by   Urbanmatter Chicago
  • Book Review: Why Are There Differences in the Gospels?

    Book Review: There Differences Gospels?

    The full title of this wonderful book is Why Are There Differences in the Gospels?: What We Can Learn from Ancient Biography (Oxford University Press, 2016). Th... Read more

    The 27 June 2017 by   Mmcgee
  • Video: The Lofoten Islands of Norway

    Remote and wild, the Lofoten Islands in Norway are a gateway to the Arctic. In this video we travel to this incredible place that is seldom visited by outsiders... Read more

    The 27 June 2017 by   Kungfujedi
  • Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival 2017

    Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival 2017

    In it’s 35th year, the Ottawa Dragon Boat festival is an attraction for outdoor music revellers, beach enthusiasts and competitive dragonboat racers. Read more

    The 27 June 2017 by   Hendrik Pape
  • Dirty Dancing (UK Tour) Review

    Dirty Dancing Tour) Review

    Cast Lewis Griffiths – Johnny Castle Katie Eccles – Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman Carlie Milner – Penny Johnson Julian Harries – Dr. Read more

    The 27 June 2017 by   Caz
  • July 4th: Our Independence & A Whole Lot More

    July 4th: Independence Whole More

    Trivia will be happening this Wednesday night, June 28th at 8:30 PM, with "July 4th Trivia" as the Special Category. It will be seven questions about events tha... Read more

    The 27 June 2017 by   Theomnipotentq