Lack of Respect for Nature's Boundaries

Worsened Midwest Flooding

When We Reign, It Pours
Humans Have a Hand in Midwest Flooding
June 19, 2008

“How much responsibility do humans have for the floods disastrously deluging the Midwest? Of course the rain poured for days, but it fell on plowed up prairies, drained fields, altered streams, no-longer-wetlands, and developed flood plains — all unable to absorb precipitation to the best of their natural ability. Between 2007 and 2008, more than 160,000 acres of Iowa land (mostly covered with deep-rooted, water-absorbing grasses) was taken out of a federal conservation-reserve program to be farmed (mostly for corn).  Near St. Louis MO nearly 30,000 homes have been built on land that was submerged by flooding in 1993; despite taller, stronger levees — which some say are part of the problem, not the solution — the area may very well be swamped again as floodwaters roll south. “Cities routinely build in the flood plain,” says Kamyar Enshayan, a city councilmember in Cedar Falls, Iowa. “That’s not an act of God; that’s an act of City Council.” – www.grist.com

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