Case in point: The Drought Is So Severe, You Can See Its Toll on the Mississippi From Space
Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers say that the low water levels—and attending barge traffic jams, closed ports, and closed river sections—will continue until October. The direct costs are staggering: NASA explains that a loss of just one inch of draft can require a ship to run with 17 tons less cargo. A major drought in 1988, one that set the record for water level at minus 10.7 feet, brought an estimated $1 billion in losses to the barge industry that year.
Of course the indirect costs—the lost revenue to the ports along the way, to the businesses whose shipments are delayed, not to mention the toll on the ecosystems that depend on water from the river—those costs are much, much greater.
Isn't it about time we gave up this false economy of inaction?