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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:21 PM

Drought-Parched Mississippi River Is Halting Barges

(Bloomberg Businessweek) Mississippi River barge traffic is slowing as the worst drought in five decades combines with a seasonal dry period to push water levels to a near-record low, prompting shippers to seek alternatives.

River vessels are cutting loads on the nation’s busiest waterway while railroads sign up new business and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draws criticism from lawmakers over its management of the river, which could be shut to cargo from companies including Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM) next month.

“Our shippers are looking at alternate modes of transportation,” said Marty Hettel, senior manager of bulk sales for AEP River Operations, the barge unit of American Electric Power Co. (AEP), a utility owner based in Columbus, Ohio. “If you’re shipping raw materials to a steel mill in Chicago, you’re trying to figure out if you can go to Cincinnati or Louisville, Kentucky, unload it out of the barge and rail it up to the steel mill.”

The worst U.S. drought since 1956, which dried farmland from Ohio to Nebraska, will last at least through February in most areas, according to the U.S. Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland. Barges on the Mississippi handle about 60 percent of the nation’s grain exports entering the Gulf of Mexico through New Orleans, as well as 22 percent of its petroleum and 20 percent of its coal. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-27/drought-parched-mississippi-river-is-halting-barges

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Reply Drought-Parched Mississippi River Is Halting Barges (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
xchrom Nov 2012 #1
NickB79 Nov 2012 #2

Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:00 PM

1. Du rec. Nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:13 PM

2. Climate change is going to destroy us from multiple angles

It's not just sea levels rising.

It's not just stronger, bigger storms hitting major cities.

It's not just about billions of dollars of crops withering in record droughts, floods and heatwaves.

It's not just the forests dying from insects that used to be killed by the cold winters we no longer have.

It's not just the seas becoming acidic and the fish and reef populations dying off.

It's not just the rivers drying up.

It's ALL of the above, hitting at once in this decade and beyond for centuries to come. Any one or two of these, we might be able to adapt to. All of them at once is a civilization-killer.

A century from now, we'll be lucky to have 2 billion people left on this planet and a few pockets of humanity with lights and sanitation still intact. We're at the cusp of the next global mass extinction, but this time it's not caused by an asteroid impact. It's caused by us.

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