Climate Crisis?

The first photo is “Randy Statler sits on a rock to watch people walk to Tower Rock, an attraction normally surrounded by the Mississippi River and only accessible by boat, in Perry County, Missouri, on October 19, 2022. Jeff Roberson/AP Photo”

I love Mary Engelbreit. She captures things succinctly for me.

I do not remember this happening before, but according to weather historians it has occurred once within the last ten years or so. And now, again. Are we awake to what is happening?

I was startled to hear about drought on the Mississippi river. In case you have forgotten, here is the route it takes.

I first heard this on the national news. Here is report from Newsweek.

“The Mississippi River winds 2,350 miles, connecting the center of the continental United States to the Gulf of Mexico. The National Park System calls the Mississippi River “significant to national trade” and is an avenue to funnel 500 million tons of shipped goods into the U.S. economy. Products most often shipped on the Mississippi are grains, petroleum products, iron and steel, grain, rubber, paper, wood, coffee, coal, chemicals and edible oils.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains a nine-foot shipping channel from Louisiana to Minnesota in order to transport the goods up and down the Mississippi River. In some areas of the drought-ridden channel, the Weather Channel reported the waterway was so narrow, barges were at a standstill and backed up for miles.

And then CNN

“The US Drought Monitor says that more than 55% of the contiguous United States – an area that is home to more than 133 million people – is in drought.

“With the Climate Prediction Center forecasting below-average rainfall through at least October 23.”

So if you thought the drought was limited to California and the western states, think again. The earth as we knew it is in trouble. I doubt my parents would ever have imagined this could happen. I can barely imagine this is happening in my lifetime!

“Oh Lord, forgive us for abusing our planet. Help us know how best to conserve it right now. Show us Your will and Your ways in this thing. Amen”

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures throughout all

The Lord is faithful in all his words,
    and gracious in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all who are falling,
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand,
    satisfying the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
    and kind in all his doings.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
    he also hears their cry, and saves them.

The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and all flesh will bless his holy name for ever and ever.

Psalm 145:13-21 NRSV

I suppose we have counted on the storms from the Atlantic to provide much of our autumn moisture? This year those storms have barely effected our area of the Ohio River valley. So literally, pray for rain. Especially if you like to ship or to purchase “grains, petroleum products, iron and steel, grain, rubber, paper, wood, coffee, coal, chemicals and edible oils.”

Drought has caused low flows in the Mississippi River, slowing vital barge traffic to a crawl. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

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