Drought may curtail Mississippi River barge shipping

Water levels on the Mississippi River may drop to historic lows next month in the Midwest, delaying barges carrying everything from grains and coal to steel and petroleum, after the worst U.S. drought in 56 years.

Agriculture prices will no doubt increase as shipments are delayed. The drought is expected to continue until at least February. Water levels may soon be too shallow for barge traffic on the Mississippi from St Louis MO to Cairo IL. And that area isn’t even the most drought-stricken, as the map shows.

Our weather, it seems, is changing, and becoming more unpredictable and extreme. This of course is precisely the result of climate change. Sure, weather can fluctuate, sometimes drastically. But the trend-line is definitely towards extreme weather, and the cause is global warming.

If goods can’t be shipped down the Mississippi, then all manner of businesses and services in the area and nationwide will be adversely affected. The drought has also lowered corn production even as record number of acres were planted.

Gosh, I’m so glad our government is so pro-active about remediating the effects of global warming and that we don’t have troglodytes in the House and a do-nothing president.