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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Orleans under water, Arundati Roy, Chan AKya on Paul Krugman

Unless enormous amounts of soil are dumped onto the Mississippi River Delta, the region could lose up to 5,212 square miles of land to ocean and tidal marsh by 2100 -- a result of sea-level rise and the land sinking. Even if levees are intentionally breached to supply fresh sediment to the delta, the Mississippi River would fall billions of tons short of delivering enough silt to maintain a delta that looks anything like it does today. That's the picture two scientists with Louisiana State University have painted after trying to get a better handle on the restoration challenges facing the state's delta region. Will Much of New Orleans Be Underwater by 2100?
By Peter N. Spotts

When I ask her where she places her hope, Roy shrugs. She is tiny in stature, but her disillusion can fill a room. She has no faith in conventional politics to change anything. Obama "might be a symbol," she concedes, but nothing "about the relation of American capitalism with the rest of the world will alter ... To answer your question, it's not about my hope, it's about my DNA. There are people who are comfortable with power and people who are distinctly uncomfortable and made to question it." 'What's exciting is that writing has become a weapon'

Since winning the Booker prize in 1997, Arundhati Roy has put fiction on hold to become a global dissenter against repression, economic 'progress' - and dams. Tim Adams discovers the roots of her political passion

I loved the bit about the Bush infallibility complex in the statement, but it should have been directed not so much at the poorly advised Mr Obama, as the people advising him; an august group of Keynesians that includes Krugman himself. It is they who have ridden the infallibility complex that has failed to make the most important observations about the US economy: 1. Leverage needs to shrink across the economy, not merely get shifted around between the hands of private individuals and the US government;2. When consumption is almost three-quarters of any economy, you cannot cut leverage without hurting consumption. So live with it;3. For the economy to generate profits, it probably needs to become smaller, a lot smaller. Chan Akya on Paul Krugman


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