"As the South Grows: Weathering the Storm"

Publication date: 
November, 2017

"As the South Grows: Weathering the Storm"

The floods come bigger and more often these days in North Carolina. On the fertile coastal plains and wetlands of the eastern part of the state, water is central to nearly everyone’s livelihood. Waterways knitted together small Native and early colonial communities and, later, nurtured a thriving textile industry. Generous rains still irrigate big industrial farms and small family plots. But in just the last two years, the mostly poor region has also borne two historic floods: Twice-a-century events that have begun arriving annually.Hundreds of miles away in the backwoods and bayous of coastal Louisiana, history seems to be accelerating, too. The region was already saddled with environmental toxins from a petro-chemical industry that decimated the region with 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. And 2016 brought the displacement of the country’s first seawater rise refugees. Water made Louisiana the jewel of colonial America’s inland empire; now it threatens whole swaths of the state.

Southern communities are on the front lines of an ongoing global climate crisis, one whose threats grow in scope and magnitude each day. In many ways, Southerners have been among the first to learn what it’s like to live with a new climate – the more hostile one we have created for ourselves over decades of living outside our planetary means. More intense storms, hastening sea level rise, agricultural disturbances and other climate factors present an existential threat to Southern communities and an uncontainable, exponential one for the country. Many Southerners know this; they understand the threats and their enablers in concentrated, reactive, corporate-backed power. Although many of those same Southerners are organizing and mobilizing around a resilient and just new future, foundation investment in Southern communities does not match that reality...

Find More By

Resource type