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The Mississippi River Is Drying Up


Economic Collapse Blog: The worst drought in more than 50 years is having a devastating impact on the Mississippi River. The Mississippi has become very thin and very narrow, and if it keeps on dropping there is a very real possibility that all river traffic could get shut down.

And considering the fact that approximately 60 percent of our grain, 22 percent of our oil and natural gas, and and one-fifth of our coal travel down the Mississippi River, that would be absolutely crippling for our economy. It has been estimated that if all Mississippi River traffic was stopped that it would cost the U.S. economy 300 million dollars a day. So far most of the media coverage of this historic drought has focused on the impact that it is having on farmers and ranchers, but the health of the Mississippi River is also absolutely crucial to the economic success of this nation, and right now the Mississippi is in incredibly bad shape.

In some areas the river is already 20 feet below normal and the water is expected to continue to drop. If we have another 12 months of weather ahead of us similar to what we have seen over the last 12 months then the mighty Mississippi is going to be a complete and total disaster zone by this time next year.

C o n t i n u e R e a d i n g . . .

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Just coincidence

but the title is similar to the first few lines of Hank William's lyrics from his song "A Country Boy Can Survive"...

"The preacher man says it’s the end of time
And the Mississippi River she’s a goin’ dry..."

Apparently there was some drought along the Mississippi in the early 80's when Hank wrote his song.
Also some serious drought in 1930-31, 63, 64, and 71.



I don't buy it

It's funny how they showed 17 foot water drop vertically. Phew!

"What would you do if you knew you could not fail"

Don't buy it. Ship it! Ship by ship, & save your money.

Save freight charges. Ship by ship!

Figure 2: Average freight revenue per ton-mile (2006 $)

Air 80 ¢
Truck 27 ¢
Rail 2 ¢
Ship 1 ¢ (one penny)

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Transportation Statistics, 2009. http://www.c2es.org/technology/factsheet/FreightTransportation

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Who wants to bet

that when they say how much cheaper it is to move cargo on the river, they are not taking into account how many tax payer dollars go into keeping the river navigable? (That said, I am guessing downstream and upstream travel are two different stories. Traveling north, I would expect rail to be cheaper than barge due to fuel costs.)

Place your bet with a cargo pilot. Rail is less BTU / ton now.

You lose some ways; you win others.

By far, water transport is cheaper. One cargo ton ships on average for about 1 ¢. Compare that to about 2 ¢ by trail.

Here is one report that presents facts. I bypassed the political rhetoric. This century, rail has come to efficiently use BTU / ton transporting cargo. Used to be that shipping by ship was cheaper as tonnage increased; in this century, rail has become more energy efficient.

Table 1: Energy intensity of domestic transportation modes in the U.S. 1980 - 2006.

Truck 23,340 BTU / Vehicle Mile | 4,074 BTU / Ton Mile
Rail 14,990 BTU / freight car mile | 330 " / "
Ship n/a | 571 " / "

Note: Calculated Class I railroads, the largest freight railroad companies based on operations.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Transportation Energy Data Book. 2008. U.S. Department of Transportation, National Transportation Statistics, 2009. http://www.c2es.org/technology/factsheet/FreightTransportation

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

citing global warming nut jobs = bad idea

From here:

"It should be pointed out that if you look at a fully loaded barge on the Mississippi River, that is southbound (downstream), it consumes 145.5 Btu/ton-mile which is more efficient than rail. On the return trip (upstream) with a 37.7 % backhaul( 37.7 % loaded), the fuel consumption increases to 571 Btu/ton-mile which is higher energy consumption than rail."

The site you are citing appears to be grossly distorting reality. If you go to the "Transportation Energy Data Book" they claim to be using as their source (latest edition available here), you'll find that their rail numbers match up exactly with that report, but their shipping numbers aren't even close. The report gives the 2006 ship btu/ton-mile as 235 and shows btu/ton-mile going down over the years, whereas the site you reference lists it as 571 and claims it is going up. (That really should have been a giant red flag for you -- saying that shipping has gotten 59.5% less efficient from 1980 to 2006 is one hell of a claim.) I don't know where they got their numbers, but that 571 just happens to exactly match the btu/ton-mile required to move cargo up the Mississippi (per the source I referenced). If you average the 145.5 and 571 you get 358.25, which is higher than the stated 235 -- but that makes sense because the fuel costs means that ships tend to travel downstream fully loaded and upstream lightly loaded or empty (with other transportation modes taking up the slack of moving cargo north).

Looking at the site you referenced (c2es.org), they are the "Center for Climate and Energy Solutions". wikipedia describes them as an "organization dedicated to providing [...] innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change".

Thank you. Suspected something was amiss w/ shipping data.

I generally believe the source of the data cited; you did what I oft do. Go to the source. As the data was pretty simple to report, I did not check to confirm the data was properly conveyed. Sorry. I am pleased you caught the errors.

Yes, I did wince when I noticed the cargo shipped by ship was was going up, whilst other modes were going down over the years. I am aware of the jesters pretending "climate change" (formerly pretended "global warming" (by hockey stick no less).

I was more interested in reporting that ships can deliver cargo for 1¢ that would cost 2¢ by rail. 27¢ by truck. I will be more careful.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

I think it's HAARP!

I also suspected that some of the previous flooding was HAARP ... when rain systems moved in and stopped and dumped and dumped and dumped.

A meteorologist friend of my has noticed "El Nino" shaping up on the western coast of South America. If he's right, they'll have droughts during their summer (our winter) as well.

I personally think this is population control ... expensive food ... no food ... starving people ... dead people.

The government has been able to control weather for a very long time. Katrina had to be their doing. This drought is their doing. Weather has become one of their favorite weapons.

I'm not saying that bad weather can't happen naturally, but I assume the worst these days. They never use their technology for good, only for evil.

WHAT??? Mother Nature does not give us perfect

rain cycles. Go figure.


Without further investigation.


I have been involved with the Klamath Basin water issues since 99 and I have witnessed how much of "green water PTB" ended up channeling much of the water into the ocean in the name of "increased river flows" so that nobody wins. Nobody but the green litigation groups, that is.

THE PROBLEM WAS CONTRIVED from the beginning and STILL elements are within and still causing problems to this day.

Do I know what's going on with the Mississippi? No more than I have seen on this video. However, from what I've learned in the past, water is for fightin and whisky is fer drinkin, just saying, look before you take the leap.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Seriously? What a load of

Seriously? What a load of crap. 1 year ago, towns all along the Mississippi river had to blow up their levies in order to prevent catastrophic damage.

Boo hoo, the Country is a little dry this year. It'll all be different next year.


in May of 2010 I was in Middle TN, torrential rains over two days caused the worst floods in the areas history.

in May of 2011 I was in West TN near the big river, Heavy rains and accumulation of northern snowmelt that had accumulated all winter caused the worst flooding in the past 100 years.

So... we have one year without devastating floods and all of the sudden the Mighty Mississippi is drying up... quick someone do something!

Not sure why anyone would downvote you.

Your not sure why anybody

Your not sure why anybody would down vote him? Could it be that he is an idiot? However, if he is an idiot, then you must be on also.

Why would I call you two idiots; maybe its' because you don't think.

They blew up the levies last year because the wetlands, which would naturally catch the overflow -thereby preventing the Mississippi from rising as high as it did, were confiscated to turn into big agra farms; which is why the levies were put in place -so the wetlands could try out.

The wetlands act like a sponge for the Mississippi river; when the river overflows the wetlands absorb the excess. The wetlands then release the excess slowly back; this prevents the Mississippi from getting as high as it did last year. It also prevents the Mississippi from being as shallow as it is this year during a drought. The excess from last year created a problem for shipping on the Mississippi, and now the excessively low water level of the Mississippi is causing problems with shipping this year as well.

If you two don't think that is a problem, then you two are in fact idiots.
If you think that the major swings in water levels between one year and the next, are natural even during a heavy rain year and a low rain year; then all I can say is that the public indoctrination centers have certainly done their job well.

The magnitude of the swings in water level have only gotten greater since the wetlands were dried out. But, I'm sure drying out the wetlands has nothing to do with it. I'm sure when your food products later this year climb in price, you will not question why that is.

gee thanks

high and mighty? if i tell someone i don't know why they're being downvoted because someone took the time to downvote them instead of explaining their negativity, you feel the need to start calling names? I come here to learn, not to try and belittle people and make myself feel smarter, hence my name. I'm just trying to 'delve' a little deeper than my public indoctrination center allowed me... i'm not "The Philosopher" so excuse me for seeming like I think I know it all.

I live near the forked deer river. back in the 50s, way before my time it was just as you say, wetlands and a long windy natural river. then tptb decided to cut it up and channelize it which all run in nice straight lines now for the interests of the big money farms. I know this just as well as you do.

I didn't say its not a problem that we have ruined our land, I just don't want people to overreact and do more harm than they already have or blame it on global warming. the earth is fixing itself.

Drove along the Platte yesterday

It was a truly sobering drive. We added 2 extra hours to a 2 1/2 hr drive just because we wanted to look at more stuff. I have honestly never seen anything like it.

The Platte River which meanders West to East across Nebraska is a complete desert where we saw it. (Grand Island, Columbus, Seward). There are tracks of 4 wheelers and dirt bikes. There is 1-2' tall grass across much of the sand bar which now makes up the river bed. In places we saw 3' trees and 2' hedges growing wildly. I'm told of virtual tent cities where camping has mixed recreation with lack of regulation since there now seems to be a gap in restraint.

Other rivers are very low. Some are reduced to a creek winding through a sand channel while others are simply 'a little low'.

Corn fields were the oddest part. Having detassled corn in high school, I can tell you that it should all be green and 8' tall now. Harvesting should begin late Sept and run through Oct. That's not what we saw. About half has been 'harvested' so far. I put quotes around that because many aren't doing what you would expect. They are cutting it waist high and bailing it like hay. Most of the cobs are 2-4" long with kernel rows of 1-2" long and very small kernels at that. All I can think of is that they left it waste tall to get a little more growth yet this year or to pasture cattle or to avoid shorter, tougher stalks spiking into tractor tires. (Which was recently attributed to Monsanto's wonderful genetics program.)

The rest of the corn was either very green (obviously irrigated) and 5-6' tall, or completely golden (dead) and 5' tall. I have never seen a half harvested field with less than about 9' tall corn being collected. I don't think we saw a single stalk that tall all day.

This follows what I've been expecting. I've lived here most of my life and have never seen anything close to what has become the norm over the last decade. Growing up, we had 2' snows 2-4 times per year and we drove on snow packed roads from November to March. We haven't had snow stay on the road more than 1 day past the storm now for 5 years. I've played golf 4 of the last 6 Christmas weekends.

I've grown up with floods being the norm, having 5-8 per year. Since the NRD built dams, we have traded that for more stable rivers. However, now the ponds, lakes and reservoirs all take the hit. Can't tell you how many have had some form of major problem recently. Either they are too low for swimming or they get harmful bacterial algae or they need draining and dredging. It's very odd.

Another thing I've noticed this year is the Jet Stream. I've never seen it so far North as it's most Southern point has been. Usually, it cuts Colorado, S. Nebr., up through IA or MN and across the Great Lakes. Different storms move it +/- 500 miles temporarily and it kind of returns. This year, I noted that it went for nearly 2 months without even touching Nebr. once. Many of those days, it didn't even touch SD. We somehow got stuck in this trend of getting missed. Very odd.

This brings me to my biggest observation. This year, we have had forcasts of storms to bring us rain. Many have come our way but then something odd happens. Out of the dozen or so we should have gotten, probably 8-10 of them have either split just before hitting us or they simply dissipated into nothing. I'd love to track this for other areas up to 100-300 miles away but I have only watched it for my immediate 'storm radar' region. The storms that have dropped by for a brief visit have carried some intensive lightning though. Also, we haven't had a good tornado type storm in 3 years when we used to have half a dozen per season.


This is alarming.

What does Mark Twain think, I wonder--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

"Yikes!" is a fair expression.


Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

You must have overlooked it...

3 comments down from yours, he beat you by 8.5 hours.

I saw that later, but I decided not to delete my . . .

message, and I chuckled when I saw his--


He's always right on the 'mark' (pun intended)--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Rain is coming

This week and the following weeks here in Illinois are going to be exceptionally wet. The soy bean crop is going to be saved. That is the word, but hey I actually live near the Mississippi River. The river will have more water in it.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

Euphrates River is Predicted to Dry Up to Make way-Kings of East

I believe the Mississippi River is the original Euphrates mentioned in the Bible in Genesis chapter 2. The Middle East Euphrates River is the second Euphrates River , so named by Noah and his sons after they got off the Ark in Turkey after being tossed by waves for a year. So thereby, at some point in the future , the Mississippi River will really dry up so that China( King of the East), and other countries of the East can invade us better. Watch the movie "Red Dawn", and you will see I am not the only one who interprets the Bible this way. The Missouri River is the River in the garden that went to a land of good gold--land that comprises California, OREgon, Washington state, Colorado etc. Ever hear of the GOLD RUSH ? Also the USA has coal and nice fancy jewel like rocks like it mentions in Genesis chap. 2. I believe the other 2 rivers of the garden of Eden are the Ohio and the Illinois rivers. Most years those of us who live along the Mississippi River , do not have to water our grass. It stays green thru spring, summer and autumn. It averages rain about every 2nd week. I live in Iowa. :-)

Please tell me you're kidding.

Dr. Paul's words on the Federal Reserve and people like Carroll Quigley have set me on a path of enlightenment to the monolithic controls of the power elite, the banking cartel, and even their history of eugenicist belief. People like yourself lead truth-seekers astray. There is a very clear, substantiated history of our societal vestiges of control and the collapse (or, to you Christian nuts, the "end times") they're orchestrating, knowingly or not.

Putzing around spouting off wild Biblical theories is no better than David Icke proclaiming that there are lizard men among us, and certainly no more productive.

"The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else."
-Frederic Bastiat

1883. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

"In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact."
- Life on the Mississippi

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

haha! I'm glad i kept reading.

I always enjoy your posts.

In a few years they'll be

In a few years they'll be complaining about flooding. But I live in Oklahoma City and the weather has certainly changed a lot since I was a kid. But I was a kid in the 80s and 90s. Now we have blizzards, droughts and earthquakes. Two blizzards, and two strong earthquakes and two really bad droughts in the last several years here. Before these I never felt an earthquake here before, and had never been in a blizzard before. There are cracks I'm noticing in the ground it's so damn dry.

But it'll change. It always does.

the preacher man says its the

the preacher man says its the end of time
and the mississippi river, she's going dry

Interest is up and Stock Markets down
and you only get mugged if you go downtown
-Hank Williams Jr,

A country boy can survive.

It's funny

that the song was released in 1982 and they were scared the mississippi was going dry then. People are linear thinkers sometimes. It's like if it hasn't rained in 3 days, well if that trend keeps up for 10 years everything is going to dry up. George Carlin says it best:

TwelveOhOne's picture

One of my favorites of his: "Earth plus plastic"


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Thanks for posting

That is awesome, never saw that.

Jack Wagner