I like John McPhee. I blogged about one of his articles in the New Yorker here but sadly, that piece – Tight-Assed River – is not available on the Web.
My Katrina-New Yorker post links to several essays about New Orleans and Katrina and includes a John McPhee piece – The Sunken City. This is an excerpt from a longer piece originally published by the New Yorker and that piece is also available.
This quote is a quote itself pulled from the article. It’s source was a US Corps of Engineers film discussing a lock and dam complex about 300 miles north of New Orleans.
‘This nation has a large and powerful adversary. Our opponent could cause the United States to lose nearly all her seaborne commerce, to lose her standing as first among trading nations. . . .We are fighting Mother Nature. . . .It’s a battle we have to fight day by day, year by year; the health of our economy depends on victory.’
In the end, Mother Nature’s going to win though.