New Orleans And Southern Louisiana

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In December of 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, tearing through the levee systems, and resulting in massive flooding that eventually covered 80% of New Orleans (1), leading to the most significant number of deaths by the storm. As images of Hurricane Katrina were displayed on front pages and television sets across the counry, Katrina became a strategic research site for sociological theory and research of how identity shapes a natural disaster (1). In this essay, I want to explore the fate of New Orleans. How will climate change affect human populations and which human populations will it affect? To do this, I will need to review both scientific and socially scientific papers to understand what the future of New Orleans and southern Louisiana will look like. Though this concept is technically broad for the limitations of this paper, I will review several pieces of literature to begin to gain an understanding of the social and ecological situations at play.
I’ll begin with a very brief history of the Gulf region. As America expanded west, wealthy Anglicans were encouraged to move to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to buy slaves, creating an economy of agriculture, slave labor, and exchange with Europe. With the popularization of the transcontinental railroad in the 1800s, the Gulf lessened dependence on Mississippi River and trade with the Midwest and grew to depend on New England cities and elites. With the 1960s came a boom of cities in
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