Image-of-the-Week: Irene’s Sediments

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Landsat 5 data from the U.S. Geological Survey Global Visualization Viewer. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image captured 2 September by Robert Simmon, using Landsat 5 data from the US Geological Survey Global Visualization Viewer. A week after Hurricane Irene blew through New England, dumping 6-10 inches/15-25 centimeters of rain into the 33 tributaries of the Connecticut River—in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut—sediment still poured into Long Island Sound. Meanwhile, the Thames River to the east showed little or no sediment. The difference: the Connecticut flows across lands once submerged under, and still loaded with agriculturally-rich silts of, Glacial Lake Hitchcock; the Thames flows through glacier-stripped bedrocks. Much of the sediment flooding into the sea in this image comes from farmland—with some riverbank fields literally washed away. Consequently, one of the powerful side-effects of this year’s extremely active hurricane season (14 named storms before the halfway mark, compared to 10-11 storms in the entirety of a normal season) will be the impact on local agriculture for years to come. Add to that the rebirth of La Niña, and we might expect more of the same in the coming months—including the possibility of another hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season and more lost farmlands next year.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend