President Biden in Iowa | Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons
Part VI of the “United States 2024 Election” Series
This column called the POTUS “Joe Biden of Old” and “Joe Biden, the Bold” in its past issues. Mr. Biden can go bolder and launch what this writer now dubs “The Old Man and TNsea Moonshot.”
“TNsea Moonshot” is now a term to describe a project that is probably the best prestige project of a suggested “Biden Back-to-Basics Doctrine.” It is a moonshot of a project by taming the “Old Man River” and making the Great State of Tennessee a “sea.”
At the start, many of this columnist’s peers laughed at making a landlocked state like Tennessee an “island.” But some of his friends encouraged him to write more about it. This journalist even registered the domain name http://www.tnsea.net.
But first things first. Not everybody knows the Mississippi River better than his editorial assistant, Mr. Google. His research provided more data that this columnist used in writing about “Old Man River.”
On November 24, 2021, this columnist wrote, From the Engineering Viewpoint: Taming the ‘Old Man River’ Is Now Feasible, Part XVIII of the “EDEN America” series. It discussed much to consider along this great American waterway as it courses through 10 states—Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. American policy and decision-makers must act soon. Climate Change is compounding the depletion of aquifer waters in many states due to increasing use brought about by population growth and the increasing needs of businesses and industries.
The “Old Man River” gets its waters from river tributaries of 31 states. (Some reference sites say “from 33 states”.) Water from parts or all 31 (or 33) states and their river tributaries drains into the Mississippi River. It creates a drainage basin over 1,245,000 square miles in size. Therefore, the people in the said states need to become stakeholders of the proposed “taming of the Mississippi River.” More data are available at The Mississippi/Atchafalaya River Basin (MARB) | US EPA. It is public knowledge that the Mississippi River rises in Lake Itasca in Minnesota and ends in the Gulf of Mexico, where its water becomes part of the ocean. It covers a total distance of 2,340 miles (3,766 kilometers) from its source. The Mississippi River is the longest in North America.
The idea of The Old Man and TNsea began when this journalist cum community leader spearheaded the first “Filipina-Hispana Fiesta” in June 1995 at the West Covina Mall in San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. The prime mover obtained a first-ever grant to a community local event from the Federal Express (FedEx), a transportation conglomerate headquartered in Memphis, TN.
FedEx was the sole corporate sponsor of the event. It was an exception to its corporate sponsorship policy, as FedEx primarily patronizes corporate events. But this writer appealed to Frederick W. Smith, the FedEx then CEO, president, and chairman of the Board. Mr. Smith is said to be a great friend of the Philippines. In short, the FedEx big boss approved a modest budget for the Filipina-Hispana-American fiesta at a mall.
Of course, Ernest Hemingway’s 1952 novella The Old Man and the Sea inspired this columnist’s chosen title for the proposed “Old Man River” project.
By next Sunday, this column will tell why the “TNsea” idea could have won the presidency for then-Vice President Al Gore in 2000. This year would have been the third decade of diverting the waters of the Mississippi River to Tennessee as the site of water-cleaning and water-exporting viable operations for clients in the Continental U.S.A. (CONUS). Yes, cleaning and pumping it to running dry states — instead of the water just ending in the Gulf of Mexico. It would also have made greener barren mountains, especially deserts (like those shared with Mexico), and watershed areas of the tributary rivers.
To date, many locations in the CONUS are experiencing drought due to Global Warming, the depletion of
aquifers, and pollution. Worse of all is the use of more dirty fossil fuels as the electricity produced by big dams and mini-hydropower plants is lower due to decreasing water levels in the country’s biggest rivers.