Dire Warnings that Came True:
Christopher Hallowell’s Holding Back the Sea
New York, NY - September 6, 2007--Professor of English Christopher Hallowell is one of those who foretold the cataclysm of New Orleans. In his book Holding Back the Sea (HarperCollins), published in 2001, he described in frightening detail the threat to the city’s aging levee system and the loss of Louisiana’s protective wetlands—vanishing at the rate of 16,000 acres per year. Small wonder that since hurricane Katrina hit, Hallowell has been a sought-after guest on National Public Radio. To date, he’s been interviewed twice, on Aug. 31 and again on Sept 6..Now that his Cassandra-like warnings have tragically come to pass, Hallowell argues that if New Orleans is to be rebuilt—as it must be for historic and cultural reasons—the federal government will be forced to finally disgorge the funding needed to shore up the city’s levee system—funding on which it has reneged time and again. The former director of the undergraduate journalism program, Hallowell has the rare ability to combine scientific and political analysis and reportage. Too bad Holding Back the Sea wasn’t required reading in Congress as soon as it came off the press.
A review of Hallowell’s book appeared in the Spring/Summer 2002 issue of Baruch College Alumni Magazine.