I was born in Georgia, I lived in Georgia until the age of 13, and much of my family lives in Georgia. I have always thought of myself as a Georgian, and I was saddened and appalled to see what has happened to my home state (and the South, in general).
As you descend the Appalachian Mountains on Interstate 77 (onto the Piedmont of North Carolina) you begin seeing widespread development. By development, I mean huge swaths of land cleared of trees, scraped of topsoil, and leveled for building. A small amount of this development is no big deal. However, you can scarcely find a section of road where such development is not visible.
The South's economy is booming (thanks in part to the cheap labor of illegal immigrants). The place is being developed extensively, with little or no regard for the environment. ...and the environment is the only thing that the South has going for it. When you take away the oaks, hickories, and tulip trees, that shady, hot, and sticky place becomes a blisteringly sunny, hotter, and stickier place. Not to mention the devastating effect on biological diversity.
It pains me to see what's happening in the South. The worst part is that the development is unsustainable. In 20 years, today's trendiest areas will be rapidly deteriorating. It's already happened to the areas that I once called home.