I know this might not be something having to do with Democratic politics, but living down here in New Orleans while I'm in law school, it's a vitally important moral issue to me, and to our country.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune has three part story on the shrinking wetlands in Southeast Louisiana the last few days, and I've got to say it's pretty scary. These are just some of the scariest facts to be gleaned from the articles.
A) Louisiana is losing about a football field worth of wetlands every half hour
B) in about 10 yrs. the water level will rise between 4 and 20 feet
C) by 2020, the water might be too close to New Orleans and could make it very dangerous to live there
These are some links to the Times-Picayune Articles:
- This is the link to the newspaper articles:
From the March 4th article written by Bob Marshall, entitled Last Chance- The fight to save a disappearing coast:
In 10 years, at current land-loss rates:
Gulf waves that once ended on barrier island beaches far from the city could be crashing on levees behind suburban lawns.
The state will be forced to begin abandoning outlying communities such as Lafitte, Golden Meadow, Cocodrie, Montegut, Leeville, Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.
The infrastructure serving a vital portion of the nation�s domestic energy production will be exposed to the encroaching Gulf.
Many levees built to withstand a few hours of storm surge will be standing in water 24 hours a day and facing the monster surges that come with tropical storms.
Hurricanes approaching from the south will treat the city like beachfront property, crushing it with forces like those experienced by the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Katrina.
From today's article, written by Bob Marshall and Mark Schleifstein entitled, Losing Ground:
Experts now say Louisiana has only about a decade left to change that equation or the Gulf could be lapping at New Orleans' suburbs.
"I hate to use the word 'failure,' " said Mark Schexnayder, who has been involved in coastal restoration for 20 years, lately as a regional coastal adviser with Louisiana State University's Sea Grant College Program. "But . . . obviously, we're losing the war."
- This is a graphics presentation about the loss of the wetlands:
It's not just about wetlands in Southeast Louisiana. It's not just An Inconvenient Truth. It's things like global warming in the Arctic Circle. Recently Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, said that issues such as global warming and climate change are human rights issues. http://www.reuters.com/...
I couldn't agree more. I'm only 24, but I know that these issues will be one of the most important things my generation will have to deal with. As human beings, regardless of our political or ideological beliefs, protecting our environment is one of our most important things we can do. It's not just important here in New Orleans, but it's important everywhere.
By working to bring this issue to the forefront for our friends and loved ones, our neighbors, our co-workers, we can make a difference, but we must act quickly and we must act decisively. We have to make combating climate change a priority, not just because our livelihoods depend on it, but becuase our children and our grandchildren will depend on the actions we take now.
Use energy efficient appliances, recycle, write letters to your Congressional members, your state legislators, write letters to the editor, simply talk to people about the issue. I believe the most important thing we can do is get people to understand that this is a problem that affects us all, and we all have to work together to solve it.
I also found some organizations that might be worth the time to look into:
- Earthjustice: a non-profit legal group dedicated to environmental justice.
- The Apollo Alliance: a group working towards alternative energy sources.
- The Natural Resources Defense Council: one of the preeminent organizations in the country dedicated to protecting our natural resources.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I'll leave you with a quote from the great author Victor Hugo: "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."