Thursday, September 8, 2016

Louisiana's Desperately Fragile Future

We survived the floods.  We had water two and a half feet deep all around our house, but none IN the house, and that is a great relief.  Upwards of 40,000 homes in the Baton Rouge area did not fare so well.  Cars are still being towed to one of several lots, awaiting the insurance adjusters to write the damage claim.  People are sick from all the water - or all the bacteria that was in the water.  FEMA, under Obama, had a much better response record than it did after Hurricane Katrina under Dubya.  But trust me, this major catastrophe was not even close to the disaster after Katrina.  People's lives are trying to return to a chaotic, definitely unhealthier, version of normal.  Certainly that will be the norm for quite awhile.  But what does all this really mean?

The headline of the New York Times on Sunday, September 5, 2016, says, "Global Warning's Mark: Coastal Inundation".

Well, we were certainly inundated.  Quite a few years ago, one scientific paper claimed that we had passed the tipping point on global warming.  Inside a great deal of scientific data and models, that meant that it was now past the point where we could fix it.  That frightened me.  If we can't fix it, what will happen to us?

If you live in southern Louisiana, or along the southern coast, you are very aware of the climate changes happening.  We've had more rain in Louisiana this year than has ever fallen since record keeping began. It is also the hottest summer on record. The floods that occurred here have been called a 1,000 year event; but is it?  At the rate Mother Earth is being injured, we won't have another 1,000 years to find out.

Amidst all this devastation, we have corporations, politicians, a handful of scientists and common folk who not only are willing to, but absolutely do believe that none of this is true, that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by liberals.  Despite all evidence to the contrary, there are so many people who just will not accept that the planet has changed and now, whether we like it or not, we have to change.  Apparently, change is the hardest thing in the world for people who are desperate to live their lives in denial.  And climate change is, as Al Gore wrote, an inconvenient truth, something best left unsaid and unacknowledged by the fearsome.

Louisiana has always been a contradiction.  It is as beautiful as it's political history is corrupt.  It has incredible natural resources that have been stolen and sold by money grubbing corporations and greased-palmed Louisiana politicians.  It is a state as rich in culture as it is poor in economics.  It has been swindled, cheated and tormented by the worst of business and politics, and it has been swindled, cheated and tormented by its own citizens, who refused to take responsibility for searching for truth.  I agree, it is easier to believe all the spoon fed lies they've been peddled, but if Louisiana is to survive, then its population had better hop off the fence and start fighting.

Despite being deeply frustrated at the horrors of the Great Flood of 2016, I love Louisiana and I don't intend to leave, at least, not until departure is my only option.  Climate change will probably force me out, but meanwhile, I crusade alongside the Green Army to demand citizens here put an end to the corporate and political exploitation of their land and educate themselves on the facts of climate change.  Native Louisianans are some of the best and kindest people I know - perhaps that's why they're slow to anger and fight, but the fight is on here now.

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