Climate change is bring a lot of water to South Louisiana through storm, rain fall and rising seas. Yet the bulk of our congressional delegation refuses to vote for bills aimed as stemming climate change or, worse, say it is not a problem Bob Marshall takes them to task and notes if they continue, their constituents will be under water.
Every Louisiana politician — but especially members of the state’s GOP congressional delegation like Steve Scalise — should start each day by repeating this statement often credited to the great painter and ornithologist John James Audubon: “A true conservationist is a man who knows the world is not given by his father but borrowed from his children.” Of course, working to leave the next generation a thriving, healthy country should be considered a core responsibility of every citizen. I focus on politicians here because, in our society, they decide which policies our country will follow to achieve that end.nola.com
Mr. Marshall singles out republicans as, as a party, they pay scant attention to climate change and ways to combat them. It is worse for the ones here as we are on the front lines.
And I single out the GOP because they continue taking actions ensuring our children and grandchildren will face a harder, more expensive, more perilous and life-threatening future. I’m talking about the GOP’s continued resistance to the urgent measures needed to address the causes of our rapidly changing climate. That’s not my opinion or a “liberal talking point.” It’s the conclusion of the peer-reviewed study “Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes,” in the latest edition of the journal Science published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The paper finds that if our climate continues to warm at current rates due to emissions, most of today’s 6-year-olds will experience three times as many climate disasters, twice as many wildfires, 1.7 times as many hurricanes, 3.4 times more river floods, 2.5 times more crop failures and 2.3 times as many droughts as someone born in 1960. “Our results highlight a severe threat to the safety of young generations and call for drastic emission reductions to safeguard their future.” says Wim Thiery, a climate scientist at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and lead author of the study.
All this should not come as a surprise as for decades it has been noted by governments, private groups and civic organizations.
None of this should be a surprise. For two decades climatologists have been warning us the changes in the climate caused by our greenhouse gas emissions must be addressed at the early stages because the impacts will be exponential. They are developing like a space shot; starting slowly at the launch but gradually gaining speed and power until they become unstoppable to our descendants. Louisiana has long been a testing ground for that model, and the results have been devastating. The sediment-starved river deltas we live on are sinking at the same time sea level rise is accelerating due to those emissions. That increase is one reason even small hurricanes now routinely push storm surge into Plaquemines, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, Jefferson and other parishes represented by Scalise. The new, record-breaking summer temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico caused by emissions are a reason we have had a succession of record rainstorms flooding communities across the Florida Parishes and Baton Rouge — all represented by other GOP congressmen fighting attempts to reduce those emissions.
We also have warmer oceans and that is augmenting force for storms and hurricanes.
Warming ocean temperatures are also considered a major reason why a record 18 tropical storms and hurricanes have hit the U.S. in the last two years — most of those along the Gulf Coast. And here’s the thing: Sea level rise so far has been measured only in inches; if emissions are not curbed quickly, scientists say that will surge to feet over the next decades. That won’t just cause “damages” to south Louisiana. It could erase it from the map.
It has been said that we vote against our own self-interest and this is a prime example.
Some of today’s parents and grandparents electing those politicians scoff at the first impacts they have begun to feel. They say these are just part of natural cycles. They vote for GOP policy makers who encourage that skepticism, claiming necessary solutions to reduce the pace of climate change would cost too much money, too many jobs, too dramatic a shift in their lifestyles. That’s been the GOP brand since the 1980s. They believe the planet is an inheritance they should be able to exploit for their own immediate profit, rather than a treasure borrowed from their children.
Bob raises two thoughts that we should ask ourselves.
But I wonder two things: do they ever consider what that inheritance would have been if their parents and grandparents had the same attitude and what their grandchildren will think of them for borrowing a relatively healthy world to live in, and returning a disaster?
These are two good comments and we need to put the fight against climate change to the citizens. Bart calls this our regularly but he seems to be the only one. Will it take all of us to be flooded out to make people think? Or we are told to evacuate and not come back as the city is no longer habitable?