Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Christmas Lists are not all toys but some have ideas and suggestions. Bob Marshall makes his list public.

While some regular readers believe I’m not very nice and have been very, very naughty this year, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and putting together a Christmas list anyway. To increase my chances, I’ll leave it next to a plate of boudin balls and crawfish beignets. So, all I want for Christmas is … I want the GOP to admit climate change poses an existential threat to our nation and embrace national policies urgently reducing the greenhouse emissions driving that crisis. This party is the reason progress on the climate crisis has been so slow. First, it opposed regulations that would force emissions reductions, saying that could harm the economy. Then, it unanimously opposed President Joe Biden’s climate bill, which had no regulations but only grants for voluntary emissions reductions and research. Further, fighting emissions controls is literally fighting against the future of south Louisiana. That’s because emissions are driving warming, which is driving the acceleration in sea level rise that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says could flood much of our coastal zone with two feet of water by 2050.

His first wish is a big one and I will add that the Louisiana delegation should think of the state. His second is economic.

I want Louisiana politicians leading an effort to make our state a center for offshore wind energy development. Yes, oil and gas will be needed in the future but in ever-reducing volume because the price for renewable energy — solar and wind — has already dropped below the costs of coal. Offshore wind energy is now moving to floating towers in deep water, and Louisiana’s decades designing, building and maintaining giant floating oil and gas wells means it has a labor force ready to lead that charge.

His third is a good idea and schools should do it. UNO is adding a major in climate study. This also required public notice.

I want climate science to be a required part of science study in Louisiana beginning in middle school. Not educating students in Louisiana about climate change is the same as not teaching them about hurricanes. Imagine students in California not learning about earthquakes or forest fires. Climate change is a fact of life the next generations will be living with from cradle to grave. And any that chose to live in Louisiana south of Baton Rouge will need to understand the impacts, the causes and any possible solutions.

His fourth is semantics but words do matter.

I want to eliminate the word “disappearing” from any mention of Louisiana’s wetlands and coast. “Disappearing” implies some gentle, natural act, a slow fade into history as an ecosystem evolves. That is a gross lie about what we did to more than 2,000 square miles of the landscape we call home. These wetlands were purposefully strip-mined, drained, buried under tons of garbage, dug up and thrown away. Let’s admit what we did and how we did it, then pledge never to make those same choices again.

His fifth is one that the oil and gas industry will not like but they have done damage and do not clean up after them selves.

I want every resident of coastal Louisiana — and any community being courted by the oil and gas industry — to visit to see in brilliant detail the perils of allowing industry to have its way on a landscape. It’s an amazing interactive online reporting project by New Orleanian Imani Jacqueline Brown tracking the damage done in just a few southeastern parishes.

His sixth is on the same topic but we do need to diversify our industry.

I want those readers who believe rapidly moving away from oil and gas can’t be done and would be an economic disaster to listen to a recent interview of Bill McKibben by Ezra Klein, or read the transcript. You may know McKibben only as the climate activist always getting arrested at (nonviolent) protests. But his concerns are based on scientific research and — most importantly now — economic facts. This interview is filled with information that questions many of the assumptions (and misinformation) about the costs and timeliness of moving away from fossil fuels.

His remaining three are needed for a civil society.

I want Louisiana voters to understand being pro-environment is not being anti-business. I want Americans to begin reading and listening to people who disagree with them, if they are being respectful. I want everyone to have a happy and safe holiday season.

When we lived in New York City on Governours Island, I got to a dinner with the Episcopal Bishop of India. One of the diners stated that in college her daughter has to read Marx. We are not communists and I don’t think this is a good idea. The bishop said have her read it as if you don’t know what the others think how can you counter their arguments? He was right and I do try to read opposing views.

A Christmas List to make things better
Tagged on: