Op Ed on coastal politics in Times-Pic
I was flattered to be invited to comment on the political side of the huge technical challenge to saving Louisiana south of I-10/I-12, which was so well documented in “Losing Louisiana.” Being limited to 700 words is an excruciating handicap when describing a subject so rich. For example, I firmly believe that our only hope to justify the national investment that will be required for even limited success is the use of credible science (e.g., note President-elect Obama’s new picks for cabinet posts).
On this note, one piece of my original draft that hit the cutting room floor was Gov. Jindal’s support for and signing of a bill to encourage public school teachers to instill doubts about science (evolution and climate change) in the minds of our youth sends exactly the wrong signal.
I would also like to correct the impression from my piece that the Corps of Engineers is the only agency involved in our coastal protection and restoration program characterized by bureaucracy and hostility to academic science. Ivor van Heerden is far from alone among many bona fide coastal experts whose opinions have either been rebuffed or have never been solicited by agencies confident that they know enough to spend, let’s say, a hundred billion dollars of public money.