Trump voters just pulled the life support plug on America’s Delta
Louisiana’s comprehensive coastal master plan, currently under revision, should include a disclaimer on page one asserting that, unless global carbon emissions are effectively reduced within the next 20 years or so, the plan cannot succeed.
The Trump philosophy, which jettisons measures to reduce climate change, will impact our red coast, as well as both blue coasts inhabited by all those ‘elitist’ Hillary-supporters. Each and every Trump voter in Louisiana will share the blame for a predictable Trump tidal wave.
by Len Bahr, Ph.D.
I’m truly an anachronism – an old liberal white guy of modest means who’s extremely disappointed in the outcome of the POTUS election. I’m particularly distressed that the election outcome will likely put an end to significant recent global progress on climate change.
I’ve always considered myself fortunate in having been raised by parents who encouraged my academic interests in a setting near the politically Blue Coast of Maryland that specifically inspired a lifelong interest in coastal ecology. Now I’m wondering whether a life spent pursuing creature comforts rather than studying the function of nature would have allowed me to deal with what just happened with the equanimity of ignorance.
For 43 years I’ve lived and worked in the politically Red Coast of South Louisiana as a scientist and technical advisor. Although much of my knowledge base was established further north and east, my training transcends latitude, longitude – and presumably politics. To my consternation, the 2016 election cycle seems to have sacrificed objective science on the altar of subjective partisan ideology.
Those of us who care about the future of our coast struggle not only with a delta disconnected from its mighty Mississippi riverine creator but with elected officials who view the opinions of scientists as a threat to Louisiana’s oil-based economy. Warnings from authorities on climate change are blatantly dismissed by the Louisiana GOP congressional delegation, including our most senior member, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. He uses pejorative terms far less poetic than the infamous nattering nabobs of negativism coined by the late VP, convicted felon, and fellow Marylander Spiro T. Agnew. Here’s a telling November 12 position statement by Congressman Scalise on energy policy and climate change:
For too long, families across the nation have suffered under the Obama Administration’s destructive energy policies and radical climate change agenda. It is clear that America needs a change in course, and I couldn’t be more excited to work with President-elect Donald Trump to get our country and our economy back on track. We can start by getting rid of job-killing energy regulations so we can rebuild the middle class and create thousands of good-paying jobs by unleashing America’s energy potential.
As a nation, we have been blessed with an abundance of energy resources. Maximizing our energy potential creates jobs, strengthens our national security and increases our energy independence. Americans know that we cannot achieve energy security by continuing President Obama’s job-killing agenda, and I look forward to working with President-elect Trump and my colleagues in Congress to create more jobs and opportunities for the hardworking families of Louisiana and America.
It is an honor to represent you in Congress. For more information please visit my website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages.
I notice that economists and oil and gas shills like Lauren Scott have been silent about Trump’s pledge to maximize the production of Americas fossil fuel reserves. I’m very curious how this plan could possibly benefit oil patch workers and coal miners in the red states of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alaska, West Virginia, and Kentucky, who have been laid off because of an already glutted energy market. Nevertheless, these folks turned out in droves to support Trump.
We harbingers of climate change are viewed by members of the Trump camp as elitist snobs who cook the data books to confirm our ridiculously gloomy convictions.
Upon opening my eyes at 7:30 AM on November 9th and realizing that what I remembered before turning in six hours earlier had not been a nightmare, I flashed on the coastal implications of a Trump administration so strikingly bereft of curiosity and basic scientific knowledge.
During the excruciating presidential campaign I had been astonished and disheartened by the fact that climate change was virtually ignored by the media and the debate moderators, even though, as documentarian Michael Moore posted on AlterNet.org:“…You live in a country where a majority of citizens have said they believe there’s climate change…”
A growing number of post-election articles about the implications of the prospective Trump administration on the issue of global warming include the following examples:
Will Oremus described Trump’s global impacts in Slate.com. Robinson Mayer provided his perspective in TheAtlantic.com. TheDailyBeast.com noted that Trump is considering appointing Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic, to redesign EPA. Nick Visser reported in HuffingtonPost.com on the reaction of world environmental leaders to Trump’s election. Andrea Thompson at ClimateCentral.org reported on the reactions of top climate experts. Here’s another HuffPost article by Max Greenwood and still another by Zoe Carpenter in TheNation.com. HuffPost published a report by Alexander C. Kaufman, noting widespread glee among anti-regulatory oil industry reps. Salon.com published an AP article by Jason Dearen. An article in Politico.com by Alex Guillen, Elana Schor, Esther Whieldon, and Eric Wolff. Rounding out this list is a MotherJones.com interview with Bill McKibben by Julie Laurie, one of the more succinct and useful summaries of the implications on climate change of the Trump takeover. In reviewing these comments I noted that Mike Pence, our VP elect, is a young earth creationist, just like former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who may also have a shot at a cabinet post.
If Trump proceeds to remove Obama’s barely-dry signatures from the already fragile international agreements on reducing global carbon emissions, our highly touted delta restoration program cannot succeed against rising sea levels. In other words, our Red Coast will be toast.
Finally, the climate change deniers in Louisiana who supported the Donald in this election must share the blame when the Trump Tsunami targets our tragic coast. These folks should forever forfeit their claim to care about America’s Delta.