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Trump Wants to Downplay Gobal Warming. Louisiana Won't Let Him

Thursday, January 26, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon Stage
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“Mother Nature is threatening to kick our people out.”

 

From BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

As Trump’s administration prepares to unravel federal policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions, state and local governments are trying increasingly aggressive steps to cope with the consequences of those emissions. In New Jersey, a state program offers residents in flood zones the pre-Hurricane Sandy value of their homes, turning the land into a buffer against the next storm. In Alaska, entire coastal towns are petitioning the federal government for money to move inland.

But nowhere is the rush to adapt to climate change more urgent than in Louisiana. Levees built in the aftermath of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 reduced inundations but also the deposit of sediment that had offset the gradual sinking of the marshlands—a process that accelerated with the expansion of the area’s oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, canals built to service the oil and gas wells let salt water penetrate deeper into the marshes, killing vegetation and speeding erosion. Since 1932, the state has lost 1,800 square miles of land, roughly equivalent to 80 Manhattans. On top of all that, Louisiana must contend with sea-level rise. If it does nothing, the state is expected to lose as much as 4,000 additional square miles of land in the next half-century. Its residents have no choice but to retreat from the coast; the question officials are trying to answer is where that retreat can be postponed and for how long.

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