Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Klonopin with a Case of Dixie
That right there is Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, written up in the fancy, big city New York Times today because the federal government is going to spend $48 million to relocate the town, which is going to be underwater soon due to climate change. The land used to be 11 miles long and 5 miles wide, but oil and gas companies helped things along by cutting canals and waterways into the already unstable wetlands area. Rising sea waters have accelerated erosion and inundated the land with salt from the ocean. The island has shrunk since the 1950s from 22,400 acres to just 320 acres today. There's a pretty stunning gif from the Baton Rouge Advocate that shows what the area looked like in 1971 and what it looks like now.
It's hard to figure out how moving just 27 families of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians is going to cost $48 million, but that's the budget awarded by HUD. These are, according to several writers, "climate refugees."
What's happening in far south Louisiana is sad, no doubt, and a way of life is going to disappear, which is always a loss for our culture. It's interesting to note that Isle de Jean Charles is in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. The parish has voted strongly Republican in pretty much every election in the last 20 years, at least. The citizens there, who do include those in the small oil company-dependent city of Houma, voted overwhelmingly for Bobby Jindal in 2011. Jindal was a climate change denier who did approximately nothing to help his state from the obvious effects of something that isn't happening in the future, but is occurring right now. It even went for David Vitter in 2015 over the winner, Democrat John Bel Edwards, who trusts the scientists when it comes to science.
This is not to blame the people of Isle de Jean Charles directly. But the one road there is disappearing. A good-sized hurricane, like Gustav a few years back, will wipe it out. Either way, the land will be gone within a few years. So maybe it's time to hold to account some of the people who stood by while the state drowned. Maybe it's time for people in the region to call out the politicians who genuinely harmed them.
Posted by Rude One at 5:09 PM