The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Their town is headed for drowning – but they still doubt that climate change is real

Climate change will likely wreck their livelihoods – but they still don’t buy the science
The small Louisiana town of Cameron could be the first in the US to be fully submerged by rising sea levels – and yet locals, 90% of whom voted for Trump, still aren’t convinced about climate change, Guardian, 
Shannon Sims in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, 18 Aug 17,  In 50 years, the region near where I grew up, Cameron Parish in south-west Louisiana, will likely be no more. Or rather, it will exist, but it may be underwater, according to the newly published calculations of the Louisianagovernment. Coastal land loss is on the upswing, and with each hurricane that sweeps over the region, the timeline is picking up speed.

As a result, Cameron, the principal town in this 6,800-person parish (as counties are called in Louisiana), could be the first town in the US to be fully submerged by rising sea levels and flooding. So it’s here one would expect to feel the greatest sense of alarm over climate change and its consequences.

Instead, Cameron has earned a different kind of fame: it’s the county that, percentage-wise, voted more in favor of Trump than any other county in the US in last year’s election. Nearly 90% of the population did.

Why would some of the people most vulnerable to climate change vote for a politician skeptical of climate change’s existence? Why would people in Cameron Parish support policies that could ruin them?……..

…..”Because of the rules and regulations, it costs so much to live here.”

Many locals in Cameron repeat this phrase – “rules and regulations”. They’re referring to the strict construction rules placed on residents who wanted to return to Cameron and rebuild after Rita and Ike hit the town. As a result, all structures needed to be raised in order to qualify for hurricane insurance. The result is a humble town whose homes appear strangely grandiose: single-story modest brick houses now rest on top of large, grassy man-made hills, a kind of south Louisianacastle…….

As for her politics, Smith thinks Cameron’s residents voted for Trump because “we think he could help the oil field out, and hopefully stop the imported seafood from coming into our country so our people can make a living,” she says.

Smith, like most of the residents of Cameron, has been highly dependent on state and federal assistance programs to recover after the storms. But what if, in Trump’s push to shrink the size of the government, recovery programs are cut?

“We’d be screwed,” she says frankly. “But that doesn’t change my opinion about Trump,” she quickly adds. “Outsiders think that everybody is just looking for a handout down here, but there is hard-working people that live here. There are just not many jobs right now, especially if all you know is commercial fishing. Even if Trump cuts those programs that helped us, we gonna make it one way or another here, with or without help. Down here we survive.”…….

Vail says he’s pleased with the drawdown on environmental restrictions that Trump has instituted since taking office.

“When he took office he stopped the EPA’s Waters of the US rule, where anything that would flow into a navigable tributary would have had jurisdiction under the EPA. Well, navigable tributaries go through half the land I farm. So you’re saying a ditch I put in my field to drain the water off, then that the land comes under your jurisdiction? You can tell me when I can go into it, and what I can use as fertilizer?”………

Mr Benny’s son lets me know that their alligator hunting business has brought in a high-end clientele. He brings out a photo of a grinning Donald Trump Jr taken during an alligator hunting trip. That personal connection has helped inform Mr Benny’s politics. “I’m Donald Trump all the way,” he says with a smile.

Even though Mr Benny’s family has been directly impacted by hurricanes, and even though the state mapping agency indicates that his home will be submerged within 50 years due to coastal land loss, Mr Benny isn’t buying it.

“I don’t believe it,” he says, shaking his head. “I don’t believe that the tide is gonna rise 10 feet and that the Ice Age is coming and stuff like that.” Like many of the residents here in Cameron, Mr Benny sees time on a longer horizon than others might. “I been here 75 years, you understand?,” he reminds me with gentle force. “And I’ve lived on the water and guess what? The tides still come up almost the same way, and there is no flooding. And today our front marshes aren’t underwater.”

“If you go by what the real scientists say, there’s no proof. In the last 10 years the average temperature of the world hasn’t even risen a half degree………

Theriot seems caught between her job as a science educator and her life as a longtime Cameron resident, tasked with teaching about the environment in a fiercely red town. “…….“But I think the data is incomplete. And I am still not sure about climate change. I am still researching it. I feel like I don’t have enough good sources to say yes or no on if climate change is a real thing.”

Now, from her elevated balcony overlooking the old slabs, she takes a clearer position. “I’m a big proponent of the oil industry, because that’s how my family and my community made a lot of its money. So that is my livelihood. So it is hard for me to point that finger.”….

….Dyson is not particularly concerned about the forecasts that show the coast disappearing over the coming decades. He thinks global warming is a gossipy scam……. Instead, Dyson says that what worries him most are the environmental regulations ostensibly intended to save the coast. “The laws are already there to protect the coast. And I understand Trump is not 100% environmentalist. But I think it’s a good thing to get the government out of our lives. I don’t want any more environmental regulations. I don’t want any more fishing laws. And I don’t want a lot of restrictions where people can’t make a living.”…..


August 19, 2017 - Posted by | climate change, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: