Year 4, Month 7, Day 5: Mi-O-My-O

The Financial Times, on Louisiana’s travails:

But even here, on the front lines of climate change, the people who are witnessing the changes are not convinced that they are the result of global warming. Instead, they say it is the result of the levees and the canals that the oil industry dug in the area in the 1950s.

“I’m not sold on the whole global warming thing, but I know every storm is a problem,” says Mr Weber, 41, recalling how when he was a child they used to have “hurricane parties” in their back yards. Now, evacuations are frequent.

Despite the rapid changes to the bayous, there is little discussion of climate change in Louisiana. Mary Landrieu, the Democratic senator, and David Vitter, the Republican, avoid making reference to climate change, apparently for fear of antagonising the oil companies that are big donors to both.

“Climate change doesn’t play at all here,” says Pearson Cross, head of the political science department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “People in Louisiana are so wedded to the petroleum industry and to the money and jobs and prosperity that oil and gas has brought.”

Good job! June 19:

That fishermen in the Louisiana bayou are “not sold” on climate change is a tribute to the remarkable success story of an under-appreciated force in American media. Armed with nothing more than billions of dollars and an energy economy almost completely dependent on their products, the fossil fuel industries have single-handedly deflected the irrefutable and steadily accumulating scientific evidence for human-caused global heating into a contentious, veriphobic circus of accusations, counter-accusations, false equivalencies, strawmen, and denial.

Of course, the laws of physics and chemistry are not affected by the posturings of media figureheads and their collaborators in politics and industry. Those laws, interpreted by people who are able to leave electoral exigencies out of the equation, suggest that what’s happening in Louisiana today is going to get worse, not better — and will no longer be restricted to one state, one coastline, one industry.

Alas, that story’s harder to sell.

Warren Senders

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