Thursday, March 20, 2014

James Carville:  Louisiana's Coastal Challenge Should Spur New Water Resources Industry

Political pundit James Carville speaks at the opening session of State of the Coast on Tuesday in New Orleans. (Credit: Mark Schleifstein, | The Times-Picayune) Click to enlarge.
Political pundit James Carville kicked off the annual State of the Coast conference in New Orleans on Tuesday with a challenge to more than 1,000 scientists, engineers, public officials, environmentalists and others to look at the state's rapidly eroding coast as an opportunity to build a new water resources industry.

He compared Louisiana's situation — struggling to respond to the effects of coastal erosion — with that of the Netherlands, whose engineering and scientific communities became world renowned for their responses to flooding threats in that country.

"Why can't we develop the expertise where Louisiana science, Louisiana expertise leads the world," Carville said.

And he said that expertise will be needed worldwide, thanks to sea level rise that's threatening other coastal communities.  The U.S. Department of Defense has recognized sea level rise and its disruption of deltaic communities as the world's greatest threat to peace, he said.

But he also said the state's eroding coastline also is a national problem that demands a national financial response.

"You cannot have a United States without having a port on the southern end of the Mississippi River," he said.  "That's how the nation's goods get out of this country."

James Carville:  Louisiana's Coastal Challenge Should Spur New Water Resources Industry

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