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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: Humanitarian And Economic Impact Of Climate Change

Max Becherer
The Associated Press

Journalist Bob Marshall calls what’s happening to coastal Louisiana “the most severe ongoing environmental disaster in the nation.” He says sinking land combined with rising sea levels means that Louisiana has lost coastal wetlands and coastal uplands about the size of New Jersey.

Marshall is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, who now write a column for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He will speak on Tuesday night at 6:00 at Western Michigan University’s Humanities Center. Marshall's address is called Why Michigan Should Worry About Louisiana’s Fight for Coastal Survival.

Marshall says climate change is putting the coast of Louisiana at risk. Marshall says he doesn’t like to say the “politics of climate change” because climate change is science. Despite scientific evidence of climate change, Marshall says politics prevent changes in public policy. He says industries don’t want to face regulations and the associated cost. But Marshall there is also a tribal nature of politics that keeps some people from believing in climate science.

While a humanitarian argument can be made for helping Louisiana address climate change, Marshall says the economic impact can be felt throughout the country. The Gulf coast is important for the nation’s energy sector. Marshall says wetlands used to be a buffer for the energy industry. The loss of those wetlands means that energy production has to be shut down when there are hurricane force winds.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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