Monday, March 05, 2007

Time Passes

The T-P’s series on coastal wetland loss is knocking me down. Knocking. Me. Down.

Article One: Last Chance.

Article Two: Losing Ground.

[UPDATE] Article Three: Laying the Groundwork.

From the first article:
"Ten years is how much time we have left -- if that."
It’s one of those things that I knew already, but didn’t get. Knowledge and understanding don’t always go together.

I’ve seen dire – but supported by evidence – predictions about coastal wetland loss from various sources and various viewpoints. But I have never seen it in one place, on my table, reading it at breakfast in an article on the front page of my newspaper, complemented by graphics and moving internet timelines.

I remember at Jesuit in the early 90s learning and worrying about coastal wetland loss. But then, I didn't do anything. What could a high school student do? I was too young.

I remember at Loyola in the mid 90s worrying about coastal wetland loss. But I was too busy trying to get my degree to do anything. I didn't have time.

I remember worrying about it after I graduated. But I needed a job. How can I do anything without any money? Getting a job was more important.

Then I got married. Then a kid came. Then I moved out of the country. Then I moved back. Then I needed a job again. Family comes first.

Then I decided to try to save up enough money to by a house Uptown. I was almost there.

Then Katrina came. Then I was worrying about my family, my friends, and my city recovering and rebuilding – both short term and long term. It's been a long 18 months.

And now I see that I have ten years. If that.

I need to rethink things. I need to do something.

Meanwhile, time passes…


TravelingMermaid said...

I didn't realize you were such a young'un....your writing is so intuitive and wise.
If you think time is passing quickly now just wait a few more years. My advice to you is to make time for causes you truly believe in....don't wait as long as I have. Life is short -- family is most important, of course, but make time for yourself and your spirit. Just my opinion.

Mr. Clio said...

I'm TOTALLY freakin' out too.

Like feeling as though I'm fiddling while Rome drowns.

BTW, you and I have the same Jesuit HS / Loyola / married and having kids thing going on.

And I grew up on da Best Bank too.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Trucks & shovels & a field trip to Washington, DC. Start digging up the Mall and bringing it back down here and dumping it on the 'skeleton.'

Bet that will get their attention.

Leigh C. said...

This is a stunner.

Not really a surprise for most of us who live here, but a stunner.

Like being told you have a cancer that is inoperable and can only be put into remission by changing your lifestyle.

Washington D.C. IS on a former swamp. Those people are too busy with their day to day problems, too. But ten years in geologic time is a teensy fraction of a second...

Puddinhead said...

See, us Holy Cross guys were all over this coastal loss thing way back when I was there in the late 70's.....LOL. (J/K...couldn't resist the poke..LOL) Seriously, though, we did have an oceanography/marine biology course in which we covered much of the creation and current structure of our Louisiana coast and coastal wetlands; even then we were talking about land loss, subsidence, oil field canals, etc. Combining that with being at the time a regular recreational fisherman, mostly in the marshes of St. Bernard and eastern New Orleans, who had almost weekly chances to try to find places shown on charts that were already underwater or to note that "Martello Castle" that we were fishing around was a good thirty yards off the shore even though the chart showed it on dry land, and I already had a good idea of the processes that were going on. That being said, I can't say that even though I've been aware of the seriousness of the problem since my teens that I've done much more than try to support those policy-makers who seem to "get it". I just never had a clear idea of what else an individual could do that would make a difference at the time.