Louisiana Is Sinking Fast

the scoop breaking news


Bayou expected to disappear in the next 50 years

An  investigation by ProPublica and the Lens found that coastal Louisiana, which in the past 80 years has lost 2,000 miles of land to the Gulf of Mexico, stands to lose much more than wetlands and at a much faster rate than previously thought. The drowning of this coastline—at a rate of 16 square miles per year—will not only erase species, environments, and a rich Louisiana culture from the map, but also affect those well beyond the bayous.

According to ProPublica, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believes the Gulf could riseas much as 4.3 feet over a landscape with an average elevation of three feet—drowning everything outside of southeast Louisiana’s levees. Wetlands that took 7,000 years to evolve—and are a locus of American commerce and shipping—could be underwater in the next 50 years, leading to “one of the greatest environmental and economic disasters in the nation’s history … so far unabated and largely unnoticed.”

By the numbers, the area of Louisiana bayou under threat houses half the country’s oil refineries, 40 to 45 percent of the nation’s wetlands, a port vital to 31 states and a watershed vital to seven, and two million people.

It’s no secret that rising seas threaten U.S. shores. The 2014 National Climate Assessment suggests coastlines will rise between one and four feet by 2100. Louisiana hasn’t been exempt from the trend, and visibly so—two years ago, NOAA removed 31 bayou features from its listings and can’t say how recently they disappeared.

The process through which the Louisiana bayou became an economic linchpin is also the reason it’s sinking.

The delta was created over thousands of years by the slow buildup of detritus, or dead leaves absorbed into the soil. The resulting nutrient-rich wetlands were kept in check by the seas that wash away excess dirt; in times of drought, the land sinks because this soil becomes concentrated and heavy. As people moved into the bayou, they dismantled wetlands by engineering the Mississippi River for commerce, building levees to protect against floods from that same river, and drilling into oil reserves found beneath the winding sediment.

With levees cutting off access to sea currents that keep the ground from sinking into bedrock, the oil industry weighing down wetlands with soil dredged from canals, and wetlands that held the shoreline intact dying from exposure to saltwater, “the sinking of land that only occurred during dry cycles would start, and never stop.” Add rising seas from climate change to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a problem.

There’s no easy answer. Even if Louisiana took restoration matters seriously and held the oil and gas industries accountable for putting its coastline under threat, the state stands to lose more land well into 2060.

For the entire interactive investigation, visit ProPublica‘s website.



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“Let’s accept, arguendo, that the outgoing DIA chief is right, and that we are now in an era of danger similar to the mid-1930s. How did we get here? It’s worth looking back into the mists of time — an entire year, to Labor Day weekend 2013. What had not happened then? It’s quite a list, actually: the Chinese ADIZ, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the rise of ISIS, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fall of Mosul, the end of Hungarian liberal democracy, the Central American refugee crisis, the Egyptian-UAE attacks on Libya, the extermination of Iraqi Christians, the Yazidi genocide, the scramble to revise NATO’s eastern-frontier defenses, the Kristallnacht-style pogroms in European cities, the reemergence of mainstream anti-Semitism, the third (or fourth, perhaps) American war in Iraq, racial riots in middle America, et cetera and ad nauseum.

…But the larger point here is not what’s happening, because what’s happening is obvious. Things are falling apart. The point is how fast it’s come.

It takes the blood and labor of generations to build a general peace, and that peace is sustained by two pillars: a common moral vision, and force majeure. We spent a quarter-century chipping away at the latter, and finally discarded the former, and now that peace is gone. All this was the work of decades.

Look back, again, to Labor Day weekend 2013, and understand one thing: its undoing was the work of mere months.” –Via Aaron Gardner


An Irish mother-in-law arrives home from shopping to find her son-in-law Paddy in a steaming rage and hurriedly packing his suitcase.

“What happened Paddy ?” she asks anxiously.

“What happened!! I’ll tell you what happened. I sent an email to my wife (your daughter) telling her I was coming home today from my fishing trip. I got home… and guess what I found?

Yes, your daughter, my wife Jean, naked with Joe Murphy in our marital bed! This is unforgivable, the end of our marriage. I’m done I’m leaving forever!”

“Ah now, calm down, calm down Paddy!” says his mother-in-law. “There is something very odd going on here. My daughter would never do such a thing! There must Be a simple explanation. I’ll go speak to her immediately and find out what happened.”

Moments later, the mother-in-law comes back with a big smile.

“Paddy. I told you there was a simple explanation ….. she never got your E-mail!”


womens equality day


The 20 Best Quotes From Greg Gutfeld

Most people know Greg Gutfeld as the funny guy from Red Eye and The Five. However, he’s also a brilliant writer who manages to make profound points in a funny way. Enjoy his quotes!

20) “The media is Obama’s scandal condom.”

19) “The more people care about something far, far away, the less they care about their immediate surroundings — or the people they annoy within those surroundings. It’s always the roommate who’s obsessed with saving the orangutans whose personal hygiene is similar to one.”

18) “The great writer Michael Moynihan calls it the ‘free breakfast’ theory of tyrant love. All an evil scumbag has to do is offer something seemingly free, and somehow celebrities forgive all the other awful things they did. You raped my sister but bought the city a pig? It’s a push.”

17) “When a gay man tweets me, saying, ‘I’m tired of people judging me on my sexuality,’ my feeling is, then stop tweeting about it.”

Much more HERE.


Will GOP Push Populist Notion That Illegal Immigration Is Threat To Jobs?

They’re thinking about it

(Washington Times) An effort is underway to push the Republican Party to rethink its close ties to business groups on immigration, with conservatives arguing that the way to fight immigration-reform proposals is to focus on how they would force Americans into a tougher competition for jobs.

Bolstered by recent polling that suggests voters are worried about the competition, some conservatives have argued the Republican Party should adopt a populist-style pro-worker message heading into the 2014 election, taking advantage of a renewed focus on immigration amid the surge of illegal immigrant children jumping the border.

“Jobs is the primary motivator for awakening action on immigration,” said Kellyanne Conway, founder of the Polling Company, as she presented her survey data last month at the Heritage Foundation. “Hispanics [and] even liberals pipe up [on the issue]. Independents, those making less than $40,000 a year and 85 percent of blue-collar workers agree with this. They believe that protecting American jobs is an incredibly important point of this immigration equation to them, even if it’s left out of the national conversation.”

It’s an issue that’s long divided the GOP, with then-President George W. Bush igniting a near civil war within his party over his push for immigration bills in 2006 and 2007. It reared its head again last year when a group of Senate Republicans joined with all the chamber’s Democrats to pass a bill, though it went nowhere in the House. (snip)

Usually immigration is framed as an issue of border security or a matter of morality, and in those areas it has been trending toward the legalization side. Ms. Conway’s polling, however, suggests voters could be made to see it as a jobs issue.

One of the best ways to increase wages is to reduce the labor pool. If companies want the best workers when the labor pool is small, they increase wages and benefits. Adding millions, if not tens of millions, of new and mostly unskilled workers will further keep wages low.

The question is, will the GOP do it? Entirely too many are all for amnesty, er, a pathway to citizenship. Many simply want to make the illegals “permanent residents”. Many say they are against illegal immigration but are really for it.

Found HERE.


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The World’s Most Expensive Stolen Paintings

“What is it about art theft we can’t resist?” is just one question posed by host and art critic Alastair Sooke in this BBC documentary about some of the most notable high-stakes art robberies on record. Sooke strives to learn more about those who commit art theft, their motivations, and how it is that so few pieces are ever returned to their rightful owners.

Though several cases are discussed, the most focus is placed on a robbery from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum over twenty-five years ago. Known as the biggest art crime in history, the theft was carried out by two men posing as police officers. They managed to steal thirteen pieces total, from invaluable masterworks to a dubious piece of ornamentation. To this day no one has ever been caught, nor have any of the stolen works been found. The crime is largely suspected to have been the act of a slick connoisseur a la The Thomas Crown Affair.

When Sooke Interviews a top art crime investigator, however, the notion that eccentric millionaire collectors are behind these crimes is swiftly debunked. Contrary to the romanticized image of the crafty burglar, it is revealed to primarily be career criminals that run the underground business of art theft. As the pieces themselves often exceed any monetary value (therefore negating any potential ransom or re-sale value profit) they are used as currency within the world of organized crime to buy drugs and arms.

Sooke also interviews Miles Connor, a known art thief who claims to know the men who robbed the Gardner Museum. Bragging that he helped plan the heist and blaming its success largely on the stupidity of the museum guard on duty that fateful evening, his description of the event as it really happened also runs counterintuitive to the preconceived notions of art robbery.

In addition to Sooke’s narration and standard interviews, the film utilizes a musical score and stylized re-enactments that play on the mischievous spirit of caper movies while simultaneously making the argument that the world of art theft is a far cry from the Hollywood myth.

Go watch the video HERE.


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