Locals need to lead way in saving our coast

Strange how things change.

For several decades now we have been trying to save the Louisiana coast from being washed away into the Gulf of Mexico with erosion and our commercial and sports fishing industries being heavily damaged. Now we are trying to save the coast from the Gulf of Mexico washing that devastating oil spill inland and, likewise, damaging our commercial and sport fishing industries.

One thing is for sure – – our state and parish governments have to lead the way toward any salvage of our productive coast. And, after all, they represent the people who will be most affected by this debacle.

When you get government closest to the people to react, you are in better hands than to get those in farway Washington, D. C. to try and help you. In the first place, the latter are not familiar with the territory. And they don’t know the history of the area that may help solve the problems.

So hopefully, our state and parish officials can take hold of the solution to our coastal problems and seek the solutions that can save us from either a devastating oil bath or an erosion that could wash us away. And we will need the help of the feds to give us the financial support we need to do the job from the riches it derives from those offshore wells that are producing.

It appears at this time that the owner of the well, British Petroleum, is deriving revenues from the deluge that is trying to destroy us. It is recouping millions of gallons of oil from the well that is not escaping into our wetlands.

All we want is for Coastal Louisiana to return to its normal fish and wildlife productivity which has contributed to the great beauty and value of our coast. And we should continue our collaboration with the offshore oil industry which has produced few problems for us in the past.

Thank goodness one does not always say what he means
More and more we hear retractions of statements made by prominent persons and apologies for having made them in the first place. Three of them made the headlines just recently.

First off was Chris Myers, once a New Orleans TV caster and now doing the same on the national scene. Said he about the people in Nashville after their recent tragic flood – – they were truly outstanding, not like those who walked around on rooftops during another flood while waiting for the federal government to give them money. Chris apologized for the revolting slap in the face to folks in his former hometown who couldn’t do much else while trapped on their rooftops during the flooded aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Then came long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas’ recent anti-semitic statement that Jews in Israel should go home to Germany, Poland and the United States from where they came. It followed recent revelations about Israel being less than inviting to their next door Palestinians. Should everyone, good and bad, go back to the homes from whence they came?

The third was an extensively reported statement by British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward about the tragic consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that “There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.” This remark, of course followed the death of 11 rig workers in the initial explosion and the consequences to families along the Gulf coast that will probably continue for months or years. He would like his life back but how about the others who suffered due to his company’s incompetence?

“I made a hurtful, thoughtless comment,” he later said. “When I read that recently, I was apalled. I apologize, especially to the families of the 11 men who lost their lives in the tragic accident.”

All of which gives us one big lesson to learn – – think before we speak, especially if we’re on national TV or even on a local TV channel like former Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans who was always putting his foot in his mouth. Of course, everyone is not resourceful enough to put exactly the right words in the right places at the right times.

So we hereby forgive those unfortunate statements and hope the speakers measure their words better in the future. It is not an indication of intelligence when one does not say what he means.


About Allen Lottinger 433 Articles
Publisher Emeritus

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