Our Coast Isn’t Disappearing or Vanishing; It’s Being Violently Destroyed

louisiana coastline

Today’s tip for Louisiana’s coastal survival: Ban the terms “vanishing” and “disappearing” from being used in connection with the words “Louisiana coast.”

You see, in the world of addiction recovery, practitioners know words are important. Until the addict admits to having a problem, they will never find a cure.

For example, the abuser who says, “I just get a little high now and then” will never kick the habit until he says, “I am an addict.”

So it has occurred to me one of the reasons for the inability of Louisiana residents and politicians to take some necessary steps to save what’s left of our coast is that we’ve been taught to use gentle euphemisms for a major cause of our demise: We say our wetlands and coast have been “vanishing” or “disappearing.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Those descriptions evoke a gentle passage, a slow, almost comforting process of fading into history. And the term “lost coast” is equally off target. It’s like saying we misplaced a treasured item, or it was taken by an act of God.

None of those gentle things caused 2,000 square miles of marsh, swamp and uplands to become open water since the 1930s.

They were destroyed. By us.

And anyone who has spent time on the wet side of our levees – or has driven across the wetlands on elevated roadways – could see it wasn’t a gentle act.

This was a brutal assault, a battery, a vicious mugging.

Read the rest of the article at The Times-Picayune.