The iconic boot shape that everyone recognizes as Louisiana is at best an inaccurate approximation of Louisiana’s true shape and, at worst, an irresponsible lie.
The frequency and strength of major climate events is ravaging the country while conservatives and corporate America deny the science behind the problem with Donald Trump infamously referring to climate change as a Chinese invention.
Indeed, as Vox reported on June 1, 2017: “Trump has tweeted climate change skepticism 115 times” since November 1, 2011. Never mind the fact that Trump received permission to build two sea walls in Ireland to protect one of his golf resorts from the effects of climate change – as per a December 2017 report by The New York Times.
They very issues concerning Trump over his golf course has been playing out for decades in the coastal state of Louisiana with current projections looking more grim by the moment.
Business Insider contributor Brett Anderson addressed the issue of the shrinking coastline of Louisiana in a condensed article titled: “Every Map Of Louisiana Is A Lie — What It Really Looks Like Should Scare You.” [For more detailed analysis, you can go to the full article published by Matter, a multiplatform content studio and intellectual-property incubator born from the National Magazine Award-winning, Medium-native publication.]
Business Insider grimly reported that:
According to the U.S.G.S., [Louisiana] lost just under 1,900 square miles of land between 1932 and 2000. This is the rough equivalent of the entire state of Delaware dropping into the Gulf of Mexico, and the disappearing act has no closing date. If nothing is done to stop the hemorrhaging, the state predicts as much as another 1,750 square miles of land — an area larger than Rhode Island — will convert to water by 2064. An area approximately the size of a football field continues to slip away every hour
“We’re sinking faster than any coast on the planet,” explains Bob Marshall, a Pulitzer-winning journalist in New Orleans.
Continuing, Business Insider reported that the iconic “boot” shape that everyone recognizes as Louisiana “is at best an inaccurate approximation of Louisiana’s true shape and, at worst, an irresponsible lie.”
However, “Significant barriers — bureaucratic, political, and economic — make any ‘official’ alterations of the boot appear as difficult as actually restoring the land.”
Believing that a “truer image of the state could overcome those obstacles, Anderson and Matter “pushed forward” with creating their own “alternate” map.
To accomplish this goal, Anderson obtained the assistance of Andrea Galinski, a coastal resources scientist with Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (C.P.R.A.)
They “started with a map of Louisiana that includes non-walkable and non-inhabitable land,” and “using publicly available data, Galinski created a map on which areas that commonly appear as land on government issued maps—woody wetlands, emergent herbaceous wetlands, and barren land — were re-categorized to appear as water.”
From that map, they “created a boot whose southern borders are drawn from where terra firma meets water.”
Anderson writes that on their map, “the real map, the boot appears as if it came out on the wrong side of a battle with a lawnmower’s blades. It loses a painful chunk off its heel in Cameron and Vermilion parishes.”
You can see the side-by-side comparisons of the current maps in Louisiana and the one created by Matter in the tweet, below:
— Matter (@matterstudios) September 8, 2014
The video below provides an overview of the work of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and in particular the objectives and process involved in developing Louisiana’s 2017 Coastal Master Plan.