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Researchers refute AG Jeff Landry's stance on climate change - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Researchers refute AG Jeff Landry's stance on climate change

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RAYNE, La. -

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said recently that climate change is not a factor in Louisiana's coastal erosion problem. However, researchers say Landry's stance is not true. 

Landry recently appeared live from an upstream link in Baton Rouge on C-SPAN's Washington Journal "50 Capitals Tour" series. He was answering questions about key Louisiana legal issues when a constituent called in and threw him a curve ball. 

"Mr. Landry, as the attorney general of the state that's suffering the most from climate change, I'm standing right now in lower Plaquemines Parish... how do you justify your decision to support for President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord? Aren't you telling the residents of this state, many of them in Republican areas, essentially 'I don't care about you. Drown'?" 

"Louisiana's coastal problem has nothing to do with climate change," Landry later replied 

Landry went on to say coastal erosion has more to do with the number of levee systems and other construction done by the Army Corp of Engineers. 
While some researchers agree with Landry that the work of the Corp has caused some erosion issues, they say climate change is a key factor in Louisiana's erosion crisis. 

"It is not right to say that global warming is not included in coastal erosion.; it is. So, we need to get together to include all the factors as we see with global warming into the design of the solution," explained LSU Ag Center Professor Dr. Herry Utomo

Utomo says on average the sea is rising 1/8 of an inch every year, worsening the problem.

Additionally, more extreme hurricane surges and flooding destroy marshes, swamps, and barrier islands.

Utomo says Landry and other policymakers need to consider all objective scientific data when approaching the problem of coastal erosion. 

"It's challenging for a scientist right now seeing that statement and everything. As a community, we have to come together. It's a complex problem, so what I think we need to do is come together as scientists and as the practitioner, as well as the policy maker, to come up with the solution," explained Utomo.

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