Sunday, September 30, 2012

Eroding coastline, eroding newspaper

Here's an excerpt from Bob Marshall's final column for the Times-Picayune

Of course, there's another reason smaller storms are now causing more marsh destruction and consequent home and road flooding. It's the fact that shall not be named by our congressional delegation: global warming. The build-up of greenhouse gases mainly from fossil fuels is causing the sea to rise at an accelerated rate because water expands as it warms and because water that once was frozen on land as glaciers and ice fields is melting and flowing into the seas.

This isn't a theory. It's a fact recorded by measurements at tide stations over the last few decades. And the rate of sea level rise in southeast Louisiana is about four times the rate of the rest of the continent because we are sinking at the same time the Gulf is swelling.

The graphs on this page explain that. They are not computer models or projections. They are measurements of what has happened and continues to happen. You can see all these facts online here.

And part of what they tell us is that storm surges on the other side of our levees are becoming higher and more dangerous with each passing season, because even small storms have more water to push our way and much less marsh and swamp to diminish their speed and power.

Read the rest.  After that the T-P moves on to its reduced publishing schedule and a reduced share of the New Orleans media market.  This is bad news for the employees the paper laid off in order to make this transition. Not only the talented writers it will no longer sell as part of its diminished product but also the support staff no one seems to be mourning this week.

Today Monteverde lost his job.

He was just one of more than 200 Times-Picayune employees who were told today that their services would no longer be required as of Sept. 30. Eighty-four of the cuts came from the newsroom staff, which numbered 169 — a 49 percent cut.

Besides the newsroom slashing, the paper's entire marketing department was fired save one person. All special sections employees, the library staff and human resources employees were also presented with severance papers.

The writers, I feel bad for, but they'll mostly be ok.  The rest.. well if you've been planning to boycott what's left of the paper now would be the time to start.

1 comment:

Beth said...

My best friend, at 52 (also my age), is starting over after working her last day on the copy desk Sunday. Stories meant to generate hits don't need first, second, third reads for grammar, accuracy, priority. The new Advocate section doesn't need local copy and layout editors. The new digital collaborations don't appear to be hiring her or her comrades, either.