June 16, 2003 - Gwinnett Daily Post: Congo Kinshasa RPCV Mike Tidwell new book on Cajun Coast promotes Environmental Activism

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: June 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: June 16, 2003 - Gwinnett Daily Post: Congo Kinshasa RPCV Mike Tidwell new book on Cajun Coast promotes Environmental Activism

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, June 16, 2003 - 10:32 am: Edit Post

Congo Kinshasa RPCV Mike Tidwell's new book on Cajun Coast promotes Environmental Activism





Read and comment on this story from the Gwinnett Daily Post about Congo Kinshasa RPCV Mike Tidwell's new book on the Cajun Coast of Louisiana. "Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisianaís Cajun Coast," (Pantheon Book, $23), documents Tidwell's trip through the bayou and the areaís environmental problems. "Bayou Farewell" is not a dry examination of environmental problems, however. The book depicts the people of the region and "truly evokes the sights and sounds of Cajun culture," Tidwell said. "Itís a story that takes you on a unique odyssey."

Tidwell went to Baton Rogue and stayed at the governorís mansion. The governor held a dinner in his honor and gave an address on the environmental problems of southern Louisiana the next day. Governor Foster has purchased 1,500 copies of "Bayou Farewell," Tidwell said. The governor has also sent to the book to every member of Congress and a copy to President Bush. "Itís pretty amazing when a Southern, Republican governor embraces a book as a tool to save the state," Tidwell said. The book is available at Amazon at:


Bayou Farewell

Read the story at:

Author explores disappearing Louisiana*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.



Author explores disappearing Louisiana

By Rachael Mason

While traveling on the bayou of southern Louisiana, Mike Tidwell observed telephone poles sticking out of the water and nearly submerged cemeteries. These areas were once solid ground. Across the bayou, land is disappearing.

In his book "Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisianaís Cajun Coast," (Pantheon Book, $23), Tidwell documents his trip through the bayou and the areaís environmental problems.

"A huge area of South Louisiana has disappeared in the last 100 years," Tidwell said. "All that land is never going to come back, but some of it can be preserved."

Tidwell, who was born in Memphis, Tenn., and grew up in Marietta, will be in Atlanta for a book signing on June 22.

The problem of the disappearing bayou can be attributed primarily to the levees built along the Mississippi River to prevent flooding, Tidwell explains in "Bayou Farewell." The land of the bayou was formed by sediment deposits that washed down the river. Now that floods are controlled, the sediments no longer build up and the bayou is sinking.

"This is a national problem," Tidwell said. One-third of domestic seafood comes from the area and 25 percent of all the countryís oil and natural gas is produced or passes through its ports, he said. Southern Louisiana is critically important to national economy, he emphasized.

"Bayou Farewell" is not a dry examination of environmental problems, however. The book depicts the people of the region and "truly evokes the sights and sounds of Cajun culture," Tidwell said. "Itís a story that takes you on a unique odyssey."

Traveling the bayou

In 1999, the travel editor of the Washington Post asked Tidwell to go to Louisiana and write about anything except New Orleans. "I was really drawn to the Cajun region of Louisiana," Tidwell said.

He decided to hitchhike his way through the bayou on boats. As a journalist, Tidwell wanted to blend into peopleís lives, so he worked his way across the area by working as a deckhand.

"A long time ago as a travel writer I had concluded that it was no longer possible to fall off the map in America," Tidwell said. He has reconsidered this opinion after spending time immersed in the Cajun culture of southern Louisiana.

In "Bayou Farewell," Tidwell describes the fishermen, families, faith healers and priests he met on his journey. He also focuses on the regionís unique cuisine.

The original 4,000-word article about Tidwellís bayou travels was published in the Washington Post travel section in August 1999. The story won the Lowell Thomas award for travel writing.

"My literary agent thought it would make a great book," Tidwell said.

So he returned to Louisiana to write the book and spent several months wandering through the region. "Itís become a second home. I just love going back," Tidwell said.



Mike Tidwell became a Peace Corps volunteer and worked in Congo Kinshasa. "That experience changed my life in many ways and it really shaped me as a writer," Tidwell said.

Peace Corps experience

After Tidwell graduated from the University of Georgia in 1984, he became a Peace Corps volunteer and worked in Africa. "That experience changed my life in many ways and it really shaped me as a writer," Tidwell said.

His Peace Corps experience gave him the courage to continue traveling the world, he said. "Thatís why I had the confidence to show up in south Louisiana with a backpack," Tidwell said.

The bayou communities he visited welcomed him. "People all over the world like to welcome foreigners and outsiders, as long as they are respectful and those people make it clear they have an authentic curiosity about they region in which they travel," Tidwell said.

Tidwell doesnít consider himself a travel writer, however. "I think of myself of a traveler who writes," he said. He is the author of "In the Mountains of Heaven" and "Amazon Stranger."

The author is now working to make people more aware of global warming issues with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (www.chesapeakeclimate.org), a non-profit group Tidwell founded in Maryland. Tidwell lives in a Maryland suburb just outside Washington, D.C. On May 15, the group protested federal energy legislation by dumping a ton of coal on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

Visiting Louisiana

"Bayou Farewell" has been well received by the people included in the book. Tidwell still visits the area frequently. "Itís become a second home. I just love going back," he said.

Heís been back four times since "Bayou Farewell" was published in early March, once at the invitation of Louisiana Gov. M.J. "Mike" Foster.

The governor called in mid-March and told Tidwell that "Bayou Farewell" was "one heck of a book."

"He invited me to Baton Rouge to be his guest," Tidwell said.

Tidwell went to Baton Rogue and stayed at the governorís mansion. Foster held a dinner in his honor and gave an address on the environmental problems of southern Louisiana the next day. Foster gave every state lawmaker a copy of the book.

Foster has purchased 1,500 copies of "Bayou Farewell," Tidwell said. The governor has also sent to the book to every member of Congress and a copy to President Bush.

"Itís pretty amazing when a Southern, Republican governor embraces a book as a tool to save the state," Tidwell said.


Protesters led by Congo Kinshasa RPCV Mike Tidwell dump One Ton of Coal on Capitol Lawn





Caption: Mike Tidwell begins the press conference denouncing the federal energy bill and the fossil fuel subsidies it contains

Read and comment on this Press Release released May 15 from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network on the protest led by Congo Kinshasa RPCV Mike Tidwell to dump One Ton of coal on lawn of the Capital in Washington DC to protest the multi-billion dollar subsidies proposed for the fossil fuel industry under the national energy bill now before the U.S. Senate at:

Protesters Dump One Ton of Coal on Capitol Lawn to Denounce National Energy Bill's Funding of Global Warming*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.



Protesters Dump One Ton of Coal on Capitol Lawn to Denounce National Energy Bill's Funding of Global Warming

Protest Comes on Second Anniversary of Unveiling of Disastrous Cheney Energy Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A coalition of leaders representing health, taxpayer, student, faith, and environmental groups dumped one ton of coal on the U.S. Capitol lawn May 15th to protest the multi-billion dollar subsidies proposed for the fossil fuel industry under the national energy bill now before the U.S. Senate.

The legislation would harm taxpayers, accelerate CCAN Director Mike Tidwell denounces the "dirty" national energy bill as a disaster for the global climate global warming, and worsen the federal budget deficit while doing absolutely nothing to promote national energy security, according to industry analysts and advocates speaking at a press conference in the "Upper Senate Park" just a few hundred feet from the Capitol dome. unwarranted and unaffordable giveaway that distorts energy markets and hurts consumers.

Mike Tidwell, director of CCAN, the sponsoring organization, pointed out that the Senate's "Energy Security Act of 2003," with at least $17.5 billion in corporate giveaways to the oil, coal, and natural gas industry, would incentivize fossil fuel consumption over conservation, thus asking taxpayers to spend money they don't have for the dirtier air and accelerated global warming nobody wants. The five-inch thick Senate bill, like its House counterpart, offers energy-sector giveaways ranging from nanotechnology research to a demonstration project to burn post-consumer carpeting in cement kilns.

The Senate bill would also provide $17.5 billion in new subsidies and tax breaks to the oil and gas industry. This includes government aid to begin training workers to build an extensive natural gas pipeline delivering Alaskan gas to the lower 48 states. Another proposal would go further, mandating a guaranteed price for all gas sold from the pipeline at a cost of up to $40 billion to taxpayers.

"Unfortunately, the Senate energy bill does everything that Americans do not want," said Erich Pica, senior policy analyst with Friends of the Earth. He continued, "The bill will give more than $4.5 billion to the coal industry, using the deceptive guise of 'clean coal' to allow more carbon dioxide and mercury into our air and water."

Such giveaways might be easier to stomach if they actually improved our economy and helped consumers. But even analysts within the oil and gas industry agree that this 768-page bill will do very little to reduce energy prices or increase domestic energy production.

By providing unwarranted incentives for more fossil fuel use, the Senate and House bills also contribute to what most climate scientists worldwide now view as the greatest environmental crisis of the 21st century: global climate change. Even the Bush administration, in a major report it delivered to the United Nations last June, explicitly acknowledged that global warming is real and will worsen in the near future, bringing potentially disastrous impacts to our economy and environment.

"So the last thing we need is for our tax dollars to accelerate and intensify these impacts," said Tidwell. "But by giving public money to fossil fuel companies, we make it harder for clean energy sources like solar and wind to compete in the marketplace, thus slowing any real solution to the climate crisis."

Given the negative impacts on the federal budget, on consumers, and on the environment, the Senate should immediately strip away every last dollar earmarked for the oil, coal, and gas industry, according to Tidwell. If such subsidies can't be removed, the legislation should be voted down for the simple reason that no bill is better than one that makes everything much, much worse.

The coal dump was officially permitted by the Capitol Hill police. There were no arrests or acts civil disobedience.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Congo Kinshasa; Environmental Activism; Writing - Congo Kinshasa; Advocacy

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By ladi (212.85.15.90) on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 12:18 pm: Edit Post

My name 's ladi mambo ,I'm studdent in london,
i'm so happy to see this pictures,i would to see next time
Na seleli mingi mingi po na na moni ba photo oyo,
thans


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