This story is moving rapidly – sadly mostly in the wrong direction.
• The NC senate passed a slightly modified version of the houses bill Tuesday. The senates version states “rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated linearly to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise.”
• Actavist climate denier and real estate investor John Droz, Jr. has been making blog posts across the web and found his way to denier mecca when he landed at Watt’s Up With That. I’ll debunk some of the countless falsehoods in his piece later this week. His piece is the same climate change denier folly you’ve heard before, although the dozens of sycophatic comments are worth a glance (if you are looking for adulation on the web, I know exactly what you need to do!).
• WURL ran a short piece on John and his role in the state’s nutty sea level rise legislation. John says he isn’t paid for his work; “No one has paid me a dime. I have no agenda here to promote anybody’s belief. I certainly have opinions.” But it doesn’t take a cynic to guess why a coastal real estate investor who teaches a “widely acclaimed” course on “How to Succeed in Real Estate Investing” would be opposed to acknowledging the reality of sea level rise and it’s threat to our coastal communities (and to the value of coastal real estate).
“Bottom Line: we got everything we asked for” “We got a commitment to totally abandon any reference to accelerated SLR (sea level rise).”
“The underlying problem is that the one meter sea level rise is a myth promoted by manmade global warming advocates based on expectations of melting ice.”
Really, who would be crazy enough to think that heat would melt ice…
• Inside Climate News has a piece wondering why (unlike states in the southeastern US) California communities not only accept that the earth is warming and sea level is rising, but are actively planing adaptations for these challenges.
In California, officials in coastal cities are becoming increasingly aware of the potential impacts of climate change, and they’re preparing to deal with them.
Not so in Virginia, where even the words “sea level rise” and “climate change” are verboten. Earlier this year, state lawmakers found they could not use those phrases in requesting a study on potential impacts on Virginia’s coastal cities. Reporter Scott Harper of the Virginian-Pilot said Republicans objected, fearing it would stir up conservative activists, some of whom believe such terms are liberal code words.
And in North Carolina, officials are hiding their heads in what comedian Stephen Colbert called the “soon-to-be-underwater sand.”
• Finally, the Miami Herald ran a superb editorial on Monday on the sea level rise science shenanigans going on in NC and other states, including Florida and Texas.
It must be frustrating for our guys in Tallahassee. The governor and the legislative leadership have made it plenty clear that they have no use for this global warming stuff. Yet climate scientists keep dumping water on Florida’s future.
The latest damper comes from Climate Central, which just published two papers in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters, warning that due to global warming and rising sea levels, 3.7 million Americans reside in areas with an escalating risk of storm surge and coastal flooding. Half of them are in Florida. South Florida comes out looking particularly soggy.
Last year, Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions warned that rising sea levels will back up drainage canals, inundate roads, farms and low-lying neighborhoods, cause sewage systems and septic tanks to fail and inject salt water into water wells.
Obviously, something needs to be done. About those damn scientists, of course. Not global warming.
North Carolina has its own novel way of dealing with troublesome eggheads and their talk of coastal flooding. A bill was approved in a state Senate committee last week that would require the state’s Division of Coastal Management to use “historic data,” not these global warming projections, to predict sea levels. Developers had been upset by a 2010 report from the Coastal Resources Commission advising state officials to prepare for a sea level increase of up to 55 inches by 2100. Not good news for coastal developers looking for loans and flood insurance. But developers have clout. And scientists don’t.