April 13, 2009

Governments and Journalist Waste Time and Resources on Mythical Sea Level Rises; CT Paper’s Readers Not Amused

HIghTides0409.jpgTo keep up with what has happened in the aftermath of the odious Kelo v. New London Supreme Court eminent domain ruling nearly four years ago (quick answer: nothing that has to do with actually building anything), your truly gets alerts relating what is going happening in that Connecticut town. As a result, I occasionally get alerts concerning things about the affected Fort Trumbull area that while not directly tied to eminent domain, are nonetheless amusing.

Here’s one: Did you know that we have government boards in many states wrestling with what to do about the supposedly imminent rises in ocean sea levels? Indeed we do, and poor, gullible Judy Benson of the New London Day decided to write about it.

Reactions from readers of the Day were justifiably less than uniformly kind.

Here are key paragraphs from Benson’s report (Day link won’t work without paid subscription after seven days):

Climate change poses challenges for the Connecticut coast

Buffers or barricades? Coastal development or coastal retreat? Marsh loss or marsh replacement?

Tough choices like these confront Connecticut, especially its shoreline, as the planet inches toward what experts say is inevitable: swelling seas and intensifying storms as the effects of climate change are felt over the coming decades.

”It’s a risk problem,” said Gary Yohe, economics professor at Wesleyan University in Middletown and a member of climate change adaptation panels in New York City and Connecticut. “You can’t write a guarantee that it’s not going to happen, but you can reduce your exposure and lessen your sensitivity.”

Yohe is also a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations-sponsored international scientists group that authored a series of authoritative reports on climate change evidence, effects and needed actions.

….. Much of the talk about climate change thus far has focused on finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the most extreme projections of runaway warming. But adaptation – figuring out how to cope with the effects that can’t be avoided – is also part of the discussion.

Climate scientists say that while reducing future emissions is a needed strategy, the effects of the heat-trapping gases already released by fossil fuel burning and other human actions over the last 150 years can’t be reversed, and will intensify in the coming decades.

Connecticut is among at least eight states and six major U.S. cities that have established panels to begin tackling adaptation. Connecticut’s panel, under the wing of the state Department of Environmental Protection, is charged with making recommendations for next steps by the end of this year.

….. ”Connecticut has some large challenges,” DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy said, because of its coastal infrastructure, including 32,000 homes in the 100-year floodplain. Ultimately, the state may even have to consider buying up some particularly vulnerable neighborhoods to move residents out of harm’s way, she said.

This sea-level hype, like the rest of what I like to refer to as globaloney, is so much nonsense. In fact, two weeks ago in the UK Telegraph, in the face of lots of strong competition, Christopher Booker called it “The greatest lie ever told”:

If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.

Although the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water.

….. But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm”. And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

Day readers gave Ms. Benson and Nutmeg State politicians an earful in the story’s comments. Here are just a few examples:

“Let’s see, we used to have Global Warming but unfortunately for the Eco-Fascists who make up all of these wasteful and nonsensical government environmental agencies, Global Warming has been proven to be a complete and total farce. Now a new marketing campaign is underway by the same folks who tried to take over and control our lives under the lie of “protecting the planet” from Global Warming, and we now have Climate Change.”

“Let us build a visual marker of this global warming – literally a yard stick stuck in a concrete block at some prominent point that records the ever increasing height of the sea. In fact, you will never do it because it would show little or no increase.”

“The key statement in this article is ‘existing conceptions of property rights and regulatory authorities must be reevaluated.’ Watch out property owners it looks like CT is not only willing to take your property and give it to those who will pay more taxes it will also give it to science.”

“The panel would be more effective investigating the UFO and Bigfoot sighting. Global warming, climate change or whatever the fanatics are calling it today is a myth. The claim that most scientists believe the myth is also a myth.”

Here’s the ultimate irony: If the sea really is to rise as much as Ms. Benson, the IPCC apparatchik, and others fear it might (but won’t), New London’s elders could defend never building on the properties of those they so ignominiously evicted. In fact, maybe they should just condemn the area permanently and tell the world they were just doing everyone a big advance favor.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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