Saturday, September 03, 2016

New York Times Special Report. Climate Change Has Arrived and It's Here to Stay.

According to scientists interviewed by The New York Times, sea level rise along America's coasts is "so near the brim" in many places that major flooding is likely to worsen quickly.

Federal scientists have documented a sharp jump in this nuisance flooding — often called “sunny-day flooding” — along both the East Coast and the Gulf Coast in recent years. ...Shifts in the Pacific Ocean mean that the West Coast, partly spared over the past two decades, may be hit hard, too.

These tidal floods are often just a foot or two deep, but they can stop traffic, swamp basements, damage cars, kill lawns and forests, and poison wells with salt. Moreover, the high seas interfere with the drainage of storm water.

In coastal regions, that compounds the damage from the increasingly heavy rains plaguing the country, like those that recently caused extensive flooding in Louisiana. Scientists say these rains are also a consequence of human greenhouse emissions.

Once impacts become noticeable, they’re going to be upon you quickly,” said William V. Sweet, a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Silver Spring, Md., who is among the leaders in research on coastal inundation. “It’s not a hundred years off — it’s now.”

Not that long ago you wouldn't find a Republican Congressman or governor or mayor who wouldn't denounce climate change and sea level rise as a leftist hoax. Funny how that changes when their own feet get wet and their constituents' basements fill with sea water.

...local leaders say they cannot tackle this problem alone. They are pleading with state and federal governments for guidance and help, including billions to pay for flood walls, pumps and road improvements that would buy them time.

Yet Congress has largely ignored these pleas, and has even tried to block plans by the military to head off future problems at the numerous bases imperiled by a rising sea. A Republican congressman from Colorado, Ken Buck, recently called one military proposal part of a “radical climate change agenda.”

The gridlock in Washington means the United States lacks not only a broad national policy on sea-level rise, it has something close to the opposite: The federal government spends billions of taxpayer dollars in ways that add to the risks, by subsidizing local governments and homeowners who build in imperiled locations along the coast.

As the problem worsens, experts are warning that national security is on the line. Naval bases, in particular, are threatened; they can hardly be moved away from the ocean, yet much of their land is at risk of disappearing within this century.

Those stupid Americans. They're getting what they deserve. Fortunately we live in Canada where our federal and provincial governments have this sea level business well in hand. They'll be unveiling their plans any day. What, they won't? There are no plans? Brad Wall won't hear of such a thing? Dame Catherine was last heard of skipping across a meadow bleating about national unity?


Toby said...

Most people won't get this until a Jupiter sized hurricane removes Atlanta from the map, the oceans come up 100 feet, smog kills everyone in Beijing and Tulsa and Iowa looses its corn crop. Maybe it will take a resurgence of dinosaurs.

In the meantime, the richest among us will be making profits.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Canada will react when a 'weather event' ha ha hits the lowlands of the Frazer river estuary.
There are also communities on Vancouver Island that could suffer high water storm surges.
I was bewildered when I last visited Tofino on Vancouver Island where subdivisions were being built in an area clearly marked as tsunami danger areas!
Such is the stupidity and greed of mankind.


The Mound of Sound said...

Look on the bright side, TB. When the tsunami hits Tofino there'll be loads of cheap waterfront property on the market.

My own town is coping with sea level rise. So far that takes the form of refusing building permits of any description on the most endangered areas, some of which now flood regularly. In that are are many fashionable homes built in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I feel sorry for the owners now stuck with properties that no one will touch.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well!