January 16, 2011

Bias in the media - LA Times and Global Warming

Shoddy writing in the Los Angeles Times:
In Ventura, a retreat in the face of a rising sea
At Surfers Point in Ventura, California is beginning its retreat from the ocean.

Construction crews are removing a crumbling bike path, ripping out a 120-space parking lot and laying down sand and cobblestones. By pushing the asphalt 65 feet inland, the project is expected to give the wave-ravaged point 50 more years of life.

The effort by the city of Ventura is the most vivid example to date of what may lie ahead in California as coastal communities come to grips with rising sea levels and worsening coastal erosion. As the coastline creeps inland, scouring sand from beaches or eating away at coastal bluffs, landowners will increasingly be forced to decide whether to spend vast sums of money fortifying the shore or give up and step back.
So the place is "wave-ravaged" but the erosion is caused by rising sea levels? More:
In California, the sea is projected to rise as much as 55 inches by the end of the century and gobble up 41 square miles of coastal land, according to a 2009 state-commissioned report by the Pacific Institute.
Abject Bullshit. The Pacific Institute is a partisan organization with an agenda a mile wide. They are not science based, they are political. They fit right into that Sustainable bubble I posted about earlier. More:
Sea levels have risen about 8 inches in the last century and are expected to swell at an increasing rate as climate change warms the ocean, experts say.
From a decent article at Wikipedia:
Values for predicted sea level rise over the course of this century typically range from 90 to 880 mm, with a central value of 480 mm. Models of glacier mass balance (the difference between melting and accumulation of snow and ice on a glacier) give a theoretical maximum value for sea level rise in the current century of 2 metres (and a "more plausible" one of 0.8 metres), based on limitations on how quickly glaciers can melt.
8 inches = 203.2 millimeters and that is over the course of this century. To put things into perspective -- please remember that we are coming out of an ice age:
Note that the Y Axis is in Meters so we have seen a rise of close to 50 feet and also note that the slope of the curve has a seven thousand year history of slowly tapering off. Also note that the curve is the average of data collected from eight locations around this planet. No localized effects here... What they are dealing with is coastline erosion, nothing more and nothing less. Global Warming ain't in it. I grew up in Pennsylvania and my Mom's family came from Erie. There is a peninsula there that is in constant motion to the east. The lighthouse has been moved several times in my life. The roads are just a temporary strip of cheap asphalt. It happens. Deal with it and do not try to incorporate your silly agenda into something that is just another force of nature. Nature will always win. This moronic hand-wringing masquerading as Science really degrades the discussion... Posted by DaveH at January 16, 2011 8:44 PM
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