Global warming deniers, you will be denied.

The North Carolina Coastal Resource Commission just finished the first study of sea level rise in the United States. The most significant part of the study was what the report said about what the market has decided about sea level rise.

... even if the public and governments drag their feet on reacting to a changing coast, others aren't waiting to adapt. State Farm, for example, announced this week that it will no longer write or renew insurance policies for structures on barrier islands to reduce its exposure in areas prone to catastrophic events like hurricanes.

Crossposted at Square State

Here is the real point of this story: that insurance companies, which are based on the so-called 'invisible hand of the free market,' have seen the writing on the wall and are no longer in the business of insuring new homes on the Outer Banks in my home state of NC.
This is the lesson I want deniers who are in positions of power in our government to hear: The market is denying your denial.

Capitalism is recognizing something you refuse to do, based mostly either on your ignorance or perhaps on your close ties to fossil fuel industry lobbyists. And when you protest with your bully pulpit, average people become misinformed and impede the ability for our leaders and governments to take action or achieve meaningful goals (hint: Copenhagen), even as science shows us that the earth is continually heating, and that this past decade was the warmest on record.

In the UK a similar study was recently completed,1

The report suggests private property owners “withdraw, relocate or abandon assets that are high risk." Residents on the east coast of the United Kingdom, in Norfolk, are also feeling the sting of abandonment from local and national governments in some coastal areas, which have been deemed too costly to protect.

More than 15 million people live near the U.K. coastline, but Britain’s Environment Agency has already said that the area known as the Norfolk Broads will probably be left to be reclaimed by the sea.

And their government is starting to plan a course of action:

About 10 million people in England and Wales live in flood risk areas.

The project, launched on Friday, is a joint venture between the Institution of Civil Engineers (Ice) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba). The report, Facing up to Rising Sea Levels, urges the government, planning authorities and the public, to act sooner rather than later.

"If we act now, we can adapt in such a way that will prevent mass disruption and allow coastal communities to continue to prosper," said Riba president Ruth Reed.

"But the key word is 'now'," she added.

The study warns that rising sea levels, an increase in the frequency of storms and sinking landmasses could leave many UK coastal areas vulnerable to extreme flooding.

Industrialized countries are planning their defense of coastal areas and acknowledge that this endeavor will be costly. Other countries in less prosperous economies,however, are struggling with facing this economic reality.
Here is one report on the changing coastline of Africa.

The United Nations estimates Africa has 320 coastal cities and about 56 million people living in "low lying" coastal zones, those less than 10 meters above mean sea level. Some expects say sea levels have risen by about 20 cm since the start of the Industrial Revolution in northern Europe.

That is no surprise to residents of Abidjan's Port Bouet, where abandoned concrete shacks litter the beach. Some have lost their front walls. Scaffolding is all that remains of others.

"Twenty years ago the sea was far away from here," said Samassa Awa, 39, an unemployed nurse whose wooden shack has been flooded by the Atlantic many times. "You see all these destroyed houses? Many people fled but we decided to stay."

"We want the authorities of the world powers to come and rescue the poor people from the sea," said Diakite Abdullaye, 46, looking over his shoulder at the ruins of a house he said had already been destroyed by the advancing ocean.

"If they can't stop the sea rising, then help us move somewhere else," said the resident of Ivory Coast's biggest city.

As well as here

Mozambique has been identified as one of the countries likely to be affected most by climate change, and the issue will not go away. Much of what Mozambique would like to do is deemed too expensive. While scientists cannot give an exact figure of how much the sea has already risen in Mozambique, the effects are already obvious.

"I went to the beach a lot as a child, and I've noticed things are changing," said 34-year-old Jose, who lives in Maputo.

"The water is eating the land - little by little it's eating the land."

Mozambique has compiled an action plan, and has been offered help from the World Bank, UN agencies and a plethora of other aid agencies.

But so far little has been done, and much of what the country would like to do is beyond its budget.

"I think people are still at the stage of 'Oh my God - what are we going to do?'" as environmentalist Antonia Reina puts it.

And while too much water is an issue for Coastal inhabitants, not enough water is the other issue for many other people who rely on glacial melt for fresh drinking water - such as in Bolivia, where Scientists recorded the first glacier to 'disappear' from existence this past year.

Or in news closer to home, The Winter Olympics in Vancouver are having to use trucks to bring in Ice and Snow for their downhill skiing competition because it has been too mild for snowfall.

Winter Games officials have given up on any help from Mother Nature and will now be trucking in snow for the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at Cypress Mountain, on Vancouver's North Shore....
Mild temperatures and heavy rains earlier this month forced officials to close the mountain ahead of schedule, as snow gave way to mud.

I find it to be the ultimate irony, that at the gathering of the world's countries to compete for Winter Sports, the phrase "giving up on Mother Nature" is being used. How much of Mother Nature's failure will we have to see before we realize what's going on?

It seems clear from reading these reports, that action to address these crises needs to start sooner rather than later.

However, the United States is home to some of the leading stalwarts of climate change denial and are increasing the severity of the problem.

In my other home state of Colorado - Rep. Dave Schulteis has proudly proclaimed why he has decided to vote against Martha Rudolph's appointment to the Executive Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment:
(hattip sufimarie)

1) Is there an issue with global warming...and is it caused by humans? Her answer to both related questions was an unqualified "yes."

2) Does she consider CO2 to be a pollutant? Her answer: It is a contributor to Global Warming, although it does not fit easily into the federal Clean Water Act...

...Based on her answers to the committee, I voted NO and will debate these issues on the full floor of the Senate when this comes to the full Senate for confirmation

I included this local story, because it seems in every state across this nation, there is a vocal global warming denier making news.
And with the recent Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns, the strength of the global fossil fuel lobbying campaign to impede meaningful legislation on Climate Change just got a whole lot tougher.

I take comfort in this video made by Peter Sinclair who debunks climate denial myths.

The point of this video indicates that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 report discloses that it does not take into account "Rapid Dynamical Change in Ice Flow" - an event where glacial instability tips out of control and melts uncontrollably. This is what scientists are now coming to grips with, that the glaciers on Greenland and Antarctica are destabilizing at an exponential rate.
We have had a period of "Rapid Dynamic Change in Ice Flow". The last time we had such an event was 14,000 years ago (12,000 BCE) when Ice sheets suddenly destabilized - this was called the 'Meltwater Pulse 1-A' and in a rapid period of time sea levels rose 75 feet to their current level - which some scientists have speculated could have been caused by an impact from space, but the verdict is still out.
(Perhaps not too coincidentally, this is the same date of the massive die off of species in the Western Hemisphere such as the American Horse, Giant Sloth, Sabre Tooth Cat, Dire Wolf, and perhaps most famously, the Great Mastodon - one instance where I believe man has been wrongly blamed for the extinction of species of animals)

This event of worldwide sea level rise, I believe, is most likely the common event that is recorded worldwide both in oral and written tradition as the "Great Flood."

We are approaching another epic event, and it is now on the horizon, begging us to mitigate it's affects.

I have been frustrated by the lack of response by governments to address the threat to the millions of people that are already being displaced on low lying islands and who have no legal status as 'Environmental Refugees' - and even started a petition to remedy this issue of legal limbo. For their sakes, when our legislators realize that their beach houses are going to be threatened, or their ski slopes will be bare, then they will start thinking about the true human cost of their denial of the truth.
The inaction of these legislators on Climate Change may not be shameful to them, but in the future their children and their grandchildren certainly will discover they have been denied an honorable namesake.


There is a lot of corporate money being spent here

An email friend of mine sent me an email yesterday with a link that took me to a video that is John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel presenting his "conspiracy theory" about climate change/global warming. Nope, I am not going to put it here because it is just more of the same and would serve no purpose.

The point of me saying this is that there seems to be an ever-increasing number of these "conspiracy theories" coming out about climate change and more and more it is becoming evident that there is a lot of corporate funds involved in it.

Trot, there are two things you can point out to your

email friend about that video:

#1) John Coleman is a weather man, no more. He is not a scientist who has studied this, he is a republican who is trying to protect big corporations just like the rest of his ilk.

#2) One of the things that Coleman says is that he has "studied the complicated math used by the scientist to prove climate change".....there is NO complicated math, there is only rising temperatures over a long history. If your friend would just get his head out of the sand perhaps he would see it.

Yep, dead on, Momo

I could not agree more. And, you can bet I have sent back a scathing rebuttal on that little link that shows John Coleman offering up his "theory" so eloquently.

Why are people so willing to listen to those that have no clue about the true science? I mean, of all people, you would think that someone that has spent his entire life studying earth's climate would spend more time researching the science.

Thanks for the cross post

I cleaned up a few links.


PS And here we are in North Carolina, giving incentives to a company to operate a cement plant that will be standing in water in the next 30 years or so. Not to mention all the pressure for permitting new structures, beach hardening, etc. What a mess.

Thanks, Wade

Good stuff. I mean, it's bad stuff happening, but it's good to know.

thanks guys

for the rec and for caring about my home state and it's role in protecting the future of our home here on this big blue marble.

"What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

Henry David Thoreau

I hear you on the warming stuff but

is State Farm no longer writing policies on the coast because of global warming or because as our coasts become more and more developed with more and more expensive homes, the potential liability is just too high?

Yes, of course rising sea levels make storms even more damaging, but more than just sea levels are affecting the insurance industry. Back in the day, our beaches were not nearly as developed and what was there were your classic "box on stilts" houses. Now, especially on the outer banks, they're mostly building 10-bedroom rental mansions with swimming pools out front. I wouldn't want to insure them either.

What's going on?

Like most people, I want to know what is going on in the world. I have tried to listen to a fair number of comments from both sides of the global warming (climate change) debate. For every scientist/environmentalist that pronounces severe warnings for our earth I hear another that calls this entire climate problem a "political hoax." Sorry, I just cannot take this as serious as you do. I am a baby boomer in my 60's and I've heard it all before (several times). casino online

There is no try

there is do, or do not. ~ Yoda

I have tried to listen to a fair number of comments from both sides of the global warming (climate change) debate.

You are wrong on the facts. For every one scientist who calls the problem a political hoax, there are a thousand who pronounce severe warning. This thousand to one ratio should give you pause.

I will be 60 this year. Over the past five decades, I've never heard or seen anything even remotely resembling this kind of scientific consensus, except around the need to ban DDT, which was done just in the nick of time.

Some gentle advice: stop trying and do. It's hard work sifting through the lies, but it's not impossible.

It IS a serious issue

Six months or so ago, I felt the exact same way you feel. I kept reading so many presentations for and against on global warming and climate change and going between right-leaning and progressive-leaning TV and radio news sources it was confusing. It made it so difficult to wrap my mind around the whole thing and, to be honest, felt that since I really have not seen or heard of any disasterous events myself because of the issue, it must all be mostly hype.

Then, I was kind of embarrassed into dealving more deeply into it by finding out what the majority of the scientific community was saying and, more importantly, WHY they were saying what they thought. It is "about the science". There just is no other way to say it. I have seen the same graphs and so forth you have seen about how earth's climate has been clyclical for centuries from warming trends to ice ages. The naysayers use this first and foremost to challenge what we are seeing today. But once my light bulb went off and I realized all those cycles happened BEFORE man entered the picture and BEFORE the industrialization of the modern world, it became just so much more clear. Mother Earth has her own way of going through those cycles. But now, man is affecting her ability in that respect and all of what has happened before basically means very little when we consider the huge impact man is having today.

If you will make the effort to follow the science, it will become clear to you as well. I am certain of it.