Maybe It’s Time We Stopped Wasting Money Studying a Problem And Spent That Money Adapting to It

The Washington Post published an article today titled When sea levels rise, high tides will spill into communities far more often, study says.

What a revelation!  It’s almost as foolish as the studies that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars to tell us that heat waves will occur more often (and cold spells less often) in a warming world.  A grade schooler could figure those things out.

The Washington Post article was about a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  See the UCS webpage Encroaching Tides for links to the full report, executive summary and technical appendix. There’s lots of pretty pictures and graphs and stuff.

But it turns out the webpage is nothing more than an advertisement. If you scroll down to the bottom of the Encroaching Tides webpage, the UCS is asking for donations:

We Need Your Support to Make Change Happen

Your contribution puts rigorous scientific analysis to work to advance clean, renewable energy and so much more. With the support of people like you, we are developing and implementing practical solutions to build a healthier environment and a safer world.

So the UCS tries to scare the pants off of their adoring public in an effort to raise some more money for their coffers.  What a surprise!!

ISN’T IT TIME WE STOPPED WASTING MONEY STUDYING SOMETHING WE KNOW IS GOING TO HAPPEN?

This post is not about whether the sea level report by the Union of Concerned Scientists agrees with the IPCC.  It’s not about whether the Union of Concerned Scientists have exploited a naturally occurring upswing in sea level rise that’s part of the multidecadal variations in the North Atlantic ocean temperatures known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.  I’m not going to waste my time downloading tide gauge data from dozens of locations up and down the eastern seaboard.

For decades now, we’ve been told that sea levels are going to rise.  Why do they keep telling us?  Why don’t we stop wasting money on their foolish studies about what we already know and start spending money on preparing for the inevitable?

This is going to require a different mindset, one geared toward adapting.

Is renewable energy going to stop the rise in sea level?  No.  To combat rising sea levels, do we need more windmills? No. Do we need more solar cell arrays?  No. So why in God’s name would anyone in their right mind send money to the Union of Concerned Scientists to “work to advance clean, renewable energy”  when we need them to do “so much more” other stuff?

Here’s a couple of paragraphs and an illustration from the Introduction to my upcoming book.

[Start quote.]

Sea levels, on the other hand, present an altogether different problem.  Again, even if we could turn back CO2 levels to preindustrial values, sea levels would continue to rise.  Sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age, and they will continue to do so until Earth heads toward another ice age and the globe starts to cool once again. Further, the rate at which global sea levels might possibly change in the future, in response to the hypothetical effects of manmade greenhouse gases, is still the subject of wide ranges of uncertainty and open debate…and the subject of even more alarmism from activists and the media, if that’s possible.  One thing is certain: the oceans and seas will continue to assault Earth’s land masses.  Adding solar arrays and windmills to power grids is not going to stop the oceans from invading our shorelines.  We can only adapt to rising sea levels…and we have been doing exactly that since the end of the last ice age.

We can no longer travel by land between Asia and North America via the Bering Land “Bridge”.  Similarly, we can no longer migrate on land between Tasmania, New Guinea and Australia, which were all interconnected landmasses not too many millennia ago.  We can no longer hunt and gather in Doggerland, which was the former landmass that once connected Britain to mainland Europe during and after the last ice age. Doggerland disappeared only 6000 to 6500 years ago, swallowed by the rising North Sea.  All around the globe, since the last glacial maximum, we’ve lost valuable low-lying lands and their resources to rising sea levels, and we’ll lose more of them in the future.  That’s an unfortunate and unavoidable fact of life on this planet.

Maybe it’s easier to fathom if we look at the rise and fall in sea levels in paleoclimatological timeframes.  We won’t have to think in those terms often in this book, because most of the discussions are about the past 3 to 4 decades.  But for a moment, let’s think in tens and hundreds of thousands of years.  Then the 100 to 125 meter (330 to 410 foot) variations in sea levels could simply be thought of as a form of ice age-dependent “tides”, washing ashore when the Earth warms between ice ages and receding when the earth cools toward the glacial maximums. See Figure Intro-5.

Figure Intro-5

Out of need and without the slightest thought of future “tides”, our ancestors built villages, towns and cities along those retreating shorelines, and we continue to build homes and businesses there.  Now, with a new-found awareness of those future advances in the “tides”, we are adapting, and future generations will continue to adapt, because our villages, towns and cities lie within the “glacial-interglacial tidal range”.   Trying to hold back the “tides” of naturally rising sea levels by limiting greenhouse gas emissions is a fool’s errand.

[End quote.]

 

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in Alarmism, Sea Level. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Maybe It’s Time We Stopped Wasting Money Studying a Problem And Spent That Money Adapting to It

  1. Francisco says:

    Not to contradict you, but we should have stopped wasting money on the CAGW BEFORE any money was spent..

  2. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on the WeatherAction News Blog and commented:
    Well said Bob.

  3. Thanks, Bob. Your upcoming book looks interesting. Please keep on writing it.
    I just sent a link to this article and a couple of quotes from it to a friend who asked my opinion on this Washington Post article.

  4. catweazle666 says:

    So, given that the heat changed from warming the atmosphere to warming the oceans in the late 1990s, we would expect to see an upward kink in the sea level rise trend as the warmer water expanded and sea level increase speeded up.

    The rate of sea-level rise

    Nature Climate Change Published online 23 March 2014

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n5/full/nclimate2159.html

    “However, over the last decade a slowdown of this rate, of about 30%, has been recorded”

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    David Appell: As noted on the recent thread, you’ve been relegated to the spam filter. The two papers you cited about sea level and natural variability did not contradict my statement on the natural variability of the sea level rise on the East Coast of the United States.

    Good bye, David. You continue to waste my time.

  6. craigm350 says:

    Bob Tisdale on October 9, 2014 at 4:11 pm
    ****
    I wondered why David Appell suddenly appeared at my site.

    Still I did have fun. I’ve been waiting to use that Austin Powers clip.

    😂
    http://weatheraction.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/maybe-its-time-we-stopped-wasting-money-studying-a-problem-and-spent-that-money-adapting-to-it/comment-page-1/#comment-444

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    David Appell: As I noted above, your comments are going to the spam filter. Good thing. You quoted me out of context. You’re wasting your time and mine. With respect to your other comment, don’t flatter yourself. You simply parrot dogma.

    Good-bye.

  8. Pingback: The 2014/15 El Niño – Part 18 – October 2014 Update – One Last Chance? | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  9. Pingback: The 2014/15 El Niño – Part 18 – October 2014 Update – One Last Chance? | Watts Up With That?

  10. Pingback: A Thread for Whiny-Ass Trolls | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  11. Bob Tisdale says:

    No, David Appell, there is nothing ironic about my quoting Kevin Trenberth from your interview with him and then banning you from my blog. What Trenberth had to say was worthwhile; what you have to say is not, in part because you, David, stoop to every lousy debate tactic possible.

    And for those wondering about David Appell’s lousy debate tactics on this thread, which have been deleted…

    One of the David Appell’s comments that I deleted from the recent thread appears to be the same as the one he left on the repost at The WeatherAction News Blog. There Appell wrote:

    If sea level rise is “part of the multidecadal variations in the North Atlantic ocean temperatures known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation,” why has it kept rising through several cycles of the AMO, and even accelerating (Church and White, Surv Geophys (2011) 32:585–602 DOI 10.1007/s10712-011-9119-1)?

    There’s also this recent study: “We provide statistical evidences that the observed SLC [sea-level change], at global and regional scales, is beyond its natural internal variability.” (Becker, M., M. Karpytchev, and S. Lennartz-Sassinek (2014), Long-term sea level trends: Natural or anthropogenic?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL061027.)

    But I did not write or imply that “sea level rise is ‘part of the multidecadal variations in the North Atlantic ocean temperatures known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation’”. I wrote:

    This post is not about whether the sea level report by the Union of Concerned Scientists agrees with the IPCC. It’s not about whether the Union of Concerned Scientists have exploited a naturally occurring upswing in sea level rise that’s part of the multidecadal variations in the North Atlantic ocean temperatures known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. I’m not going to waste my time downloading tide gauge data from dozens of locations up and down the eastern seaboard.

    So David Appell’s argument and links were unrelated to my comment.

    Is there a multidecadal component to the sea level data from the eastern seaboard of the United States? There is in tide gauge-based data I presented in the post On Sallenger et al (2012) – Hotspot of Accelerated Sea Level Rise on the Atlantic Coast of North America. The graph below is Figure 8 from that post.

    So, the Union of Concerned Scientists may have, after all is said and done, exploited a naturally occurring upswing in sea level rise that’s part of the multidecadal variations in the North Atlantic ocean temperatures known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

    David, I’ve created a special thread where you can whine here at Climate Observations. See the post A Thread for Whiny-Ass Trolls.

  12. Pingback: Interesting Paper on Sea Level Rise – Purkey et al (2014) | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  13. Pingback: New Paper on Sea Level Rise – Purkey et al (2014) – Examines the Sea Level Rise by Basin | Watts Up With That?

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