Part 1: To See Climate Change in Florida

Key West street flooding
Street flooding in Key West, Florida. Photo credit: Florida Keys Public Libraries / Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Miami Beach – Len Berry was relaxing with colleagues on a hotel patio here one evening last October when one of them shouted, “Look! It’s happening!”  Peering over the railing, the group could see water pushing up onto the street below from storm sewer drains – something that thanks to sea level rise has been happening with increasing frequency in this low-lying resort city. Berry, director of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Environmental Studies, says he and the others were in town to attend a conference on climate change when they got this first-hand view of the crisis.

Far north of Florida, skeptics of the chaos caused by climate change are rare. The denizens of Alaska, Siberia, Scandinavia, Greenland and northern Canada have been witnessing firsthand the frightening effects of a rapidly heating Earth: Lakes and shallow seas bubbling with methane, the Arctic Ocean’s icecap shrinking, soon to vanish altogether in summer, “drunken forests” whose tree roots once sat firmly atop permafrost, now wobbling helplessly on mud. They know what’s happening.

But in America’s Lower 48, there are still plenty of climate-change naysayers. In Florida, you will find fewer and fewer of them, though, especially along the state’s long, low-lying coastline. The evidence of climate change is getting harder to ignore down here, too.

The playground city of Miami Beach may seem an unlikely place to spot such radical changes. But at its greatest elevation this heavily developed island sits just four feet above mean sea level. Much of the land is even lower and these days it gets inundated when the tide is high.

I went there earlier this month to check out a 10-block stretch of Alton Road, also known as State Road 907.  It is a massive construction project at the moment, with the pavement all torn up and removed, and huge sections of concrete conduit stacked along the closed roadway, where they will eventually be laid in place well below sea level.

The reason for this hugely disruptive $38-million, one-to-two-year project is that this road, at an elevation of about one foot above current mean sea level, has become routinely subject to flooding.

2

During the so-called “King Tides” in spring and fall, when moon and sun are aligned to produce the highest tides, the rising sea pushes its way up through the storm sewer and drains onto the street.

Thanks to melting polar ice and a warming ocean the local sea level is up about 10” since the 1930s, when the original storm drains were installed. As a result, this flooding has lately been happening with ordinary high tides—even in December when high tides are lowest.

Water Down the Drain… or Money?

I asked the supervisor of a crew digging beneath the roadbed what was being done to combat this climate-induced problem.  “We’re putting in bigger drainage pipes and installing three big pumping stations to push the water off the street and out of the drains quickly,” he said.

When I asked him how long this costly fix—part of a larger $200-million flood-control project across the city—could be expected to work as the sea continues rising, he laughed wryly. “I cannot say. I’m just doing what the engineers told us to do. But if the sea keeps rising, this project won’t keep working.” The supervisor declined to provide his name.

There’s hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Miami Beach real estate and billions of dollars more invested across the bay in Miami proper, which itself only has an average elevation above sea level of six feet.

That’s precisely the level the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says the sea will rise by the end of this century, if the Greenland ice sheet keeps melting.

One University of Florida studybased on 2007 data projections for a relatively moderate 4.5-foot rise in sea level, which some analyses say could occur later this century—predicts a loss at that point of $66 billion worth of real estate in south Florida.

Rising Sea Levels, Rising Insurance Rates

The imminence of this threat is not lost on insurance companies, and they aren’t waiting to see whose sea level estimate proves most accurate. They are already jacking up their home and project insurance rates—sometimes by a factor of 10—or are simply exiting the Florida market.

“Allstate Insurance hasn’t written a new homeowner’s policy in this state since Hurricane Wilma in 2006,” Allstate agent Deborah Dixon told WhoWhatWhy.

The company has also dropped 320,000 homeowners’ policies since that year, and it’s not alone. Mercury Casualty has bailed out of the Florida home insurance market, and AAA no longer offers homeowner policies to Auto Club members, except as a package along with their auto insurance.

This comes as the Florida housing market, hit hard when the fiscal crisis struck and the housing bubble popped, is beginning to climb back from the collapse that began in 2008. Plenty of cranes can be seen working again on high rises in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other Florida coastal cities, but it is development with a difference this time. Developers and realty companies are quietly turning to experts for “real” estimates on sea level rise and its likely impact on specific potential development sites.

“They are basing their projects now on a planned 10-year return-on-investment,” says Professor Harold Wanless, who, as chair of the Department of Geological Science at the University of Florida, is among those being asked privately about sea-rise project risk. Wanless adds that homeowners, too, know that their properties will eventually become worthless, but for now they are playing a risky game of musical chairs, hoping to sell high before the music stops, leaving some other buyer to take the hit.

Wanless, 70, owns a home near the shore himself, and says he has already warned his children that they cannot count on inheriting an asset from him in the form of property.  “Fifteen years ago, I never thought about this, but I have to admit that my house is not an investment my family can rely on,” he says.

Rising Expectations

NOAA has four projections for sea level rise by 2100, ranging from a conservative one-foot foot rise just from expanding warmer water (this has already been reached 86 years early), to a 6.5-foot rise that assumes a significant Greenland ice-sheet melt. But Wanless thinks even that is too low.

“I think it’s more likely, given what we are learning about the way ice melts, that the melting rate on Greenland will keep accelerating, and that we’ll also have increased melting of the ice in Antarctica, which would give us a five meter (over 15-foot) sea level rise by 2100,” he says.

Such a rise—or even NOAA’s 6.5-foot rise—would be catastrophic and property values in the state, especially along the vulnerable coastline, are almost certain to fall at some point.

Wanless and Berry say they would expect this to happen suddenly as a result of the first disastrous storm—not gradually.

In recent years, Florida has been lucky in not having been hit head-on by a major hurricane along its southeastern coast. A storm like that could push a 20-foot surge of water on top of whatever tide rolls in, and that would sweep over low-lying islands like Miami Beach and on into the major cities like Miami or Fort Lauderdale. The effects would be devastating.

“After such a catastrophe, reality would set in,” predicts Wanless, if only in the form of impossibly high or unobtainable insurance.

The public attitude in Florida is complicated, as Berry explains:

On some level, people realize in this state that they need to plan for a different world because of climate change. That’s why we have the four-county Southeast Regional Climate Change Compact here (the members are Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, Brower and Monroe). We don’t have many climate change deniers in Florida, but at the same time it’s still kind of in the background. There is a lot of “Oh well, it’s a nuisance, but we don’t need to do something right now. We can deal with it down the road.”

South Florida’s Bedrock: 50% Air

But a sea rise in Florida doesn’t have to be dramatic to be devastating. Even a two-foot rise, which could be reached as early as 2040, would do the trick.

3Why? For one thing, the entire Florida coast, where most people live and where most cities are located, is only a few feet above sea level. That’s enough to wreak havoc with the coastal region’s water, sewer, highway and electric infrastructure, with impacts ranging well inland.

This is because the whole of south Florida is basically the remnant of an ancient coral reef once submerged under a shallow sea. The “bedrock” is composed entirely of porous limestone. Pick up a chunk, fix your lips on it and blow, and you will hear and feel air coming out the holes on the other side. (Visitors who kayak or canoe in the Everglades can see this fossilized coral through the clear shallow water.)

As the sea rises inexorably, it will push unseen through this inland bedrock, salinating the Biscayne Aquifer that provides most of the fresh water for farms and for the region’s 5.7 million people. The limestone, which Berry says is so porous, is “50% air,” makes it impossible to build Netherlands-style dikes to keep out the sea; the ocean would simply percolate up behind the walls.

Obama Administration’s Response: 50% Air  

The president has made stirring speeches warning about looming climate change, but in the face of industry opposition and Congressional foot-dragging, neither he nor Congress has done much to limit carbon emissions. In the face of mounting evidence that climate change poses the biggest threat to mankind in the history of our species, little of consequence is being done in Washington.

If our elected leaders won’t travel north to the Arctic Ocean or the Greenland ice sheet, to see the melting going on for themselves perhaps they could at least go south to Florida. Seawater bubbling through sewers in Miami Beach may not be as dramatic as rivers of ice-melt gushing through deep canyons carved in the Greenland ice sheet in mere weeks (something which wasn’t happening a decade ago), but it’s bad enough. And as Florida residents will tell them, it’s going to get a whole lot worse.

In Part Two: While Washington dawdles on dealing with climate change, and politicians pocket donations from energy companies seeking to block efforts to limit carbon emissions, the Navy is making plans to patrol and defend an iceless Northwest Passage. And oil companies are already gearing up for major drilling in what their own scientists assure them will soon be ice-free waters in the Arctic Ocean.

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57 responses to “Part 1: To See Climate Change in Florida”

  1. Antony Wong says:

    awesome!

  2. Not takin it anymore says:

    The Republican Governor and state legislature are not really politicians, they are high priests in the Suicide Cult that IS the state of Florida.

  3. Green Giant says:

    I’m probably going to be labelled as some kind of weather/luddite here but what if all our eminent scientists and forcasters’ and voodoo witch doctors are wrong?
    I am actually not convinced yet.
    Once governments, political correctness and all the shifting of goalposts that come along with such shallow organizations (And is taken into account)… Govts. lust for ever sneakier ways to add taxation to an over-burdened pallet… well let’s just say it MAKES me skeptical.
    In Europe where i live “Green” taxation is becoming rather expensive, (And much of it was brought into being before many were convinced at all!)

    We’ve caught out university professors and people highly acclaimed for their Meteorological pronouncements with reguards to the Global nuclear Winter… oops sorry… global warming… oops, silly me… Climate change… oh darn, you’ve added another term (shifting of goal posts) Climate Chaos!!!
    Get my point?
    If one title doesnt fit… wait a few years and bring out something snazzier that’ll best sum up how you’re feeling this month!

    Our biosphere is a huge living entity with a life of its own… and we know that many of the systems that are enacted are CYCLICAL and that many of these cycles can be over rather prolonged periods of time (longer than the human race has been around for sure!)

    We know our planet has been around for 4 and a half Billion years… life, (apparently) appeared 4 billion years ago… and i’ve read of some species beginning their migratory habits a billion years ago…
    Mankind started recording little snippets of its own history 5,000 years ago.
    Understand where i’m coming from?

    To make pronouncements as fact that this is going to happen or that is going to happen and to shout out that “WE KNOW” as a certainty of 100% that this specific reason or another is definitely the reason… well i just cant buy it!

    it certainly isnt a reason to tell me i have to be taxed at ever increasing “Green” rates or that the economy of my country should be ever burdened and that our standard of living should be ever lessening from this moment on.
    If someone wants me to agree to this kind of official behaviour then they’d better have their facts in FULL order and not keep showing me a polar bear on a small floating iceberg in summer (That anyone with an ounce of brain power) knows is infact not the Winter image it’s presented at!

    What do we have to go on to try our best to understand our surroundings?
    Well sometimes the simplest answers are the most compelling… your own piece enlightens us that (foolishly built on a lowlying area of the Southeastern states) was once submerged by a shallow sea!!!
    And behold you can see previous fossils as evidence of this “through the clear waters”.

    Call me stupid (am sure many weaker minds are at this moment) but if it has happened before… you can be sure it’ll happen again.
    And are we indeed just the unlucky ones that lived during the time of change, (Which history shows, usually happens very rapidly).

    You want to give away your hard earned cash to a greedy government… then be my guest. It’s a free country after all!
    But please dont promote quasi science as fact.
    Because no matter how smart these people think they are i can guarantee you that scientists will be a little smarter 50 years from now… and even smareterer a hundred years from now etc.

    P.S. Once upon a time the great scientific minds of their time thought the galaxy revolved around us and in another era felt that a human could not exist and live in a vehicle going over 60mph.

    So taxation people… do me a lemon will ya :P
    Peace x

    • Not takin it anymore says:

      keep on waddling thru Wal Mart and watching FOX and telling yourself nothing is wrong, Emperor Nero.

  4. edwardrynearson says:

    And meanwhile in Fukushima Japan three 100 ton nuclear lava blobs make their way to the Pacific Ocean …

  5. Albert says:

    Tomorrow in federal court in Miami, Judge Federico Moreno will decide if the raw sewage spewing Miami-Dade system will be rebuilt climate ready or climate wrong. This lawsuit, brought by environmental group, Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, is the first test of whether citizens can sue their government to make the critical infrastructure ready for the ever-increasing climate impacts, such as storm surge, flooding and sea level rise. Sewage, water, roads, electric, and communications — all need to be made climate ready — and soon.

  6. dusty rhodes says:

    everytime i go down to miami i am amazed by the amount of super high rises right on the intercoastals. i dont care how strong they say they are, a cat 4 or worse hurricane will blow all that high end property into bits and pieces… and who would want to buy property there now, on the intercoastals, with all the impending issues with insurance. how are banks supposed to underwrite mortgages, when a buyer cant get covered. this is just the start, and i say it will happen much faster than these predictions. this climate stuff aint gonna be gradual…

  7. Gary says:

    I really liked your article because I wasn’t aware of the problems in South Florida. I’d like to suggest another article, containing some shocking info, to the authors and your readers:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/12/climate-scientist-environment-apocalypse-human-extinction?page=1

  8. Man on the street says:

    As an environmental engineer, when I went to college in NYC, I was told by liberal environmental nut cases that the ICE AGE is coming because BAD HUMANS doing bad things? Anyway, they used weather data to illustrate global cooling trends.

    After, I graduated, and went to work, the same liberal bunch pulled a quick switch? They used the same data to show that we are having GLOBAL WARMING? So, most people said that is great, at least I don’t have to deal with miserable winter snow in the N.E.? So, the environmental nut cases could not sell that easily to the public even if Alaska, and the North pole melted? Who cares? After Al gore and Michael Moore tried for a decade to sell this lies, it was not selling on main street, which was experiencing miserable winters.

    So the marketing genius when and changed the story for the third time to CLIMATE CHANGE! Again, this is basically heads I win, and tails you lose. Regardless how the weather changes, which we all know it will change we (the liberal nut jobs) will tax you.
    They claim it is bad America, which burns coal to generate electricity is the reason for the whole earth going away? Now, America found natural gas which burns cleaner, and should last us for 200 years easily? Do you think the environmentalists would shut the eff up, and enjoy the cleaner energy, and the independence from the rag-heads? No way? They are a career whiners. They are complaining now about the new way of getting that natural gas?
    The American people are torn between the war mongers party, or the environmental crazies?
    .

  9. empiricist2 says:

    See NZ Climate science for good papers on real climate science, not pseudoscience propaganda to get people afraid that man is causing climate change. Not true. CO2 has a minimal effect and is actually good for plants. (remember- they use CO2?) The computer models have assumptions not validated and biased. NASA showed the models are wrong, showing there is more heat radiated than assumed.

  10. kapnlogos says:

    Global Warming caused by man is a theory. Lets let the scientists show us the facts, not people who will make a buck or making a living promoting it. Secondly, even if it is true and comes to fruition, what’s the harm? When the dinosaurs ruled the Earth from the equator to the poles, there was more life and diversity, not less. It wasn’t a bad thing. So we might have to move a few crappy buildings and towns to higher ground over the next hundred years, so what? We should be able to handle a problem like that. I fear we may be in more danger from earthquakes or solar mass emissions than creeping coastlines.

    • Geoist_II says:

      Good point but as it has not proven anything yet it is still just a hypothesis. The predictive models have massively over stated their certainty and shouldn’t yet be used to influence policy.

  11. Thomas Barnes says:

    I lived in Florida for many years and others that have done the same are fully aware of what are being called “The King Tides” do this time of years, every year. These radical tides are even worse up north along the St, Mary’s River.

    These earth warming doomsayers need to get a life. This has been going on for longer than they’ve been wasting good oxygen.

  12. stevor says:

    so oceans rose 10 inches there but not elsewhere? That was said with a straight face? LUNACY!

    • NiCuCo says:

      Here is what is happening with the Hudson River:

      Why is Sea Level Rising?

      Around the globe and along the Hudson River, sea level is rising due to global warming, which is in turn primarily a result of emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. The ongoing warming of the planet is driving sea level rise in several key ways:

      1. Thermal Expansion: Very simply, as water is heated it expands. Global warming has warmed the world’s oceans and so they have expanded, accounting for about half of the globally observed sea level rise over the last century.

      2. Melting of land-based ice: Glaciers around the world and the massive ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are melting faster in summer than winter snows accumulate and replenish them. This imbalance, due to persistently higher temperatures and reduced snowfalls as a result of global warming, is adding huge quantities of water to the world’s oceans. In addition, increasing meltwater and warming oceans are speeding up and weakening the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, accelerating their contribution to global sea level rise.

      3. Weakening of the West Atlantic Gulf Stream: Changes in the temperature and distribution of saltier and fresher waters in the Atlantic appear to be changing the speed and height of the Gulf Stream current along the eastern seaboard of North America. In turn, this “releases” the current’s waters toward the coastline, adding a small but significant amount of height to regional sea levels in the northwest Atlantic.

      Along the lower part of the Hudson River, a fourth factor is contributing to sea level rise:

      4. Land Subsidence: From approximately Kingston southward, the Hudson River Valley itself is slowly subsiding, still reacting to the retreat of ice-age glaciers 10,000-12,000 years ago. This has the effect of raising the relative height of sea level as waterfront areas move downward.

      http://www.scenichudson.org/slr/why-sea-level-rising

    • stevor says:

      I spent two weeks in October 1983 on the Hudson River, going up to Albany. I’d like to see pictures to prove that it’s risen in that period of time.

    • Green Giant says:

      All points you bring up have happened previously… when humans werent around or existed in only small numbers… and there was little burning of fossil fuels.
      Your piece means nothing lol

    • NiCuCo says:

      “All points you bring up have happened previously… when humans werent around or existed in only small numbers… and there was little burning of fossil fuels.”

      There were forest fires before there were human beings. Therefor, human beings cannot cause forest fires.

    • dusty rhodes says:

      another moron from the dork dynasty clowns… how about the military building up sea ports on the east coast they know will have issues soon. bagger fools need to be removed from society, they will take us down with the ship of bagger fools…

    • stevor says:

      YOU are the moron. I did a study at Massachusetts Sippewisset park’s salt marsh in 1983 and since then there has NOT been any appreciable rise in the oceans.
      That you call names is no surprise since you LACK BRAINS or evidence to back up what you say. That’s typical for a TROLL!

  13. Reese Barnes says:

    THANK GOD FOR GLOBAL WARMING

    The Artic has been “melting” for over 20,000 years. Sea levels have risen hundreds of feet. And the pattern will continue until it reverses and great mile thick sheets of ice blanket half of North America …. again and again and again.

    It can not be stopped or mitigated by anything we do and we sure as hell did not start the warming cycle 20,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

    The climate changes, that’s what it does. It is our own damn fault for building cities of millions of people 20′ from the ocean

    • Geoist_II says:

      Not to mention building them on 50% air…. Could it be the land in Florida is dropping due to the city built on it rather than the sea level rising.

  14. TR says:

    I don’t care,it’s Florida.

  15. This Ain't Kyle says:

    Also, maybe it would be up the WhoWhatWhy avenue to do some investigative reporting as to why it wasn’t pursued in the first place – there are some who argue that the inventor Alvin Weinberg was railroaded into obscurity for advocating the technology, because it did not produce weapons-grade byproducts. It would take some digging to find out but there must have been a paper trail which discussed it.

  16. This Ain't Kyle says:

    Anyone concerned with this topic needs to become familiar with the Molten Salt Reactor / Thorium Reactor – a technology developed and proven during WW2 but shelved by the Nixon Administration – which offers many technological advances over the current Pressurized Water reactors – in terms of safety, waste, proliferation resistance, and cost of production. It deserves a fighting chance, and many credentialed scientists believe it may be the key to solving the Carbon problem. You can start with the ‘Thorium in 5 Minutes’ video available on youtube, then progress through the Google Tech Talks and other info for more technical analysis.

  17. glennk says:

    More guns will solve this. If every ‘Merican has a gun it will go away.

  18. Betty Johnson says:

    If global warming and polar ice melt is to be accepted as fact, then why do believers in this junk science continue to buy property in coastal areas? Why doesn’t Prof Wanless sell his property today and preserve his most valuable asset? If the government would stop subsidizing flood insurance, then maybe we would see what people really thought about the risk of rising oceans. Instead we have to put up with alarmists who don’t act upon their dire warnings and seem to enjoy causing society all kinds of anxiety.

    • Kurt P says:

      It’s because there is money – and power – to be had by 1)asserting ‘authority’ and 2)providing ‘solutions’.
      The clamoring rabble just provide the necessary white noise to drown out your own critical thought processes.

    • Dave, from Canada says:

      Why do people build houses next to volcanoes, or near earthquake zones, or below dams?

      The disaster won’t happen today, tomorrow may not come for me. :)

    • Kurt P says:

      Here’s another question…why do people insist we ‘fix’ a problem we didn’t cause, by means which they cannot describe, toward an end they cannot define, based on data which they do not understand?

      Or better still…Why do they choose to tackle THAT issue as a threat to global humanity, and REFUSE to acknowledge and address the fact that one of their supposed miracle CO2 reducing, planet saving technologies – NUCLEAR POWER – is far more likely to make this planet uninhabitable in the near term than ANY AMOUNT of CO2 release?

      They wish to go off tilting at windmills, when their energy would be far better spent addressing an actual, real-time threat.

    • Charlie Primero says:

      Any media outlet which has never bothered to understand the Climate Fraud corporations are running is either too ignorant or too co-opted to waste your time on.

      I just gave up on Whowhatwhy and removed it from my infostream. It will die like the rest, or limp along on corporate foundation grants. Life is too short to waste time on them.

    • nk says:

      Yes, building a luxury vacation home on low ground and
      immediately adjacent to the ocean is not very smart. Ocean storms are normal and have been happening for thousands of years as documented in historical records.

      Pay to Al Gore as much carbon tax money as you wish,
      but that won’t stop storms, hurricanes, tornadoes and etc. But Al and his family will sure love it.

    • David Kowalski says:

      You speak the truth. Follow the money

  19. Kurt P says:

    “This is because the whole of south Florida is basically the remnant of an ancient coral reef once submerged under a shallow sea.”
    Huh…sooooo…it once was sea…and it may again become sea…how very cyclical…and…CHANGING…

    So, remind me…what did humans do to cause any of the PREVIOUS climate change that our planet has been subjected to in eons past? And what have humans done so badly, that we have caused change on not just our planet, but on the others in our system? Oh, yeah…and what exactly is it that should be done now?

    • Janus Boesen Agerbo says:

      You’re a tool or ill informed. All of your point are moot and have been refuted over and over. You science deniers are a terrible scourge on mankind!

    • russbaker says:

      Sadly, it may just be a small handful of really foolish people, or lazy ones who will do anything not to have to inconvenience themselves–or it could be part of the fossil fuel industry’s aggressive and expensive all-fronts campaign to protect their fossilized industry. The “silent majority” unfortunately dont bother to respond, but then again, they know what is happening.

    • Kurt P says:

      Russ- I have respect for you and what you do here. I would appreciate not being disrespected in return.
      While it may be expedient to simultaneously dismiss my opinion as that of a ‘foolish’ or ‘lazy’ person, and fabricate some ‘silent majority’ to seemingly bolster your own bias, it will not go unchallenged.

    • russbaker says:

      Polls show more than two-thirds of Americans believe that thousands of scientists are not in cahoots to trick us–and that climate change is real. Given that very few people post here to challenge that consensus, but those who do show persistence on that, it is obvious that something is out of whack.

    • Kurt P says:

      Nonspecific ‘Polls’ notwithstanding, if experience teaches anything, it is that poll results are directly influenced by the framing of the question. Beyond that, even if we agreed on the legitimacy of a poll’s questions and resulting answers, AND they demonstrated the 2/3s you refer to, so what? Would you have me believe that a ‘majority’ is always right? Or would you have me held silent because the ‘majority’ has spoken? Would you have me change my mind simply because a ‘majority’ of people have concluded something contrary to my conclusions?
      I care little about how many people have bought into a false premise – as long as I am not one of them.
      Something IS out of whack…and that’s the tendency of people to accept that which appeals to their biases, and ignore or attack that which does not. It’s also the intellectual shortcuts we take when we identify with a position or premise ONCE, and never allow any challenge to that position as time goes by.
      Your ‘thousands’ of scientists…are neither…in reality large numbers of the names associated are in fact NOT scientists. Nor do they all necessarily agree with the stated conclusions of the documents which purport to provide their consensus. A growing number of them are taking increasingly vocal positions stating that fact. And again, I will not be swayed by any number of names, when I can demonstrate sufficiently that they are wrong.

    • Guest says:

      I think Cheney’s 1% rule works well here. If we are even 1% sure that things corporations are doing is causing these disasters and likely the end of the planet’s ability to host us, perhaps we should think about what we can do to slow it down a bit.

    • Kurt P says:

      1%? That is utterly ridiculous.
      You would have all humans on earth essentially enslaved to an unelected, global, unaccountable, nebulous, socialistic, bureaucratic collection of psychopaths…over some vague, truly unquantifiable ‘feeling’ that AGW must -IT JUST MUST! be 1% responsible for ‘these disasters’…to WHICH ‘DISASTERS’ do you refer? And by all means, please provide me with the logic behind being ‘sure’ 1%!
      ‘Likely the end of the planet’s ability to host us’? Really? Likely? Again, more of that vague quantifying…It’s NOT likely. NOT AT ALL.
      You AGWers are LONG on squishy talk and SHORT on facts. You have bought into a false premise on an emotional level, and no amount of logical confrontation will penetrate what you just “know” to be true. Sure, when pressed, you will regurgitate numbers and ‘facts’…but of that information, what hasn’t been outright disproven, has been shown to be incomplete. You COMPLETELY ignore the elephant in the room, which is what your proposed ‘…what we can do to slow it down a bit.’ actually would entail.
      Even the WhoWhatWhy guys ignore that elephant, ignore the sun, and overly rely on discredited data, and essentially forged findings.
      All because of what?
      Buying into a premise and refusing to re examine it objectively.

    • Craig King says:

      The consensus amongst the Russians, for years, was that communism was a good system to run a country by. The consensus amongst the very brightest and best in Europe was that the Euro currency was a good idea.
      Don’t tell us about a consensus amongst scientists as if that was somehow a convincing argument.
      This article is very short on facts and even the one foot sea rise statement is wrong. There is absolutely nothing that can result in a six foot rise in sea level in less than several thousand years.
      This article is alarmist drivel.

    • Kurt P says:

      ok…you convinced me.

      sheesh

    • Dave Lindorff says:

      Florida was underwater for some 100 million years — in fact for most of the time dinosaurs walked the earth — which is why there are no dino fossils in Florida. About 30 million years ago, as the earth cooled and the polar caps grew, Florida emerged from the sea.

      So yes, nature has submerged Florida in the past, but this was in a process that took millions of years to happen, just as it took a long time for it to become dry land.

      What we are experiencing now is an unprecedentedly rapid rise in sea level (even 10″ in less than a century is astonishingly fast), and the overwhelming majority of scientists across national boundaries, ideological divides (China, Russia, US, Finland, etc) agree that the facts make it clear this is the result of the CO2 rising to 400 parts per million from 280 parts per million in just over two centuries, and that this dramatic jump in carbon dioxide is the result of human activity — primarily the burning of fossil fuels, but also the clearing of forests and jungles, and the industrial raising of cattle.

      The fact that Florida was once underwater because of a much warmer earth does not prove that what is happening now is a part of a “natural” cycle.

      By the way, speaking as someone who began college planning to be an astronomer, and who grew up with a father who was a prominent MIT-trained electrical engineer, I will say that anyone who thinks that the thousands of international scientists who are warning about human-caused climate change are part of some humongous secret international conspiracy simply don’t know scientists — probably one of the most notoriously cantankerous and mutually combative professions outside of extreme boxing.

      Dave Lindorff
      (author of the above article)

    • Dave Lindorff says:

      Florida was underwater for some 100 million years — in fact for most of the time dinosaurs walked the earth — which is why there are no dino fossils in Florida. About 30 million years ago, as the earth cooled and the polar caps grew, Florida emerged from the sea.

      So yes, nature has submerged Florida in the past, but this was in a process that took millions of years to happen, just as it took a long time for it to become dry land.

      What we are experiencing now is an unprecedentedly rapid rise in sea level (even 10″ in less than a century is astonishingly fast), and the overwhelming majority of scientists across national boundaries, ideological divides (China, Russia, US, Finland, etc) agree that the facts make it clear this is the result of the CO2 rising to 400 parts per million from 280 parts per million in just over two centuries, and that this dramatic jump in carbon dioxide is the result of human activity — primarily the burning of fossil fuels, but also the clearing of forests and jungles, and the industrial raising of cattle.

      The fact that Florida was once underwater because of a much warmer earth does not prove that what is happening now is a part of a “natural” cycle.

      By the way, speaking as someone who began college planning to be an astronomer, and who grew up with a father who was a prominent MIT-trained electrical engineer, I will say that anyone who thinks that the thousands of international scientists who are warning about human-caused climate change are part of some humongous secret international conspiracy simply don’t know scientists — probably one of the most notoriously cantankerous and mutually combative professions outside of extreme boxing.

    • Kurt P says:

      Well, as I pointed out to Russ, your ‘thousands’ of scientists are neither all scientists, nor do they all come to same conclusions as are put forward by the papers which claim they do.

      “The fact that Florida was once underwater because of a much warmer earth does not prove that what is happening now is a part of a “natural” cycle.”…..well it surely doesn’t DISprove it. I love how AGW proponents -almost as if repeating something by rote – turn to the hot words of ‘unprecedented’ and ‘rapid’ and ‘overwhelming’, yet there of course ARE precedents, and words like ‘rapid’ are never defined, and they are tremendously subjective, and I can ‘overwhelm’ my toilet with a whole lot of $h17.
      Your reliance on the CO2 premise SHOULD be your undoing – if you were willing to be objective, open-minded, and intellectually honest, that is. If you went beyond that, and were willing to accept the information coming in in real time now, you might further begin to accept that the changes that are occurring – and have always occurred – are more directly tied to solar outputs than they are to relatively minor changes in atmospheric gasses.
      But that won’t likely happen.

    • Man on the street says:

      I spent three years living in an Apartment overlloking the Hudson River by the George Washington Bridge during my college years, that river freezes so much to the point that you can walk across it. Global warming my foot!

    • RealityCheck says:

      Well put. I too have known many scientists who are so passionate about this issue and none of them were rich or had any intention of becoming rich. In fact I have seen two of them reduced to tears when describing how in trouble the countless species of life on out planet are in.

  20. Bruce says:

    Also, 3 of the 5 Molasses Keys off Marathon’s 7-Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys Have SUBMERGED.

    • Orangutan. says:

      Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet’s recent climate changes have a natural—and not a human-induced—cause – http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

    • NiCuCo says:

      Only to a single Russian scientist. From the article you referred to:

      Amato Evan, a climate scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, added that “the idea just isn’t supported by the theory or by the observations.”

      All planets experience a few wobbles as they make their journey around the sun. Earth’s wobbles are known as Milankovitch cycles and occur on time scales of between 20,000 and 100,000 years.

      These fluctuations change the tilt of Earth’s axis and its distance from the sun and are thought to be responsible for the waxing and waning of ice ages on Earth.

      Mars and Earth wobble in different ways, and most scientists think it is pure coincidence that both planets are between ice ages right now.

      “Mars has no [large] moon, which makes its wobbles much larger, and hence the swings in climate are greater too,” Wilson said.