The short-sighted politics of sea-level rise in North Carolina
Rising ocean and shoreline erosion at South Nags Head, North Carolina. Photo source: © Orrin Pilkey & Norma Longo
This summer, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives tacked onto a military funding bill a provision that prohibits the use of federal funds by the military to study global climate change or even to plan how to respond to it.U.S. Rep. Ken Buck from Colorado called the military concern with global climate change a radical climate change agenda.
It is surprising that a major political party in this age of enlightenment has a central “plank” in its party doctrine showing skepticism about global climate change. Commonly, the skepticism includes the assumption that humans bear no responsibility for the sea-level and climate changes occurring. It is an example of what columnist Leonard Pitts called “the alternative reality of conservative orthodoxy…”
“North Carolina: The Beaches Are Moving,” A Video featuring Orrin Pilkey, PhD
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem…
Sandbagged: The Undoing of a Quarter Century of North Carolina Coastal Conservation, Op Ed by Gary Lazorick (07-04-2011)
Rows of houses with overlapping sandbag walls create huge problems. The walls do as much damage to the beach as hardened seawalls. Removing the sandbags from one property potentially damages all of the others…
Time to Get Serious About Protecting Beaches; Savannah Now (03-13-2015)
Much of the coastline along the eastern seaboard is composed of barrier islands whose geography is in constant flux. Some years, a particular stretch of beach will expand, maybe for 10 years or more. That same beach may begin to shrink, and continue to do so for years, perhaps even opening into a small estuary and forming a marshland, only to be reversed eventually. “Our bill will allow the baseline to move landward, but not seaward. The science and the common sense agree that this is the prudent course of action…”
We Need to Retreat From the Beach, Op Ed by Orrin H. Pilkey.
As ocean waters warm, the Northeast is likely to face more Sandy-like storms. And as sea levels continue to rise, the surges of these future storms will be higher and even more deadly. We can’t stop these powerful storms. But we can reduce the deaths and damage they cause…