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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #43

Posted on 27 October 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week including,,, 

Editor's Pick

They Know Seas Are Rising, but They’re Not Abandoning Their Beloved Cape Cod

Lifelong residents are building higher with each flood. But while they deal with climate change, some say they aren’t sure what to believe about the cause.

 Cape Code

Sea level is rising at an accelerated pace along the Mid-Atlantic coast, from Cape Hatteras to north of Boston, while land in some of those areas is sinking. Residents can try to adapt or face more frequent flooding. Credit: Robert Scott Button 

"It flooded in early January, and then it happened again two or three months later," says Matt Teague of Barnstable, Mass., about the slew of storms that hit Cape Cod in the winter of 2017. "We're like, what are we doing here?" he says, opening his arms skyward.

It is now the peak of summer as I stand with Matt in the seaside community of Blish Point at the front door of the house he owns—a house that's about to be demolished. Matt, 43, with a trim graying beard and a belt buckle in the shape of a fishhook, is the owner of REEF Design & Build, which works all across Cape Cod. He bought the house with his brother and father more than 10 years ago as an investment. Blish Point, an area where native fishermen once laid out their nets to dry, today contains a couple hundred homes nestled between the mouth of Barnstable Harbor and the verdant marsh of Maraspin Creek. Some of the homes are upscale; others are simple cottages. The Teague house, one of the simple cottages, was ruined by flooding: five major storms in the past three years alone have struck this area, and two of the four nor'easters last winter inundated the ground-level home.

Matt pushes his sunglasses atop his head, revealing a pale strip of untanned skin along his temple, as he stretches out his hand 2 feet above the door's threshold to show me where the water rose to during the storms. Over his shoulder, a hungry excavator sits ready to begin its work as Matt's extended family arrives, setting up lawn chairs across the street from the doomed house, joking about who forgot the popcorn. They have come to watch the carnage.

In spite of his own rhetorical question, after the demolition, Matt is going to rebuild—not elsewhere, but right here, only higher. 

They Know Seas Are Rising, but They’re Not Abandoning Their Beloved Cape Cod by Meera Subramanian, InsideClimate News, Oct 26, 2018 

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Oct 21, 2018

Mon Oct 22, 2018

Tue Oct 23, 2018

Wed Oct 24, 2018

Thur Oct 25, 2018

Fri Oct 26, 2018

Sat Oct 27, 2018

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Comments 1 to 5:

  1. Great article full of good people. You can almost see the cogs turning in their minds: agw climate change equals more taxes (eg a carbon tax), don't like taxes, better to just adapt to climate change and not try and cut emissions. It's understandable anyone could empathise.

    However relying purely on adaptation will be very costly in the long run. Prevention is better than cure, but its a hard message to sell, yet its the message we must sell much better.

    I think the culture wars and political tribalism between conservatives and liberals is getting dangerous and entrenched. The sad thing is all attention has now focussed on immigration, taxes gun rights and a few hot button issues,  and the environment has been pushed into the background, however looming environmental disaster will make many of the other issues and arguments seem trivial. 

    America is heading towards civil war if this continues. I have said it before and now someone else is here.

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  2. nigelj,

    The bigger issue is how easy it is to just claim that 'future generatons can adapt'. Whenever adaptation is mentioned, it is essential to understand that the adaptation is not by the people who get to benefit from creating the need to adapt. The most resistant people really like to benefit in ways that negatively affect Others. This was bluntly pointed out in the 1987 UN Report "Our Common Future" with the statement:

    "25. Many present efforts to guard and maintain human progress, to meet human needs, and to realize human ambitions are simply unsustainable - in both the rich and poor nations. They draw too heavily, too quickly, on already overdrawn environmental resource accounts to be affordable far into the future without bankrupting those accounts. They may show profit on the balance sheets of our generation, but our children will inherit the losses. We borrow environmental capital from future generations with no intention or prospect of repaying. They may damn us for our spendthrift ways, but they can never collect on our debt to them. We act as we do because we can get away with it: future generations do not vote; they have no political or financial power; they cannot challenge our decisions.
    26. But the results of the present profligacy are rapidly closing the options for future generations. Most of today's decision makers will be dead before the planet feels; the heavier effects of acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or widespread desertification and species loss. Most of the young voters of today will still be alive. In the Commission's hearings it was the young, those who have the most to lose, who were the harshest critics of the planet's present management."

    It is primarily the Right-wing types who would object to that being pointed out because it essentially declares the unacceptability of the results of people freer to do as they please in competitions for popularity and profitability. It points out that much of what has developed does not deserve to be conserved, it needs to be corrected.

    I am starting to consider that the political divides that are developing have a powerful one-side initiation. People resisting improved awareness and understanding are 'polarizing themselves away from detailed discussions on the issues they do not want to have to change their minds about'.

    That can happen on the Left or the Right. But the group primarily doing that are Conservatives and the Right, especially the new political Unions forming collectives of greedy and intolerant people (Uniting the Right) who will vote to support each others unacceptable interests, because without uniting they would have little chance of political or popular success. They are United against the improving understanding of climate science (and many other developed improved understandings of the brilliant diversity of humanity that should be appreciated and accepted as they are, rather than being attacked for being "those Others").

    It is primarily Right-wing Conservatives who do not want to get along with Others through discussions that would lead to common sense improved understanding, because they 'accurately' sense that doing so is likely to require them to change their minds, and Conservatives are not very willing to do that.

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  3. As the Gulf stream weakens, Coriolis weakens and stops pulling the ocean away from the East Coast of the USA.  Less heat is transferred northward so the waters off the southern part of the coast warm up and of course there is the overall rise in sea level.  Some time in the not too distance future one almighty storm will turn Cape Cod into a sand bank devoid of trees and houses

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  4. Many grateful thanks @John Hartz for continuously providing the list of weekly news posts: every saturday I .. well .. do not .. look forward to it (i.e. I look forward to the list, but not to the often sad things reported in it). Some of it I share with other people (also not on FB) and I regularly promote the weekly list as an invaluable source of information, just as the whole of SkS.

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  5. Jonas: Thank you for the positive feedback.

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