By John Upton, who blogs about ecology. Originally published at Climate Central
The lawns of homes purchased this year in vast swaths of coastal America could regularly be underwater before the mortgage has even been paid off, with new research showing high tide flooding could become nearly incessant in places within 30 years.
Such floods could occur several times a week on average by 2045 along the mid-Atlantic coastline, where seas have been rising faster than nearly anywhere else, and where lands are sagging under the weight of geological changes.
Washington and Annapolis, Md. could see more than 120 high tide floods every year by 2045, or one flood every three days, according to the study, published last week in the journal PLOS ONE. That’s up from once-a-month flooding in mid-Atlantic regions now, which blocks roads and damages homes.
“The flooding would generally cluster around the new and full moons,” said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, a Union of Concerned Scientists analysts who helped produce the new study. “Many tide cycles in a row would bring flooding, this would peter out, and would then be followed by a string of tides without flooding.”
The analysis echoed findings from previous studies, though it stood out in part because of its focus on impacts that are expected within a generation — instead of, say, by the end of the century.
It showed high tide floods along southeastern shorelines are expected to strike nearly as often as they will in the mid-Atlantic, portending a fast-looming crisis for more than 1,000 miles of coastal America.
Seas have recently been rising worldwide by an average of about an inch a decade, a rate of change that’s accelerating as global warming expands oceans and causes ice to melt. The East Coast endured sea level rise at more than twice the global rate from 2002 to 2014.
“The way to bring it home is to talk about this 30-year horizon,” said Jason Evans, a Stetson University scientist who researches sea-level rise and advises coastal communities trying to adapt. He wasn’t involved with the new study. “That’s the life of a mortgage. It’s not abstract.”
High tide flooding will be less common along the northeastern and Gulf coasts, but flooding in those regions is projected to occur more frequently in the decades ahead than is currently the case in vulnerable mid-Atlantic cities and towns. Gulf Coast communities are also grappling with widespread erosion caused by oil and gas infrastructure and flood control projects.
The study did not analyze the West Coast, where flooding problems are less widespread, although parts of the San Francisco Bay Area are highly vulnerable.
The analysis pointed to heavy future impacts from rising seas if coastal communities fail to adapt to climate change and if the world fails to substantially reduce greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuels, deforestation and farming.
“The analysis presented here indicates that flood risk is likely to increase significantly and consistently for regions from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northeast,” said Andra Garner, a sea-level researcher at Rutgers who wasn’t involved with the study. “This emphasizes the urgent need for adaptation.”
Work is underway in many coastal states, counties and cities to reduce flooding and its impacts, such as by raising roads and blocking construction of flood-prone homes. Adapting to rising seas can be painstaking and expensive, however, often requiring extensive coordination among agencies and governments.
In some cases, residential lots, roads and parks are expected to be abandoned to the sea. That already happened in some parts of New York and New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“This is not something that we can address alone,” said Theodore Becker, mayor of Lewes, Del., a town of a few thousand residents that swells with summertime visitors.
The new analysis showed high tides could bring floods to Lewes every second day on average by 2045 — a risk that local and state leaders are toiling to reduce.
“We engage in at least two programs to educate people about what they can do to prepare themselves,” Becker said. “We have a very engaged community. They get it.”
To reduce future risks and impacts from current flooding, Lewes lawmakers recently adopted new rules for building and renovating homes in flood-prone regions. The city is also seeking funding from the state to elevate roads that frequently flood. It protects and enhances sand dunes, which can buffer floods.
“Lewes is an interesting example of a fairly proactive community in terms of sea level rise preparedness,” said California-based climate scientist Kristina Dahl, one of the authors of the new study.
“The stuff that’s happening in Lewes is statewide — there’s a lot of action within Delaware and a lot of awareness,” Dahl said. “A lot of the things that are being done there could be looked at by a lot of other coastal communities and used as models.”
I wonder when this will start to affect home prices, and how. Collapse or just a gradual adjustment? Or nothing at all? Coastal property is priced very high where I live.
It already has. I grew up in a tiny ancient beach house in Connecticut that had been in my mothers family. The structure was so old that it wasn’t worth anything, but waterfront property in rich snobby suburbia hell was valued at around $750-$800k and was supposed to be my parent’s nest egg. Hurricane Irene took out half of the bottom floor rendering it unlivable, yet despite years of paying through the nose for flood insurance, the company offered something pathetic like $50k. So they were fighting with the insurance company back and forth for over a year and then Sandy came and took the rest of the house. The insurance ended up paying, but far less than they should have. My mom’s close family friends had a twin property right next door too and it suffered the same. Despite both properties being on the market together and by the same realtor, allowing a package deal if someone wanted, they did not sell until this last summer. For about $450k. So at least they got to pay off both the mortgages. Sigh.
There will always be properties that are slightly higher in elevation that will become the new coastline homes. They will hold their value or increase due to demand. People will adapt albeit not without a lot of pain, loss, and heartache.
Think of the view from the “new coastline”: lots of roof tops, telephone poles, debris….. and the boating should be great, dodging the submersed detritus of the failing empire.
The sea is pretty efficient at getting rid of that stuff. Within a handful of years, it will be washed away unless it is embedded in concrete.
Areas on “made land” such as the New Jersey Meadowlands also have ongoing settlement of the ground surface as the organic materials below the fills (and the fills themselves) compress. It is not uncommon to go out there and see industrial buildings on piles with all the ground around them sunken down a foot in elevation. You need recent topographic mapping to accurately know what current ground surface elevations are.
In some areas (e.g. Florida) there is extensive pumping of fresh groundwater, so the ground surface there is compressing as well. Sea level rise combined with pumping also increases salt water intrusion into the aquifers which reduces available water supply for urban and farming uses.
It is good that people are starting to think of this as financial risk within 30 year mortgage limits. The Millenials currently won’t be impacted heavily since most do not own property. At some point in time it will dawn on the 50 years olds just how much financial risk they are actually holding.
I live in Upstate New York at about elevation 400 ft with plenty of fresh surface water and groundwater resources in the area. Some of the groundwater aquifers have been contaminated by old industrial practices (back when regulation was unnecessary because business people always do the right thing), but they are slowly being cleaned up to be assets for the future. Our home prices have not participated in any of the bubbles (our county often does not have a single $500k house sale in a week) but maybe they will start to rise again in the coming years as more areas on the coasts become unlivable. Ultimately, that will be one of the ways that the Rust Belt returns in the future. Many of the Rust Belt areas are likely to see their climates improve with climate change without many of the negative impacts unlike the southwest and the coastal cities.
Higher I think. After all they’ll build a couple of walls to defend against the rise. This climate change seems to be a gift that will keep on giving in terms of infrastructure projects. That leads to jobs.
up to a point. then you start risking the collapse of society.
If the structure protecting them from the rise has to go higher and higher, coastal property prices would go down.
Part of the hype about coastline property are views and landscape.
Water fools us with its calming effects, but most don’t really appreciate its power.
But as I say, there are no natural disasters. Nature will be nature. If all the prediction comes to pass, the disaster would be attempting to keep loads of people on the coastline.
Plenty of open space in the USA for people.
That might depend on how insurance companies deal with it. If they raise premiums and make more exclusions I should think prices would sag, but if they refuse coverage it’s all over.
Government can cover with bailouts, particularly for top 5%. MMT can serve this purpose…
I came here to say this. Expect a “Climate Repayment Appreciation Program” to be set up to manage the property losses.
The refugees, I think, will be the worst and most damaging aspect, as refugees always are in a nation state system.
I’ve been looking the pricing for seafront homes on either coasts for the last year and I’d say there is a marked difference in price between homes built on sand spits and homes built on more solid and higher elevations.
I suspect that in coastal flood zones lenders require the mortgagee to obtain flood insurance as well as fire. There is an ironic story here. I haven’t the time to research it, but FEMA was forced to go hat in hand to Congress following Sandy to cover losses suffered in its flood insurance program. Congress then required that FEMA review its rate maps and rates with respect to liabilities and correct them to ensure long-term financial health of the flood insurance program. They dutifully did so – raising rates substantially on the most risky insureds. The insured had a hissy fit and took their complaints to Congress, which almost immediately demanded the old rates. With liabilities much larger than income, you can assume that Johnny Taxpayer will be tagged with the difference. Oh, while much of corporate America seems to believe that global climate change is a hoax, I’d bet that the big banks and insurance companies are “using the best science available” to judge their risks.
I would guess, when it becomes impossible to insure coastal property, the value will plummet.
The Fed has stepped in in some places (FL?), but, eventually, the costs of this will become prohibitive, and you will see buyouts perhaps. Not necessarily at top dollar, unless said property is owned by a financial institution…
Prohibitive but also a moral hazard problem. If you let people buy cheap insurance they wont move to higher ground. It is nice living by the sea – and people will want to do it if they can buy insurance. Of course, as soon as they cant the coasts will become ghettos for the poor.
I imagine the sea level rise to be gradual. ie several years now (see the exponential graph of temp or co2 over last decade or so). But I see regularly predictions of a inconsequential rise in sea level by 2100.
As good as saying climate change will not affect us, only those with grand kids
So gradual for me means years, not decades. Yet few of my friends, and what I see in public, on tv and print NEVER seem overly concerned – ie, it will never happen or too far in the future to influence their plans now.
But once the special, quality people (not those brown ones in the Pacific, I’m talking the rich who live all around the seas), get affected, well, you can only imagine the cries of outrage and that sea walls should be built, not at their cost of course.
Dumb as, you can’t build a high enough wall to keep out what is on the horizon,
My lifetime such a thing? Never have imagined it, until recently. What about you, as pessimistic/realistic as me??
While the total sea level rise is slow, most land reclamation comes from storm surge. Here is a thing from vice on how it’s already happening in bangladesh.
it’s not going to be a gradual rise. it accelerates. nobody is predicting an “inconsequential rise by 2100” as far as i know.
This article specifically talks about what is likely to happen by 2045, less than thirty years from now, and refers to what is already happening:
Going from flooding once a month, now, to more than twice a week may indeed happen gradually, but that does not mean slowly. We are going to see problems even in my lifetime, and as the flooding comes oftener it will also rise higher and produce more structural damage to existing buildings. The abstract of the original scientific paper ends up with this cheery prognosis:
Thanks for your comments.
UserFriendly, yes, already happening and many areas of the world are affected.
PretzelAttack – the predictions I have seen from the IPCC show a range of outcomes from as low as 25cm to 80cm – see
that was my take of it anyway. And, I just don’t believe it. The warming line is starting to go vertical.
So, I repeat what I said. We only have years, perhaps two or three before sea levels start affecting the rich on the waterfront, and those communities that live and derive their lives from the seas.
Which of those affected do we think our governments will bail out and move to higher ground?
Did you even read the article?
Tangential related: the heatwave here in Aus has been accompanied by an eerie silence. No one in the ABC seems to be able to say the words “climate change”.
It’s going to be hard to do anything about climate change if the soft denial keeps up. Which is more than slightly worrisome given that everything is pointing toward bigger changes much sooner than expected.
hottest days ever in Australia this past weekend.
Who’s saying its climate related?
Oh yes, no-one, good point.
Well, to be fair it is summer in Australia, meanwhile here in the U.S., we had 99 degrees in Oklahoma yesterday, Feb. 11.
What per cent of Australia’s “earned money” per year comes from selling coal ( which all gets burned and skydumped)? If Australia were to ban the mining of coal within the borders of Australia and ban the sale of any coal already mined and sitting in big storage piles . . . how much social stress would this put on Australia?
Homes flooded, bad
Sewage Plants flooded, catastrophe
Cost of Berms around sewage plants, I estimate 8 to 20 Billion.
All coming from your local property taxes.
US Coastal Sewage Plants, 162 in this list from Mr Google. It is not a definitive nor complete list.
If you are served by a coastal sewage plant, especially on a hurricane east cost, MOVE.
Alaska North Slope
Lake & Peninsula
Prince of Wales
California Del Norte
San Luis Obispo
Connecticut New London
Delaware New Castle
N Carolina Currituck
New Hampshire Rockingham
New Jersey Bergen
New York Westchester
Rhode Island Newport News
S Carolina Marlboro
Isle of Wight
Thanks for the list. However, since most of the eastern half of my state is served by such plants, moving is not going to work out too well. Even if that many people (probably over 3 million) could move, it is doubtful that they could all find places that have adequate sewage treatment. We are not set up for mass migration. People likely to suffer direct flooding definitely think about moving, but the various governments need to find ways to change their treatment systems–and I devoutly hope some inspired engineers are working on this one!
I wonder how the gradual submersion of most of the Delmarva peninsula is going to affect hurricane behavior along the east coast. I should that it would increase the likelihood of catastrophic storm damage on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay.
…should think that it would….
Brain (sic) ahead of fingers this morning.
“We are not set up for mass migration.”
Nobody is set up for mass migration! But there should be some great investment opportunities in for-profit refugee camps.
and fema trailers, fresh from haiti. the clinton foundation probably has some great bargains.
Fema trailers used after Katrina contained toxic levels of formaldehdye. Probably shipped them to Haiti afterwards. You know, would cut back on the number of refugees.
One needs to plan to be ahead of the crowd, and protect your family. Utah and Colorado look good. Detroit is inexpensive.
I agree there is no possibility of planning for the approx 200 Million US Citizens affected by Global Warming. Most will die, not from drowning, but the diseases which accompany the migration.
It will be a chronic condition, it will happen over an extended period.
I live in SoCal, 120 ft above sea level, but served by the OC Sanitation district with its plant by the beach in Huntington Beach.
This is a Republican area, which is immune to Global Warming, because all Republicans can walk on water. I have this from an authority, the local the self proclaimed representative of God, that Jesus would vote republican today.
I take his representation on faith.
Think again about this:
With Global warming there will be increase water vapor in the atmosphere. Where is drops out is unknown.
I believe the most favorable clime for humans is the African Plateau.
You can buy a 4 bedroom house in small town north Iowa for $85,000. And it’s getting warmer too–highs in the mid 50s next week, 25 degrees above normal. There’re no jobs of course, but at least it’s cheap.
Even 120 ft is not safe long term. The North pole is expected to be ice free in only a 30 years. This will mean that the North pole will start to absorb solar heat rather than reflect it back into space. This will cause the sea to warm up and expand. If the rising oceanic temperature causes the methane hydrates under the Caribbean to thaw along with from the Russian and Canadian permafrost the release of so much greenhouse gases will cause the atmospheric temperature will rise significantly. This will trigger further glacial melt. Once the glaciers melt then sea levels will rise 67m or 220 FASL. Climate models have this occurring over hundreds of years, but what if it were much quicker?
I think that’s what we will see. A spring tide coinciding with a storm surge from a nor’easter will destroy vast swaths of homes in the mid-Atlantic, from Ocean City MD up to Long Beach Island NJ or even further. Roads destroyed, no infrastructure left. People will take the insurance payouts and go elsewhere, if they have any insurance. Resort properties may be different, as they are often investments generating income. But the investment better pay off in five years or so because it’s going to be rinse and repeat — pun intended.
NB I sold my house in Dover DE this last week, I’ve been living in the NorthWest for five years or so but was so far underwater (financially) I couldn’t move it. I desperately wanted out because I am pretty sure that area of the country (it was 11′ above mean sea level) is in for it.
Of course everybody living in their very own house in a suburb up above the actual reach of the sea could install one of these:
and read the book on how and why to use them.
“Sewage factories” was always an uncreative and wasteful way of handling potentially compostogenic terminally-used food.
Some of these strike out.
Fairfax for example is one of the richest counties around. I think Loudon which was carved out is now number 1.
Not to mention. Fairfax is disproportionately going to be things like defense, which really wreck havok on the world.
Well if the storm is big enough the sh*ts gonna hit the fan
Oddly enough, sewage plants tend to be located at a low point near the discharge point. Probably because sh*t flows downhill.
So having a sewage treatment plant along a coast says nothing about where most people live. Many of the counties you listed have lots of land at elevation 50 or higher. It will be a while before they go underwater.
Much more useful is just to look at the elevations on FEMA maps. They outline areas that are likely to be problematic over the next few decades. We have a problem with local land use policies that encourage building in areas that are likely to be flooded and are likely to be impacted by sea level rise in the coming decades. You don’t even have to believe in climate change to see that – you can simply look at the data of actual rising sea level over the past decades.
7 or 8 years ago, ProPublica reported on several industrial facilities’ cooling systems simply shutting down, clogged with fracking brine, after McKeesport & other local water treatment plants were inundated with return water (mind you, this was Rendell’s attempt to water-down fracking waste, using privatized facilities). https://www.propublica.org/article/wastewater-from-gas-drilling-boom-may-threaten-monongahela-river Since 1859, we’ve paid for our betters to poison us. The one mill shut down, supplied skelp for pipe to take our gas south, to power ‘bagger air conditioners 24/7/365 http://marcellusdrilling.com/2016/08/cove-point-lng-now-67-complete-atlantic-coast-pipeline-on-track/ Now, anybody opposing ANY of this is a scary Russian funded, eco-terrorist nut-job?
Great business opportunity for night soil bucket brigades. May not pay as well as unionized auto plant assembly, but there is no shortage of deplorables who need any kind of work.
Drowning in our own s…
As a former Gulf Coast dweller, I can testify that home prices are being driven up by multiple forces; gentrification, the “toughening” of building codes and the raising of insurance rates, for not only flood insurance, which has not yet ascended to potential new heights, but wind damage and general liability policies as well. Raising one’s dwelling should be simple, but it isn’t. The rules put in force by someone or other, (one never gets a straight answer,) for the type of support required for a raised house can add significant costs. In our corner of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the “rules” were changed to stop some use of old pole and beam supports in favour of reinforced concrete, poured in place columns. What started out as a simple camp or home became a mini mid rise condo, with added costs to match. This drives the ‘poorer’ cohorts out of the market.
All this suggests that policy makers have not come to grips with the real issue arising out of the rising sea level; the costs of mass population migrations. No one is touting building “New Cities” inland at ‘safe’ elevations. To do so would require major investments in infrastructure. FEMA camps of displaced persons do not organically become settled centres of thriving civilization. There is a ‘desperation’ effect that can short circuit even the best of intentions. Resources better utilized for town building get diverted to managing “emergencies” that should have and could have been anticipated. People will panic, and die.
Another example of knock on effects of sea level rise would be, what about the removal of toxic materials from the future flood zones? Fukushima, as a glow in the dark example, lies at sea level. Imagine not having to worry about the flow of radioactive groundwater from the radioactive “blob” beneath the Daiichi plant into the Pacific ocean, because the Pacific ocean has covered the “accident” site up! My pet example of this is all of the underground petroleum fuel tanks at gas stations. The additives to gasoline, not to exempt gasoline and diesel themselves, are highly toxic substances. Each leaking underwater gas storage tank will become a mini vector of mutagenesis. Dead zones and “horrors from the deep” will become regular occurrences. Add to this all of the industrial sites placed beside sea level canals for ease of shipping of bulk materials, and we will have a perfect post industrial wasteland. I certainly wouldn’t want to fish the structures resulting from flooded industrial plants. Structures in general, as underwater environments, afford excellent fishing. As the Gulf oil rigs and production platforms show, fish love tangles of man made objects for feeding sites. There are artificial reef projects along the coasts that dump decommissioned human machinery and materials in appropriate shallow waters to encourage the growth of fish populations. These ‘industrial’ fish populations though, well, one might need to carry a high powered rifle or pistol along with the fishing gear just to finish the critters off, before they get in the boat and finish you off.
Still and all, we have plenty of opportunities for creative growth and renewal of human society coming up. Cynic that I am, I’m not holding my breath.
ambrit, I would have loved to read your piece but you haven’t separated your information into paragraphs so that reading is more difficult. You might consider paragraphs in the future.
Point taken JEHR. I’ll do some ‘self criticism’ reflection.
I wonder if there is a technical article on the mechanics of proper composition in this medium?
All of which goes to show the vagaries of “human” communication.
I wonder which method will prevail?
Watching the “preview” text beneath the “work in progress” text educates me. The site internal algorithm (Word Press?) evens out all indented lines to the left margin. The physical separation of the text lines, through extra uses of the *enter* key will produce a partially “acceptable” solution to the problem.
Thanks again JEHR for the motivation to improve.
You don’t need more self criticism (asking if your writing is correct or not), you need more visual awareness (does my writing show its structure?). Simply put two line returns between your paragraphs. The NC blogsite does not add additional space between paragraphs. Furthermore it left justifies its paragraphs, so it is hard to see that one paragraph has ended and another one has started.
For the record, as your editor, I would suggest a paragraph break here:
Like your observation about mass migration in the USA. Never thought of that angle before, which is ‘er-duh’ of me since I live in Singapore, a country that specializes in building new cities for its mass immigrants. The thought of the USA doing the same is very funny.
Meh. Don’t recall hearing much concern about the interruption to drinking water supplies, water contamination, and nuclear plants flooded in Nebraska a few years ago. Of course, that was due to active efforts by the feds to assist downriver shipping, so it appears not to count.
Yeah, well, nuke plants need lots of water for cooling purposes, natch. So, flood plains are a lock. However, there are a h— of a lot of nuke plants near the oceans, for the same reasons. Floods come and go. Sea level rise is (almost) forever. Besides, Nebraska??? Isn’t that one of those “fly over” states?
“Concern,” at least to the elites that we know and ‘love,’ is in an inverse relation to “Wall Street Utility.” That this WSU is not the same as “Beltway Utility” (BU) should come as no surprise. Although I am informed that there is a considerable overlapping of the two fields; congruence of interests and all that.
Wow. Turns out that the climate change apocalypse will soon be followed by the mutant zombie apocalypse. Well I guess its nice to have them all in the same time and place. Saves on bugout building.
But, but… I thought LED lighting, autonomous EVs, regenerative permaculture, graphene nanotube batteries, wind farms & self-cooling roofs http://www.colorado.edu/today/2017/02/09/newly-engineered-material-can-cool-roofs-structures-zero-energy-consumption were all commie agitprop, akin to the clathrate gun hypothesis? http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25232 where our fracked gas pipelines are headed…
PS: same map, just a year later: http://www.aogr.com/assets/images/content/w7-1_fig3_2013.png http://www.aogr.com/web-exclusives/exclusive-story/lng-emerging-as-fuel-of-choice-for-vessels-ferries
Sadly, this article fails to make the connection of the impact of rising sea levels on fresh water supply. This is especially true in Florida, which consists of porous limestone, through which groundwater and seawater easily flow. The impact of rising seawater levels on freshwater supplies is at least three fold. Most obviously, poor drinking water supplies would force poor Floridians to purchase bottled water. Secondly there would be the increased costs of water treatment for drinking water, in areas wealthy enough to pay for it (higher taxes). And last but not least, the increase salinity kills off agriculture. Bye-bye Citrus crop.
I was born and raised in central Florida, and after I inherited my mother’s Homestead, I quickly sold it. Anyone holding land in Florida should be very aware of not only the threat of rising sea levels on structures, but also on drinking water and irrigation water.
I forget who it was, who recently said here in comments, that Florida governor Scott is not actually a disbeliever of climate change, more likely he believes it and that’s why he doesn’t want anyone to talk about it.
seems like in south Florida (Miami?) has been flooding already.
Yes. There was an article in The Atlantic (haha) a few years back detailing the flooding in Florida.
Okay I’ll try this comment a second time.
Unfortunately, this article fails to make the connection between rising sea levels and salt water intrusion into the fresh water drinking supply. This is especially true in Florida, which rests upon porous limestone, through which saltwater and freshwater freely flow.
The problem with saltwater intrusion into groundwater aquifers is at least three fold. Most obviously, poor people will have to buy bottled water for drinking purposes. Secondly, in communities that are wealthy enough to afford it, there will be increased costs for water treatment (higher taxes!). And last but not least, the effects on agriculture mean that crops will die, affecting the local economy and the availability of food nationwide.
I was born and raised in Central Florida, and when I inherited my mother’s homestead I quickly sold it. I would recommend anyone holding land in Florida consider carefully the threat of rising sea levels not just to structures, but also to the fresh water supply.
While it is amazing no one talks about this, I am reminded of something that was said here recently in comments. Likely Florida governor Scott is not a true climate science denier, likely he believes it all too well and that’s why he doesn’t want anyone talking about it!
Miami floods now.
Thirty years from now, Florida will not have to worry about fresh water since most of the state will be underwater.
Rising ocean levels due to climate change is already affecting RE prices.
Here’s a couple of articles:
How soon will Trump’s southern White House Resort be affected?
How soon will Trump’s southern White House/Resort be affected?
insert-name-of-preachy-celebrity-here emits more C02 in one junket on their private jet to Europe than you likely do in a year’s worth of commuting.
Exhibit #1 that unless the bottom 99% sees some shared sacrifice from the top 1%, the majority of the bottom 99% won’t tolerate higher energy prices (ie food, commuting costs, etc)—while the top 1% pays their way out of sacrifice.
Let’s not forget that wealthy Elites continue to pay top dollar for coastal real estate, which shows you the true “consensus” on global warming. Follow the money. I’ll buy into it when the elite intellectuals do.
Nah, that isnt the test. Its not spending some trivial amount on cash on your coastal temporary beach home. Its the pretty chunky blocks of cash that is getting spent on the ranches in Patagonia or the Scottish castles in the Highlands (clues in the name).
If the end is nigh isnt that even more reason to spend time at the beach?
Follow the insurance companies. See what they’re charging the elites (assuming elites even need to bother with insurance…)
it’s going to take a society wide effort to meet the problem, you can’t approach it only as a series of individual lifestyle changes.
I don’t think it will be society wide. IMO, it’s going to be like a Katrina or Greece but more frequent while those not affected keep on living normally. The state sucking up resources from everywhere protecting the top 5%.
It should be a society wide effort but looking at the us right now, I have trouble seeing it happen.
shared sacrifices from the rich doesn’t have to be individual lifestyle changes, tax them at a 90% rate.
many carbon tax proposals redistribute any gain got from carbon taxes, that itself is re-distributive, it might be made very much so (but it’s not exactly the celebrities but the whole of the rich that would fight that so ..).
I can only see the coasts suck up an increasing amount of resources to the detriment of the flyover states.
The US will be promoting a fixing broken windows economy for the next couple of decades. That’s why I have trouble seeing wealth redistribution in the US..
Moneta, as an Ohioan, I find it difficult to disagree with your depressing assessment.
I would not be surprised to see infra dollars going to large cities, those on the coasts in particular, further squeezing the flyover states. As this happens, the top 5% and 55+ in these states will be forced to squeeze the young to fund their golden years…. and all this courtesy of MMT.
I know Lambert thinks I am promoting intergenerational friction but from my vantage point, the policies he promotes will lead us to this anger anyway because they are not refined enough to counter the forces already in play.
You seem quick to frame it as conflict of age, but slow to recognize the conflict between the “have’s” and the “have-nots”. The “haves” years are “golden”, regardless of age, and the “have-nots” years are wretched, regardless of age. Attributing intent to MMT seems almost as bizarre as attributing intent to aerodynamics. If the resources are available, there is no justifiable reason to impose unnecessary suffering while hiding behind the guise of “funding”.
MMT has led us to our current situation. MMT is like nuclear energy, it can be used for the good and the bad. It all comes down to politics.
Most of the haves and those voting are 55+. What makes me even more convinced we’re headed for a intergenerational problem is the number of older individuals telling me that I’m the one creating it.
Here in Canada, CPP is 18% funded on the closed pool method but near 100% on the open pool method… meaning including the population not yet born over the next 150 years. Our leaders keep on telling us it is funded, never mentioning the details which can be found in the footnotes of the actuarial report.
They are now increasing contributions on workers arguing that it’s to build the young population’s pension when in reality it looks more like a stealth tax grab to meet the cash flow needs for the next decade or two.
When I talk about this with the 55+, I am told I am full of baloney.
I believe in protecting the retirees but when I am lied to, by those in the age group that needs my help, I tend to get annoyed.
So what is your point in this?
You appear to imply that because most of the haves are 55+ (which may well be correct though I don’t know the statistics), most of the 55+ are haves and therefore your enemies. Since most of them are not haves, and some of them are poor to a degree I hope you never experience, that would not make a lot of sense. While the haves might like you to focus on a scapegoat rather than on them, it would surely be more useful to focus on the real problem.
If I’ve misread you, do please clarify what you meant!
You open by attributing “leadership” to MMT, followed by equating “it” with “energy”, then seem to give “it” agency through “politics”…seems confused.
You also seem to spew a lot of stats without links, to verify their veracity, then seem emboldened to extrapolate and project throughout society. Without context, numbers are just numbers.
Context always matters, and I’ve seen the word “contributions” used interchangeably with “taxes”, but federal taxes do not fund federal spending. Remember that the constraints on a user, are not the same constraints on the issuer. Which is why I’ve gravitated towards the opinion that the social ‘contract’ of social security should be pay-as-you-go and defended from ever being occupied by banksters…BS knows no age, AND the BS that emanated from the bankster shenanigans would seem a much more worthy target of your “annoyance”.
Moneta, I think the country will ‘disassemble’ before that happens. As the years go by there is less and less cohesion amongst we, the plebes, to come up with mitigation strategies, let alone positive solutions, to ANY of the issues at hand. Time to don your water-wings, or gills, if you have them.
One nation no more !
That’s what I think also but it’s still hard to imagine!
Moneta, do either you are your spouse have a living parent? I ask because the main deficit projections associated with an aging population involve rising healthcare costs — that’s why you rarely see scare stories about Social Security that don’t turn into scare stories about S.S. and medicare. Well, you do see S.S. won’t be there for you scare stories, but greedy geezers are bankrupting the country scare stories always involve both.
So, let’s say we pass “entitlement reform” to keep the old from robbing the young of their future, or whatever the rational is. Most middle class retirees think they have the supplemental insurance to cover the medicare reductions, but will they? Have you ever heard of filial responsibility laws? I honestly don’t think most people have, I’m not trying to be condescending with a rhetorical question. I first heard about them after a little-publicized Pennsylvania case in 2012, and I’ve seen very little mention of them since. Why liberals or genuine lefties don’t ask “Have you all heard about inherited debt* laws? They’re on the books in 30 states, and who knows what ALEC’s buried in legislation in the other 20.” whenever “entitlement reform” comes up is beyond me.
As far as flyover states and coastal states go, I can certainly understand reluctance to fund the maintenance of doomed cities, but I don’t see flyover states leading in emissions cutting efforts.Most of us live lifestyles that will give us little right to complain about the costs associated with rising ocean levels.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should acknowledge that I live in a coastal city and became a boomer at some point in my 30’s, though I was well into my 40’s before I realized it.
*If lefties are going to introduce the topic, they should pick the label. Nobody’s for inherited debt, filial responsibility sounds reasonable.
Yes I am familiar with filial responsibility law. That’s why I am convinced the younger generation will get squeezed. I have 4 parents/ in-laws whom I will care for in their time of need.
That’s why I find it’s an insult to my intelligence when I am told the young generation will not get squeezed. For me it’s obvious the squeeze is coming!
I see this denial as an excuse for many in the older generation to not have to changr an energy and resource intensive lifestyle.
I understand this concern, but then take a look at the contribution to Federal Tax receipts by state. Which states pay more than they receive? Coastal states, mostly. And yes, I’m well aware that MMT shows us that taxes do not fund spending at the Federal level.
Eventually (long after you and I are gone) the Gulf coastal states will be Ohio, Illinois, Iowa etc, there will be no Bay area as Silicon Valley will be a scuba tourist attraction,and the nation’s capital will be moved to Chicago or Denver.
I haven’t exactly seen positive forecasts for the center of the country via global warming though. It might not be underwater but it’s going to be in a bad way (drought, extreme heat etc..).
At some point a bank will announce — not my idea but appears correct — that they are no longer writing mortgages for longer than 15 years for, say, West Palm Beach.
Nah, West Palm has nothing to worry about. Cheeto will build a sea wall off Palm Beach to protect Mar-a-Lago. And the servants for Palm Beach have to live somewhere.
This won’t work as the porous karsh limestone underneath Florida will still let in the sea water as it seeks its own level on BOTH sides of the sea wall.
More likely in the Hamptons. Long Island is one big sand bar. Trust me I dug a lot of 16×32 foot holes in it for work. Once the barrier beaches get breached everything south of NY27 becomes beach front property. Look for a hurricane to put a giant sized hole in the barrier beaches system in the next 20 years that the Federal Government will declare “unrepairable”.
I didn’t know it was almost a cm a year now. It will accelerate if the ice caps go fast. People here have no idea. I ask them what they think will happen if the sea levels raise a meter, let along to heights that the oceans have risen in the past. They don’t have an answer. I am planning on moving inland in the next few years.
I believe the melting ice will not always result in a gradual 1 cm per year sea level rise. At some point a very large chunk of ice will slide off Greenland, or elsewhere, and the resulting Tsunami will scrape the Atlantic Seaboard clean of humans and their dwellings on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ice shelf collapse cannot cause a tsunami.. the power of the wave is in the wrong place. You would have to have movement of the ice shelf underneath the water for it to cause the tsunami.. and when that pressure reaches the shore then the damage occurs.
Buy land in the Midwest at very inexpensive prices now. In a few years it will be beachfront property.
ON APRIL 22, 2017,
WE WALK OUT OF THE LAB AND INTO THE STREETS.
SCIENCE, NOT SILENCE
The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.
Houston seems to disappear under water for many days at time for up 1/2 of the area of the city. This happened in 2015 and 2016 with so called 100 year floods followed by 500 year floods in sequence. The first article above chronicles long standing problems with flooding and the political lack of will or concern to do what Houston has done in the past to survive on piece of flatland on the Gulf Of Mexico.
The second article is about Houston being a coastal flood plain. If you build there, you get flooding, it will not completely go away. You have to learn how to live with. Like Buffalo or Minneapolis with snow, it has to be managed. Other areas that are facing worsening conditions on the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic, especially NYC and the Jersey Coast also have to face the facts of their geography. But right now, the 4th largest city in the USA and the 2nd most populous state as well along with Miami, the largest city in the 4th most populous state are disappearing under water due to climate. These are not places that do not get noticed on national news reports with their problems receiving a media blackout. And of course, there is still the unrebuilt, unrecovered city of New Orleans that still has not recovered 100,000s of it lost populace. And then this for the city:
Tornadoes several days ago in New Orleans in the exact same worse damaged areas from Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago. Managing water from flooding is one thing, managing tornadoes and hurricanes causing mulit-billion dollar destruction several times in the same spot will cause the milk of human kindness and federal relief funding to be seen as a rathole money pit, better served by giving people luggage and bus tickets to some where else.
Right now, major cities are living under crisis conditions that disrupt business, lives and look to only continue and get even worse in intensity. RIGHT NOW! What is being promoted as a threat to national security, despite millions of citizens, who directly experience otherwise, is the possibility that a Moozlim terrorist is going to waltz into America after flying coach directly from the ISIS caliphate and set off a pressure cooker bomb or shoot up a shopping mall during Christmas. It would take several divisions of the caliphate landing here to do half the damage that is being done to Houston, New Orleans or Miami by neglect of well known urban planning issues and climate change. But of course, this administration larded with crackpots, denies science in general as a guiding light of our nation, replaced by a conspiracy agenda of kooks.
I eagerly await Trump’s tweet about so-called water and so-called flooding.
I think we’ll all finally learn to worry more about what he’s NOT tweeting about… pretty damn soon? http://boingboing.net/2017/02/10/trump-threatens-to-order-add.html http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-muslim-travel-ban-muslim-brotherhood-terror-bill-civil-society-devastating-effects-a7571426.html https://theintercept.com/2017/02/12/dark-essays-by-white-house-staffer-are-the-intellectual-source-code-of-trumpism/ https://mobile.twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/830495077403414529
ugh sick of people telling me to vote for their candidate or I die (100 years from now looking at my tombstone: I told you so!).
It’s true there are issues of mass life and death – I’d put climate change as one and the nuclear weapons as another and certainly microbes are always a potential threat. But especially as we don’t actual get truly good choices there anyway (the Bern was decent but after that) …
Thank goodness, I was beginning to worry. http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/2017/02/warning-of-mass-extinction-of-species-including-humans-within-one-decade.html https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron/status/829849353867128832 https://amr-review.org/
I believe the point of your link is that the projections for flooding in the 2045 time frame seem based on overly optimistic — quite probably politically moderated — projections for water levels and the rates of water level increase as well as similarly moderated estimates of the storm violence which might drive surges in ocean levels. I believe the changes we are seeing are already baked into the cake so that fuss about Trump’s stance on climate seems too little too late. We’ve spent several decades ignoring compelling evidence for catastrophic changes in Earth’s climate, Will it matter if Trump strangles our climate change Casandra given how her portents have been so long ignored and neutered? Besides this I believe we are at a nexus of nonlinearities making any prediction problematic beyond the prediction that things will get much much worse much faster than we could possibly grasp or to which we might meaningfully respond.
I personally, was envisioning all the Dark Ages debauchery exemplified in Narziß und Goldmund? Now that we’ve taken our country back… to 476, I’m saying, go with the flow? https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/01/12/trump-kingmaker-billionaires-robert-rebekah-mercer-pouring-millions-climate-science-denial
Arctic-news is not a reliable source. Prophets of doom don’t impress me.
Thank heavens! I’d been concerned that we were heading towards a theocratic kleptocracy, run by cartoonish neo-Confederate oligarchs; willing to enact exactly the type of suicidal shock & awe foretold by Naomi Klein, Chomsky & Squidbillies!
Well I’m giving great odds to anyone who wants to bet that the Human race will be extinct within 10 years.
Let’s see your money :)
I pissed away all my money, the night of Nov 8th. In ’08 it was easy: RGR, SWHC, Pharma, FIRE sector, munitions & private corrections firms. Now… drill baby DRILL! I bought many shares of Mexico’s YOOJ concrete conglomerate, rebar manufacturers, PJT, CXW, gas & oil service sector. I’m apparently just that much your senior, that I remember being taught this during Ike’s administration. Before the clathrates percolate up from the seabed, the Gulf Stream slows and their atmosphere percolates up from where Siberia’s permafrost used to be… we’ll all be dead (they were wrong again, huh?) http://www.juancole.com/2017/02/renewables-creating-more.html
How do you feel about realclimate.org or noaa.gov or the Department of Defense as sources of climate information and predictions? I admit the Arctic-news link might be a little over the top but I believe you underestimate the impacts of the many small changes already evident. The oceans are rising. There is evidence the AMOC current is slowing. The arctic is melting, Greenland ice is thinning at growing rates — the Antarctic ice shelves are calving more rapidly — our weather is becoming more random and wild. I don’t require the dramatic changes of a movie script to wonder how resilient our societies are in response to these aggregating unhappy changes. How many meters of ocean rise does it take for a stronger than past tidal surge to foul coastal water tables and flood power lines and nuclear reactors? That’s plenty of doom enough for me to worry about — but much of the science suggests far worse to come.
You aren’t impressed by prophets of doom — neither was King Priam.
As I said, climate change = never ending infrastructure projects. Good stuff for the economy.
Will it work? Who cares, gets the masses to work right?
If it’s only a few millimeters a year it should be easy to dig holes for the seawater to go into. Then desalnate it for drinking water.
If it’s only one centimeter per year per mile, that’s one meter per hundred miles, let’s say 100 square miles = 1 mile long and 1 mile wide X 100 miles.
So if you dig a ditch at the beach 100 meters square, that’s 10,000 square meters by say 10 meters deetp, that’s 100,000 cubic meters.
That would suck up the extra water for quite a long stretch of coastline.
No need to worry about this. This is a shovel ready project. Crank up the MMT!
Totally and instead of drinking 8 glasses of water, we could all drink 16 glasses of water to suck up all those melting ice!!! That should show nature who’s the boss!!! Bladder modification will be necessary though which again means more jobs for doctors, etc. Climate change could be the best thing to happen to humankind for a long time.
Heck, we could just frack with it… praise JESUS! Next issue? https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/01/29/25-years-ago-fred-palmer-kick-started-first-fossil-fuel-funded-campaigns-attack-climate-science https://theintercept.com/2017/02/11/as-tensions-rise-steve-bannon-and-isis-get-closer-to-their-common-goal-civilizational-war/ http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/10/tpp-is-not-dead-its-now-called-the-trade-in-services-agreement/
The Arctic ice cap is a floater. Its size has no bearing on the level of the world ocean.
The Ross ice shelf is also a floater. And it can’t have any impact, either.
The ice that counts is that which is currently on land: Greenland and Antarctica are it.
The high mountains will still be cold if the world warms up a tad.
When the Ross ice shelf detaches and floats away to warmer water, it will increasingly be a melter, and what is above the current ocean surface will be more and more nearly flush with the future surface. That is an impact.
The high mountains may still be cold, but they are losing their ice, and agriculture that has traditionally depended on melt water will have increasing problems as glaciers disappear.
The Ross Ice Shelf, as a floater, is displacing its weight in water. Once melted it will still displace its weight in water. Effectively, the portion of the shelf underwater will shrink as it melts, and make a hole in the ocean for the melted top of the shelf to fall into.
You appear to be overlooking the fact that the ice is mostly fresh water, the ocean saline, so there is a difference.
You cannot wholly discount the floaters even if they are much less significant than ice supported on land. Every 4cm counts.
And the site notes that non-floating ice is about 50 times more abundant than floating.
They provide a link to an abstract of the article that produced the 2.6% of volume/4cm rise estimate:
Unfortunately, subscription is required to read more than the abstract, but it’s interesting as far as it goes.
I suggest you look into Dr. Richard Alley’s work about glacial melt and how coastal ice shelves act as flying buttresses which help prevent land ice from speeding up and flowing into the water – which will raise sea levels.
Correct, but snow covered sea ice reflects more light and heat than liquid sea water, so a lack of Arctic sea ice will cause the land based Greenland ice sheet to melt at an increased rate. See numbers 1and 2 in this article:
So, to put our geoengineering caps on, we need to introduce a reflective aerosol into the stratosphere. Reflect a lot of that sunlight for a few years and, presto, Ice Age time to solve the present problem! Setting off Yellowstone or Toba should do the trick. The Neapolitian caldera could do the trick, but there are several million “incidentals” who would complicate matters.
Maybe Tesla and Co. could sponsor an asteroid mining project to bring space ice to the Earth’s location in space and vaporize it into a mist hanging between the Sun and the Earth. Big Time Sun Block! It could be done. What matters is whether it is cost efficient. Mayhap retrofitting Terrestrial dwellings and energy supply chains could be done cheaper, and put people to work.
All that is needed is political will comrades! For the Greater Good!
I like the idea of geoengineering caps. We can wear them at rallies protesting Trump’s policies. :-)
I’m amazed Bloomberg/ Guardian hasn’t promoted this one simple trick… yet? http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/110223-nuclear-war-winter-global-warming-environment-science-climate-change/ India? Israel? FRANCE!
Oh yes they can. Minimal credit for knowing that ice floats. But much greater deduction for neglecting a little thing called thermal expansion: warmer water takes up more space than colder. The melting of floating ice won’t immediately change the level, no, but thermal expansion over time will.
Add in the increased temp from greater absorption of heat by open water vs ice sheets that reflect most of the heat (aka Arctic amplification – h/t Vatch @ 2:43pm), and we get the same amount of water taking up a greater volume, ie sea level rise. So floating sea ice, once melted *and warmed*, does indeed affect sea level.
Also dinging you for assuming the only change to mountains will be the altitude of the snow line. As if precipitation will stay the same. It’s already too late for such wishful thinking, ever since c. 1980. Glaciers have been in retreat for 36 straight years. 2015 saw the second highest glacial melt ever recorded, 2nd only to 2003.
blert et al.,
The Antarctic ice shelves are the parts of glaciers that extend beyond the coast. While they are present they hold back the glacier inland of them, and after they melt or break up and float away the flow of glacier ice out to sea increases–more ice leaves the land for the sea.
Where the above occurs is where Antarctica is losing ice. If, or as, the process accelerates, so will the loss of ice from the Antarctic.
At the margin…
You are entirely correct.
We’ve got a lot of environmental issues — man created.
Direct toxins are both prompt and MUCH more directly preventable.
At the top of the list: un-abated coal burning.
I call out Red China — because it’s such a staggering polluter… of SOOT.
Carbon dioxide is trivial compared to the injuries of SOOT.
No environmentalist ought to waste a second on carbon dioxide — when soot is stinging in our eyes.
From London to Beijing — soot is a fog creater — and a killer.
Attack it FIRST.
The world has many problems, and the many forms of pollution caused by burning coal are very harmful. Let’s try to solve many of the world’s problems at the same time. If we only try to solve one problem at a time, we’ll may never solve some of them, since so many problems are interrelated.
well, you all come invest in real estate in Deplorastan. I am 900 ft above sea level, and after reading this, I will hold onto my property until 2045.
The amazing thing in that chart is west coast rise is nagative… is land rising?
I have read that some of it is. The California coast is being forced to rise by a big plate advancing underneath the edge of the plate California is on.