Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Monday June 09 2014, @07:32AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the a-rising-tide-lifts-all-boats-but-not-so-good-for-property dept.

Michael Mishak writes that there are few places in the nation more vulnerable to rising sea levels than low-lying South Florida, a tourist and retirement mecca built on drained swampland. Yet as other coastal states and the Obama administration take aggressive measures to battle the effects of global warming, Florida's top Republican politicians are challenging the science and balking at government fixes. In Miami Beach the concern is palpable. On a recent afternoon, local businessman Scott McKenzie pulled out his iPad and flipped through photos from a 2009 storm. In one, two women kayak through knee-high water in the center of town. "This is not a future problem. It's a current problem," says Leonard Berry, a contributing author of the National Climate Assessment, which found that sea levels have risen about 8 inches in the past century. By one regional assessment, the waters off South Florida could rise another 2 feet by 2060, a scenario that would overwhelm the region's aging drainage system and taint its sources of drinking water. "It's getting to the point where some properties being bought today will probably not be able to be sold at the end of a 30-year mortgage," says Harold Wanless. "You would think responsible leaders and responsible governments would take that as a wake-up call."

Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for re-election, has worked with the Republican-controlled Legislature to dismantle Florida's fledgling climate change initiatives that were put into place by his predecessor and current opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist. "I'm not a scientist," says Scott when asked about anthropogenic global warming during a stop in Miami. Meanwhile, Miami Beach is bracing for another season of punishing tides. "We're suffering while everyone is arguing man-made or natural," says Christine Florez, president of the West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association. "We should be working together to find solutions so people don't feel like they've been left on a log drifting out to sea."

Related Stories

Using Flood Zone Tactics to Deal With Sea Level Rise 38 comments

Recently much was made here on SN of the startling discovery that low lands would flood first.

Most published projections indicate that the projected sea level raise (mostly attributed to melting polar caps) will amount to 4 feet, and take 200 years to achieve that degree of rise. (The always *cough* believable Huffington Post immediately called it a 10 foot rise.)

Pacific Standard suggests that this situation could be best handled over that time period by using the same techniques that the US (and other countries) used to handle the slow de-population of flood prone areas.

They report on a paywalled article suggesting that already existing Flood legislation should be used to "take advantage" of each incremental "minor disaster" to impose standard Flood Insurance requirements that properties in flood zones are already subject to, (making them essentially un-insurable for new construction, or federal disaster assistance). Combining already existing Buyout (PDF) programs for flood damaged structures, allows for the orderly clearing of high risk areas.

Quoting Pacific Standard:

Retreat is seldom popular, but some fights cannot be won. One of the most difficult adaptive measures that we face is figuring out how to retreat in an orderly fashion from select shorelines as they are inundated by rising tides and ferocious storms. That means sacrificing previously valuable waterfront property and infrastructure - an unappealing measure for virtually any landowner or community.

Each storm, or flooding disaster could serve to slowly move dwellings and other structures out of the affected zones at a rate that is commensurate with the rising water levels, rather than continuing to build ever more extensive sea walls and dike systems, or a wholesale government mandated evacuation.

Whether the oceans will actually rise 4 feet, or frequent ocean storm damage will become economically unsustainable, the net effect can be manageable by proven existing programs due the the long time (more than 200 years) that this process will take.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by crAckZ on Monday June 09 2014, @11:40AM

    by crAckZ (3501) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:40AM (#53189) Journal

    Let's make coal so expensive only the wealthy can obtain the use of it this way the lower classes won't be able to afford electricity to watch Florida get washed away. Maybe they can just make the use of it a crime and lock people up then we don't have to worry about the people in Florida.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @02:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @02:14PM (#53226)

      Nah, they'll just enact some sort of "stand your ground" law that will let you kill someone if they come near your coal.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @05:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @05:46PM (#53330)

      Clearly, Florida simply needs to import some of the "great minds" they have in The Old North State.
      NC Considers Making Sea Level Rise Illegal [scientificamerican.com]
      a group of legislators from 20 coastal NC counties whose economies will be most affected by rising seas have legislated the words "Nuh-unh!" into the NC Constitution
      That's just a bit hyperbolic.
      They ATTEMPTED to outlaw the use of 21st-Century scientific methods in formulating state law.

      When the gutless NC Governor got the bill on her desk, she just sat on it.
      Luckily, NC's constitution does not have a provision for a pocket veto, [wikipedia.org] so the law did go into effect.
      By that time, however, the stone-age nonsense had been removed by smarter people. [starnewsonline.com]
      under the earlier proposal, the state could have determined sea-level rise rates using historical data alone, which would have allowed the state only to plan for about 8 inches of rise this century.

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 1) by deimtee on Tuesday June 10 2014, @02:44AM

        by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday June 10 2014, @02:44AM (#53540) Journal

        That didn't outlaw sea rises, it legislated how trends were extrapolated to make official predictions.
        What I found funnier was the next bit, where different locations could have different sea level rises.

        --
        No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by MostCynical on Monday June 09 2014, @11:42AM

    by MostCynical (2589) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:42AM (#53190)

    Cnut discovered he was only human when the sea made him wet http://faculty.history.wisc.edu/sommerville/123/Canute%20Waves.htm [wisc.edu]
    What will the denialist politicans discover about themselves, when they are wading to the office? http://www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/slrviewer [noaa.gov]
    (Maybe they'll be saying "Al Gore caused this!"?)

    It doesn't matter if it is man-made or "natural" change - if the sea level rises enough, who will save us from Kevin Costner? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114898/ [imdb.com]

    --
    Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
    • (Score: 1) by gidds on Monday June 09 2014, @01:16PM

      by gidds (589) on Monday June 09 2014, @01:16PM (#53209)

      I don't know much about Canute, but somehow I doubt he was as dumb as he's often portrayed...

      Which is more likely:

      • Kingship had brainwashed him into thinking he had some sort of magical control over the oceans?  or
      • He was making an obvious point about the limits of humanity to his dumb/over-awed courtiers, in a vivid and memorable way?
      --
      [sig redacted]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Monday June 09 2014, @01:22PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @01:22PM (#53210)

        Slightly bigger picture, you're only hearing that story because generations of bards got away with telling a semi-subversive story along the lines of he was a great military leader (or more likely, really lucky) but royalty is often pretty stupid. Or the semi subversive commentary along the lines of being in power doesn't mean being smart (Welcome to the USA). Or one way to show off your incredible military strength is to allow a bit of humorous satirical subversion because a truly big man is bigger than petty concerns like that.

        There's a reason this kind of story pops up separately in multiple cultures (The romans and persians had similar stories, and before reddit and 4chan and the rest of the internet memes didn't spread as far and fast as they do now)

        That's the "real" story of why you've heard of the story. Rather than whichever bard that told the tale having his head chopped off for treason and no one ever hearing the story again.

        • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Monday June 09 2014, @03:59PM

          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @03:59PM (#53276) Journal

          And this is the real history [wikipedia.org].

          Why people in the US has this strange thing for putting its own dumbed down and false [wikipedia.org] spin on Cnut's 1000-year old political and religious (Christian) propaganda is beyond me, as Wikipedia provides references for it's well known that it was a staged event where Cnut made a deliberate mockery out of his own lack of power both as a human and as a king in order to gain religious and political approval.

          Both the Romans and Persians could well have heard the news about Cnut's act a few days or weeks after it happened. While one in general has archaeological evidence that these parts of the world (north-west Europe, Mediterranean, and Persia) were connected by trade at least as far back as 3000 BC one also knows that the Vikings 4000 years later had a lot contact with the Byzantian Empire [wikipedia.org] at pretty much exactly the same time as Cnut and the North Sea Empire which probably traded all the way to Baghdad on occasion. The viking bodyguards in Byzantine was known as the Varangian [wikipedia.org] guard, and of course there's the whole Rus [wikipedia.org] (as in Russia) thing.

          You might find this picture [wikipedia.org] interesting.

          --
          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
          • (Score: 2) by khallow on Monday June 09 2014, @07:55PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @07:55PM (#53384) Journal

            Why people in the US

            What does the US have to do with this? It's a misunderstanding that probably has been around as long as the original story.

            • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Tuesday June 10 2014, @08:28AM

              by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 10 2014, @08:28AM (#53656) Journal

              Yeah maybe that's wrong, it could be circumstantial, still that's my experience. Is the dumb version used as some kind of children's story in the US? What I mean is most people wouldn't have any idea who Cnut was anyway so how come that particular piece of idiocy sticks around for a thousand years? That's like Afghanis making faked pro-Obama jokes in the year 3014.

              --
              Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
      • (Score: 2) by SpockLogic on Monday June 09 2014, @05:01PM

        by SpockLogic (2762) on Monday June 09 2014, @05:01PM (#53303)

        I don't know much about Canute, but somehow I doubt he was as dumb as he's often portrayed...

        On the other hand the reptilian looking Governor Rick Scott is much dumber than his incessant adverts portray him.

        --
        Overreacting is one thing, sticking your head up your ass hoping the problem goes away is another - edIII
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Max Hyre on Monday June 09 2014, @06:22PM

        by Max Hyre (3427) <{maxhyre} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Monday June 09 2014, @06:22PM (#53345)
           Check it out in the original Latin [wisc.edu], with an English trot. The takeaway is:

        But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs. Then he moving away said: ``All the inhabitants of the world should know that the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws''.

           Note that VLM has the scoop [soylentnews.org] on how and why popular culture has dissed Canute.

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:32AM

      by sjames (2882) on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:32AM (#53668) Journal

      I'm sure they'll find some excuse to blame Obama...

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @11:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @11:58AM (#53193)

    Let's look at the big picture. South Florida might get ruined. Good thing or bad?

    • (Score: 3) by Thexalon on Monday June 09 2014, @01:27PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Monday June 09 2014, @01:27PM (#53211)

      Definitely bad: With the stupidity concentrated there (as well as Washington DC), the rest of us are spared a lot of trouble.

      On the upside, the way things are currently going, my native Cleveland will become prime tropical coastline real estate.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Grishnakh on Monday June 09 2014, @04:32PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday June 09 2014, @04:32PM (#53288)

        South Florida has a huge Cuban population. Are you saying that people of Cuban origin are stupid?

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Monday June 09 2014, @07:05PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @07:05PM (#53366) Journal

        The bigger picture is that none of the politically correct anti-CO2/AGW measures that Florida can take will make any difference what so ever.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @10:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @10:57PM (#53442)

          Why not? I can't see a way altering greenhouse gases in the environment wouldn't have an affect. If Florida did it on its own it might not be very big but its not the only place doing so.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Tuesday June 10 2014, @02:19PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday June 10 2014, @02:19PM (#53765)

            There's a lot more to the world than south Florida. Even if south Florida stopped generating all greenhouse gases tomorrow somehow, all the emissions from the rest of North America, Europe, Russia, India, and especially China (plus all the rest from other developing nations) will still cause the climate change that'll flood south Florida. You're not going to get all those other places to curtail their greenhouse gas emissions, especially China.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Monday June 09 2014, @05:31PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Monday June 09 2014, @05:31PM (#53322)

      If they let the old people drown, we save Social Security without raising taxes.
      Wait a minute ...

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @06:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @06:16PM (#53342)

      The source of the intensity of tropical storms is the amount of heat in the ocean.
      With each passing year, that energy goes up.
      (Sandy got to be over 1000 miles across, [nasa.gov] concurently covering 16 states (and parts of 4 others), and didn't peter out until it was in Canada.)

      The hurricane of 1926 [wikipedia.org] (back before they gave them names) kicked the living crap out of Miami and brought an early start to the Great Depression there.

      I remember a story about a ship that was off Key Biscayne when the storm hit.
      Key Biscayne has an maximum elevation of 3 feet.
      The hurricane had a 15 foot storm surge (think tsunami and you won't be far off).
      After the storm was over, the ship was on the other side of the island, having floated over top of it.
      Mainland Miami has a maximum elevation of 7 feet.

      Each year the baseline for sea level goes up and the energy to form storms increases.
      Any settlement near the sea better take climate change and the accompanying sea level rise as a serious economic matter.[1]
      The ones with gently-sloping beaches especially so; those also in tropical/sub-tropical regions should realize that this is a DEADLY serious matter.
      Logic would dictate that these communities would be a militant vanguard in the movement to limit anthropomorphic global climate change.
      Man, I despise lamestream media and its efforts to trivialize this topic.

      .
      [1] It baffles me that insurance companies are still investing in Big Carbon.

      -- gewg_

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @07:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @07:08PM (#53368)

      Allegheny Mountains real estate boom?

      Just look at what the possibility of California falling off into the ocean did for Arizona!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @01:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @01:32AM (#53505)

      Won't someone think of the old people!

  • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Monday June 09 2014, @11:59AM

    by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Monday June 09 2014, @11:59AM (#53194)

    Looks like the problem is not hitting Florida citizens hard enough that they stop voting for right-wing politicians. I say, let democracy rule. The problem will fix itself when all the deniers drown.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by VLM on Monday June 09 2014, @12:37PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @12:37PM (#53201)

      1) It wasn't rich old neoconservative white men watching Fox News who drowned in New Orleans. I'm guessing the demographics of who drowns in FL will be about the same.

      2) The supporters don't actually intent to do anything other than left wing social engineering, so believing them won't help anyway. Two competing religions, neither wants you to think about the situation, and both want you to pray in a different manner while the asteroid is on the way. Choose either, they will both be totally ineffective. Given that, lets select the option that will involve wasting the least money and doing the least social engineering. So I'm a "denier" for pragmatic reasons, not because I don't believe in the scientific method or I feel the belief that Jesus told me or some other form of insanity. Pure pragmatism. Two sides want to screw me over, but one will cost less, impact everyone less, and add less to the disaster... seems an easy choice.

      3) As a guy currently sitting where two miles of ice was recently covering the land, I'm not really all that concerned about global warming. Trying to "personalize" it by talking about the human interest story of some crazy florida people will probably result in about 90% of the population deciding the most rational individualistic thing for them to do is have a bonfire in their backyard tonight, which was not exactly the overall goal of the movement.

      4) The GW supporters never quite have the honesty to admit that nothing short of going all "Pol Pot" on ourselves will have any significant effect. If they were honest about it I wouldn't laugh at them so much. If you're going to support genocide as a social engineering project at least have the honesty to admit it in public. If they were honest about it (9 in 10 Americans must die to keep sea levels constant, etc) then they'd be so repulsive virtually no one would tolerate them, so they're kinda stuck being crooks.

      5) The funniest part of the discussion is the desperate belief that there is "a" sea level that should always be aspired to and should never change. A pretty stupid believe, geologically. Intelligent people would be doing capital projects and land use plans on the assumption the level WILL change. Because like it or not, it always has and always will.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @01:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @01:31PM (#53212)

        Two competing religions, neither wants you to think about the situation, and both want you to pray in a different manner while the asteroid is on the way. Choose either, they will both be totally ineffective.

        That sort of high-school level analysis is a big part of the problem. Whenever humans are involved there will be self-interest and corruption. But it is juvenile to stretch the existence of corruption into a rationale for inaction. That's not pragmatism, its just laziness built on a sense of personal superiority.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday June 09 2014, @02:02PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @02:02PM (#53220)

          Unfortunately your assertions have no reasoning or evidence behind them other than "they make a nice rebuttal if stated as fact".

          Other than the off topic non sequitur at the end it was the start of a decent rebuttal.

          I might very well change my mind if there were any chance the power gained would be used for good purposes not evil. I'd even be willing to consider off topic use of the money ... So we'll enforce a massive taxing regime to extract billions from the middle class and instead of spending it on actual environmental issues we'll spend it all on something totally different ... yet good, maybe the space program or basic science R+D. That would be corrupt, but at least not evil, or not as evil as what would more realistically happen once they gain more power.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @02:16PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @02:16PM (#53227)

            Unfortunately your assertions have no reasoning or evidence behind them other than "they make a nice rebuttal if stated as fact"

            Yeah, funny how your assertions have just as much reasoning and evidence. If anyone needed proof of just how unfounded your sense of superiority is, you just gave it to them.

      • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Monday June 09 2014, @04:35PM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @04:35PM (#53291) Journal

        POinting out the fact that moderating the parent to "0 Troll" is obvious misuse of the moderation system. I don't have mod points right now and I already commented anyway before seeing this (in fact a post correcting/informing VLM in another thread) so I don't think it wouldn't have helped if I did (or maybe that is changed now, haven't tested it).

        The moderation system is not made for "punishing" people you disagree with and each time anyone does so it makes the site worse because the site is made for commenting and debate. If anyone want to "punish" anything they should use comments to argue, inform, and/or correct.

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
        • (Score: 2) by skullz on Monday June 09 2014, @05:10PM

          by skullz (2532) on Monday June 09 2014, @05:10PM (#53308)

          Yeah, no kidding. I've seen that happen a lot recently. People are getting way to butt hurt and vindictive.

          I miss the good old SN days when we all sung songs while holding hands. Or at least didn't try to silence anyone we disagreed with.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @08:27PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @08:27PM (#53394)

          > POinting out the fact that moderating the parent to "0 Troll" is obvious misuse of the moderation system

          No, stuff like these lines are 100% troll:

          "The supporters don't actually intent to do anything other than left wing social engineering,
            ... The GW supporters never quite have the honesty to admit that nothing short of going all "Pol Pot" on ourselves
            ... the desperate belief
            ... (9 in 10 Americans must die to keep sea levels constant)
            ... so they're kinda stuck being crooks."

          Maybe you agree with it, maybe not, but all of those lines are deliberately inflammatory because they add nothing to the discussion but they do demonize and belittle the people he disagrees with. If you want to argue about whether it is flamebait or trolling go ahead, but that would just be splitting hairs. He wasn't modded down as punishment for his ideas, he was modded down as punishment for being unnecessarily provocative and not just a little bit, he was way over the top.

          Good on the people who were able to respond without stooping to that level, but he doesn't deserve an ounce of credit for their restraint when he couldn't practice it himself.

          • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:22AM

            by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 10 2014, @09:22AM (#53665) Journal

            "Maybe you agree with it..."

            But if one sets the bar for what is considered trolling and flamebaiting low enough then all honest disagreement is suppressed. If most or all comments that are against something get Troll moderated into oblivion then something is very wrong. People should not have to lick boots in order to voice disagreement, nor should they have to adapt some faked academic or politically correct attitude to discourse. They should not have to profess false modesty, humility, servility, or even non-aggression just because they disagree.

            By increasing the criteria for "acceptable comments" one feeds ones own bigotry; being a bigot is to not accept that other points of view can have any value. Yes of course I often walk into that trap as well, it might be impossible not to if one has any strong opinions at all.

            I think one ought to reserve Troll and Flamebait moderation for the truly obvious stuff (which is rare!) and just leave comments alone if one can't stomach replying to them; I feel pretty sure most people here do that all the time because I certainly do. I.e. there's a reason I haven't commented on TFA but I browse comments because sometimes someone says something truly interesting like the person who posted about small manufactured/artificially grown floating wetland islands.

            --
            Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
        • (Score: 2) by starcraftsicko on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:04AM

          by starcraftsicko (2821) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:04AM (#53992) Journal

          Agreed. GP was 'Interesting' and should have been moderated so. "Interesting" != Agree.

          --
          This post was created with recycled electrons.
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday June 09 2014, @06:01PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday June 09 2014, @06:01PM (#53337) Journal

      I think that's a great new basis for policy making. Deny climate change and rising seas? Great! Welcome to your new home in South Florida or the Marshall Islands [telegraph.co.uk]. Deny that climate change will cause more, and stronger storms? Great! Welcome to your new double-wide in Tornado Alley [theblaze.com]. Think Clean Air regulations are a communist plot to cripple American industry? Welcome to your new home in beautiful Beijing [smh.com.au]!

      Think of the wonderful world we could live in if we were able to make people directly experience the consequences of their political hobby horses.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by khallow on Monday June 09 2014, @07:50PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @07:50PM (#53382) Journal

      The problem will fix itself when all the deniers drown.

      Or don't drown. It's worth noting here that there isn't a good case for large sea level rises, even over centuries or millennia. We don't even know how long we'll continue to use fossil fuels, for example.

      • (Score: 1) by zsau on Tuesday June 10 2014, @02:07AM

        by zsau (2642) on Tuesday June 10 2014, @02:07AM (#53522)

        We'll be using fossil fuels until there's none left, unless there's some massive war or other social disruption that means we don't have the technology any more. As the oil runs out we'll liquefy more and more coal. Just like the tar sands.

        The alternative exists today. You can live and work where you don't need a car. (I do. People look at me like I have an arm coming out of my head.) You can not buy shit you don't need. But so few people are willing to do it...

        • (Score: 2) by khallow on Tuesday June 10 2014, @11:40PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 10 2014, @11:40PM (#53963) Journal

          We'll be using fossil fuels until there's none left

          So what? There's a big difference between today's near total reliance on fossil fuels for transportation and a future where its a bunch of hobbyists running vintage internal combustion engine vehicles.

          • (Score: 1) by zsau on Monday June 16 2014, @10:40AM

            by zsau (2642) on Monday June 16 2014, @10:40AM (#55844)

            Well, I'd be inclined to call your prediction utopian (that is, the prediction that most people will have switched away from fossil fuels sometime in the forseeable future), but even if that were true it doesn't matter. It took millions of years to get that carbon out of the atmosphere. If we put them all back into the atmosphere on any scale less than millions of years, we're going to make it rather uncomfortable. It doesn't really matter if we use up all the fossil fuels in the next twenty years or the next century: they're both just as bad.

            (Btw, I hope I've interpreted your implied timescale right. Sorry if I haven't.)

            • (Score: 2) by khallow on Monday June 16 2014, @10:31PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 16 2014, @10:31PM (#56118) Journal

              It took millions of years to get that carbon out of the atmosphere

              There's no geological evidence for that. Even the more pessimistic interpretations of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum [wikipedia.org] had scenarios with far more carbon than is currently present in the atmosphere scrubbed inside of 100,000 years. Personally, I think it would be on the scale of thousands of years to remove the current elevated levels of carbon dioxide which is quite adequate IMHO.
               
               

              It doesn't really matter if we use up all the fossil fuels in the next twenty years or the next century: they're both just as bad.

              Which would also be orders of magnitude more than the amount of fossil fuels that we have or could economically extract.

        • (Score: 2) by khallow on Tuesday June 10 2014, @11:42PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 10 2014, @11:42PM (#53964) Journal

          You can live and work where you don't need a car.

          I do too. I currently have a job which requires a car, but most of the people I work with don't have that requirement.
           
           

          But so few people are willing to do it...

          I'm willing to go with what people want to do. I think a bigger problem than climate change is all the people who have this impression that they know better.

          • (Score: 1) by zsau on Monday June 16 2014, @10:45AM

            by zsau (2642) on Monday June 16 2014, @10:45AM (#55846)

            I'm afraid I don't at all understand your second paragraph at all. People would quite happily choose to ride bikes if governments spent even a quarter of the effort being bike-friendly and working on road safety as they do on being car friendly. The Netherlands is an excellent case in point. I certainly don't dispute that.

            But the fact of the matter is, today, people are in their cars in most countries making pointlessly short trips even when they could safely and quickly ride to where they want to go. People don't at all make decisions independently of what's offered: decision making is just too hard.

            • (Score: 2) by khallow on Monday June 16 2014, @10:34PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 16 2014, @10:34PM (#56121) Journal

              People would quite happily choose to ride bikes if governments spent even a quarter of the effort being bike-friendly and working on road safety as they do on being car friendly.

              And I bet, most of those people already ride bikes. The rest would not be happy doing so.
               
               

              The Netherlands is an excellent case in point.

              By being car-unfriendly.
               
               

              But the fact of the matter is, today, people are in their cars in most countries making pointlessly short trips even when they could safely and quickly ride to where they want to go.

              The rides would be just as pointless on a bike.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Horse With Stripes on Monday June 09 2014, @12:33PM

    by Horse With Stripes (577) on Monday June 09 2014, @12:33PM (#53198)

    Disclaimer: I'm not a "the world's coming to an end climate change believer" due to so many hyperbolic and poorly stated claims, with some of the science being based on just a few years of recent data. Though I do strongly believe that the Earth is being poisoned & that the climate is changing, and man's participation in this shouldn't be discounted.

    I often hear politicians or other influential individuals claim "I am not a scientist" yet they easily dismiss the scientific community. This includes climate change, evolution, fracking (sp?), etc. The "it's just a theory" stance is ridiculous considering gravity is just a theory (as are quite a few other things that we rely on on a daily basis). Their denial that something is changing with regards to our climate often remind me of this parable [epistle.us].

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by VLM on Monday June 09 2014, @01:08PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @01:08PM (#53207)

      "Their denial"

      As a denier I'll let you in on the secret that you're being trolled. Not just you but your whole group.

      I know darn well that if given the power, the supporters will do nothing about the actual problem other than some photo ops and maybe a commission to study it and maybe a "feel good" resolution that accomplishes nothing. They'll be plenty of new taxes, and the revenue will be spent on the NEA and multicultural programs and whatever other leftie stuff. Which is ridiculous as a solution to the problem. So the most "in your face" way to troll is to deny. That forces the politics into the open... will they only talk about how denial of science is ridiculous or will they talk about how giving leftie politicians more power, or the .gov in general more power, is equally if not more ridiculous? And that "performance art" is the purpose of the trolling.

      I mean, seriously. We can't provide ourselves with jobs, health care, moral and ethical leadership, we can barely deliver the mail, we can barely democratically vote with minimal corruption, we can't give all of us good healthy food... but these same demonstrably grossly incompetent evil fools, if we also give them more control of the environment, will suddenly become genius-level angels and we'll all live in paradise at least WRT the environment. LOL. All they'll do is F it up even worse and generate even more human suffering and even more corruption. The worst thing that could happen to humanity, at our current skill level of leadership, would be trying to "do something" about global warming. I don't think anyone is going to like the actual real world component of "do something" even if the PR photo op will look pretty.

      Wake me when we have successfully demonstrated an ability to feed, house, educate, and provide medical care to 100% of our population. Then the morons in charge might be able to handle the additional responsibility of geo-engineering. Till then, its just giving matches to children.

      Also never forget the useful idiots of the world. They need something dumb to say or they'll just say something else equally dumb. So for "man in the street" interviews, they need something dumb to say and we're giving it to them, so let them do the thing they exist to do, which is to sound stupid. Take this away from them and either they'll be sad because they'll have nothing left to say, or you'll be sad because they found a new agit prop phrase to get under your skin.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by caffeinated bacon on Monday June 09 2014, @01:35PM

        by caffeinated bacon (4151) on Monday June 09 2014, @01:35PM (#53213)

        Wake me when we have successfully demonstrated an ability to feed, house, educate, and provide medical care to 100% of our population.

        You should easily have the ability already, lots of other countries do. The reason you don't is because of the republicans who are busy trolling you. Tricking the gullible into voting against their own self interest is quite the feat.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday June 09 2014, @01:54PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @01:54PM (#53217)

          Eh two sides of the same coin with different PR campaigns. The real world PR problem is the lefties are extremely jealous of the highly corrupt relationship the righties have with the extraction industries. If Hollywood (or somebody?) would just pay off the lefties as much as Exxon/BP/etc pay off the righties, then this whole PR campaign could be dropped as unnecessary. They'd just fight over something else. Abortion is traditional to fight over, perhaps that.

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday June 09 2014, @05:47PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday June 09 2014, @05:47PM (#53331) Journal

        I know darn well that if given the power, the supporters will do nothing about the actual problem other than some photo ops and maybe a commission to study it and maybe a "feel good" resolution that accomplishes nothing
         
        On one hand we have your unsupported assertation that the "supporters" can't effect change.
         
        On the other hand we have a proven example of the "supporters" succeeding at exactly this type of change. [huffingtonpost.com]
         
        I think I will go with the evidence.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @07:17PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @07:17PM (#53371)

          You quoted what I was fixing to quote.

          If the USA gov't reduced military spending (notice that I did NOT say "defense"), this could be licked in no time.
          If spending on weapons/imperialism was cut by 80 percent[1] (e.g. boondoggles like the F-35), there would be plenty of cash to solve ALL of our problems--and all our legit DEFENSE needs would still be met.

          Now, at that point the USA gov't wouldn't be able to threaten and bully other countries quite as much, but I'm betting it could still get that done.

          .
          ISTM that WRT sea level rise and climate change, things will proceed on the current path until insurance companies start refusing to write policies for stuff in those areas.

          ...and to the GP:
          effect == noun
          affect == verb

          .
          [1] Once you factor in all the shifted-around expenditures, [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [antiwar.com]
          it turns out the USA spends 59 percent of its budget on militarism. [google.com]

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: 2) by tathra on Monday June 09 2014, @08:56PM

            by tathra (3367) on Monday June 09 2014, @08:56PM (#53400)

            ...until insurance companies start refusing to write policies for stuff in those areas.

            well they're already using global warming and rising sea levels to charge higher premiums, and insurance companies are extremely proficient at refusing to pay out (it should be well known at this point that many insurance companies give bonuses to their employees for every claim they deny), so they're going to milk it for as long as they possibly can.

        • (Score: 2) by khallow on Monday June 09 2014, @07:44PM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @07:44PM (#53379) Journal

          On the other hand we have a proven example of the "supporters" succeeding at exactly this type of change.

          Or another example of a tiger-repelling rock.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @01:40AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10 2014, @01:40AM (#53507)

            Do you happen to have credible evidence of that? There is evidence in support of what he says.

            • (Score: 2) by khallow on Wednesday June 11 2014, @12:29AM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @12:29AM (#53973) Journal

              Evidence is something that distinguishes between hypotheses. The problem with the ozone hole is that we don't know whether it would have behaved as it did anyway. We have no baseline measurement against which to compare current behavior. In other words, there's no evidence to distinguish between the hypothesis that the ozone hole comes and goes without any significant effect by CFCs and that it is recovering from human-caused depletion.

    • (Score: 2) by tathra on Monday June 09 2014, @08:47PM

      by tathra (3367) on Monday June 09 2014, @08:47PM (#53399)

      Disclaimer: I'm not a "the world's coming to an end climate change believer" due to so many hyperbolic and poorly stated claims...

      I don't think anybody is. The only place I've seen that kind of hyperbole is from smears coming from Fox News and its brainwashed followers.

  • (Score: 2) by hoochiecoochieman on Monday June 09 2014, @12:47PM

    by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Monday June 09 2014, @12:47PM (#53205)

    Now, what's your point, really?

  • (Score: 2) by Oligonicella on Monday June 09 2014, @02:35PM

    by Oligonicella (4169) on Monday June 09 2014, @02:35PM (#53237)

    If you're going to make a serious argument about conserving environment, first you need to start arguing that southern Florida should have it's human population removed and the swamps restored.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hoochiecoochieman on Monday June 09 2014, @03:26PM

      by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Monday June 09 2014, @03:26PM (#53265)

      The right-wing crowd usually sees this issue from the wrong side. It's not the environment which is at stake, here. The Earth is billions of years old and will still be here for at least one billion more. It's BILLIONS OF PEOPLE living in the coastal areas that are being severely hit by the ocean rise. Mother Nature didn't give a fuck about the extinction of the trilobites, why would it give a fuck about us?

      So, let's forget the environment for a while. What do you want to do with BILLIONS OF PEOPLE who will likely lose their homes in the near future if we keep sitting on our asses arguing about bullshit?

      Saying "fuck the environment" usually gives you a lot of right-wing votes. Saying "fuck the people" is a lot different, unless you're talking about the Bangladeshian people, who the right-wingers don't give a fuck about. In this particular case, the Florida voters may notice that the "people" in "fuck the people" are themselves.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @04:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @04:04PM (#53278)

        Nah. The people rich enough to vote right wing will be fine, as they can get up to move and keep voting in their tax breaks.

        Everyone else voting right wing are pretty comfortable voting against their self interests, so they'll continue to blame the flooding on god, gays, or the democrats - even as they're standing in three feet of water.

        • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Monday June 09 2014, @07:37PM

          by DECbot (832) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @07:37PM (#53377) Journal

          That three feet of water is punishment for voting in democrats who accept gays. Pray, repent, and vote republican if you wish to be saved.

          Sorry, childhood mental conditioning just happened to kick in.

          --
          cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
      • (Score: 2) by khallow on Monday June 09 2014, @07:47PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 09 2014, @07:47PM (#53380) Journal

        What do you want to do with BILLIONS OF PEOPLE who will likely lose their homes in the near future if we keep sitting on our asses arguing about bullshit?

        So how many centuries is the "near future"? The obvious solution is to just let these people move uphill as time goes on. It's not that much drama. I'm sure even the tougher cases like India and Bangladesh can work something out.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @09:01PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 09 2014, @09:01PM (#53402)

          The obvious solution is to just let these people move uphill as time goes on.

          And are you going to volunteer to help people move their houses "uphill" for free? If not, tell me where all that money is going to come from? Since moving an entire house, if its even possible, is likely to be so expensive it'd probably be cheaper to tear it down and build a new one.

          • (Score: 2) by khallow on Wednesday June 11 2014, @12:51AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 11 2014, @12:51AM (#53980) Journal

            And are you going to volunteer to help people move their houses "uphill" for free?

            It would be trivial since the house is eventually going to be destroyed anyway either due to old age or accident. Then they just build uphill rather than on the current low value (due to flooding) site.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday June 09 2014, @05:07PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday June 09 2014, @05:07PM (#53307) Journal

    "We're suffering while everyone is arguing man-made or natural," says Christine Florez, president of the West Avenue Corridor Neighborhood Association. "We should be working together to find solutions so people don't feel like they've been left on a log drifting out to sea."

    Why are you suffering? If you know it is coming, move. (If you knew someone was going to kick you in the face, would you just let them if you had a chance to move away from them, thus averting the kick?)

    Move up to the mountains of Arkansas (I am not an American or a geographist, so kick me in the face if I am wrong about where the mountains are) and live there.

    If your sister is pretty, you get to play Uncle Dad with them.
    (Joke: "What's the most common thing heard at a hillbilly wedding?.... 'Hey there Uncle Dad!'")

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Max Hyre on Monday June 09 2014, @10:50PM

    by Max Hyre (3427) <{maxhyre} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Monday June 09 2014, @10:50PM (#53439)
       If you have an adequately warped (dark, cynical) sense of humor, read the works of Carl Hiaasen for well-informed insight into the workings of Florida politics. Sick Puppy is a good place to start.