It’s amazing to me how unquestioning and scientifically oblivious American reporters and other creative writers are as they spread the unproven theory of “climate change” as “settled science.” Science-based theories are never “settled” or accepted by unbiased people until proven with unequivocal evidence. Still, political operatives, Marxist ideologues, self-serving scientists and media people willfully indoctrinate us with false impressions claiming that disruptive natural conditions are caused by manmade climate change because of our lifestyle choices.
I noticed another example of this in a pictorial-fortified, short article by Thomas Beller titled, “The Drowning, A big picture view of the first place in America losing its battle against climate change”—as if the little known science of climate can be understood by a few pictures of a localized area taken from a paraglider. The article was published in the July-August 2016 issue of Smithsonian magazine (Smithsonian.com; Link below).
Mr. Beller visited Isle de Jean Charles in southern Louisiana, talked to an elderly resident and presented some dramatic, colorful aerial views by photographer Ben Depp. He describes driving down a long, straight road with wetlands on each side, “But as I continued the water closed in, lapping at the edges of the asphalt.”
(See the website below for pictures of the Louisiana coast, related but not used in this article.)
That sets up his story: “Louisiana is losing 75 square kilometers (less in sq. miles) of coastal terrain every year, and the residents of this island have been called the first ‘climate refugees’ in the United States.” Then, Beller spreads the fiction further afield that other Gulf Coast States are “also surrendering land to the water at a rapid rate”—and beyond to coastal Alaska where a few hundred natives are “hoping to move to higher ground.”
Soon, we can imagine, lower Manhattanites permanently moving closer to the Catskill Mountains. But our government won’t be able to afford it. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development plans spending $48 million to move 60 Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians in Louisiana because “the land around them is rapidly disappearing.” A wise man once said, time and tides wait for no man, but the Indians will probably have a long wait for Uncle Sam to show up with the cash before the tides wash them away.
After leading more gullible readers to conclude that all the high water stories result from unusual climate change—caused by we the people—Beller admits that “Rising sea levels are (only) partly to blame for the island’s disappearance.”
There is, however, no evidence anywhere that this natural occurrence has anything to do with levels of C02 in the atmosphere. But there are several other reasons why low-lying coastal lands are susceptible to water encroachment, especially in vast, always-shifting delta sediments.
Beller undermines the central climate change theme of his picto-graphic story by explaining that “engineering the river” for the past 150 years with levees and canals has allowed gulf water to sneak into the bayous. Salt water killed woody plants whose roots once held the loose soil material thus, accelerating land erosion.
Uplands commonly and continually wash away throughout the world. Large deltas of land are formed by sediments relentlessly eroding from uplands into big rivers. Dams built on rivers capture the sediments and the process of land-building is slowed. So at the interface of riverine and marine environments, casual observers may perceive that water is rising. Truth is; land is receding.
And, of course, low coastal landscapes are frequently flooded and completely transformed—often unrecognizably— in a matter of hours after hurricanes. Everyone who witnessed the news of Hurricane Katrina saw the massive flooding and complete destruction of buildings and land around New Orleans in 2005.
Yet, many people who live in areas susceptible to hurricane damage come back or don’t want to leave in the first place. I live in one of those areas on coastal North Carolina. We’ve experienced a half dozen land-fall hurricanes in the past twenty years—and we stayed.
Somehow, most people survive nature even when they make choices to live in areas seen as inhospitable by bodacious reporters and government bureaucrats. Fearfully irrational people imagine that certain levels of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere can result in catastrophic climate changes that we just can’t accept or deal with.
Mr. Beller ends his story noting the conflict between “surreal perspectives of a slowly submerging world” and “reality.” He writes that although most of us live on “safe ground,” we know that there is an “encroaching tide.” In my opinion, Beller mixes up reality with the political dream of manmade climate change.