Message from NY to NC: Don’t bury your head in the sand

The Fayetteville Observer ran an interesting letter yesterday on its op-ed page.  It’s from a New Yorker named Jim Finlay who witnessed the fury of Hurricane Sandy up close and who wants to tell North Carolinians and their state legislature to think again about their nonsensical denial of science when it comes to rising ocean levels.

“You and I have much in common, even if we are separated by hundreds of miles. And this past month one of those points of congruence was highlighted dramatically: We both reside in states where the occasional hurricane is the norm.

I live along the coastline on Long Island in New York State. A few months back, I read about North Carolina’s attempt to legislate what was, and what was not, allowed in the process of planning for sea-level rise along its coast. You, of course, are well aware of the damage caused by Sandy nearly three weeks ago, but I thought I would share with you some of the things we Long Islanders are currently living through….”

Read the entire letter by clicking here.



  1. Frank Burns

    November 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Reply to the resident on Long Island: Those of us living in NC are sorry for the damage you received from Hurricane Sandy. Certainly the State of NC has experienced very damaging hurricanes over the years as well. You are concerned with the sea level, then why did you re-elect Obama? In NC we voted for Romney. If you remember, Obama promised to lower the sea levels and he did not.

    The sea level increase has been measured to be 7 inches over the past 100 years. The state of NC is basing their projections on actual history and not the false projections from alarmists with the flawed theory that there exists a positive climate feedback which results in a multiplier of 3 being applied to warming impacts. Many scientists disagree that there is positive feedbacks and say that in fact feedbacks are negative due to the presence of clouds. If we listened to climate scientists like Al Gore, he would have us believe that the sea level was going up 20 feet.

    We are sorry for the high estimates for damages in New York, but we can’t help ourselves and consider that those costs would be reduced 30% if you used non union labor.

    Thank you for your advice but we consider our decisions to be more sound than your recommendations.

  2. david esmay

    November 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Thankfully Frank, you only speak for yourself. You are the NC’s poster boy for a disease that is systematic with those on the right and infects the entire Republican party, the inability to deal with, or even acknowledge a reality that is incongruent with the one inside your head.

  3. gregflynn

    November 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Obama did not promise to lower sea levels. One of your many partisan lies that serve only to muddy the waters. You pick different intervals for data and different data when it suits your purpose. 100 years for sea level rise but not for global warming. Well, your 7 inches over 100 years claim is a global average increase in sea level. There is variation around the world and measured sea levels in NC are rising faster than global levels. Bury your head in the sand. It will be under water sooner than you think.

  4. Frank Burns

    November 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Listen for yourself, although let me warn you, Obama is speaking in one of his campaign dialects. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2pZSvq9bto

    1.7 mm per year is not a lot to worry about. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise

    Get your head out of the sand and look around.

  5. gregflynn

    November 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    He said that if we work for it we will look back generations from now and say that this was the moment in history when, among other things, “the rise of the oceans began to slow”. He did not say he would “lower the sea levels”. I was aware of that speech and the specific words he use before I made my comment. He did not say he would “lower the sea levels”. That is a lie used by Romney in a speech and one which you are perpetuating.

    1.7mm/year another way of stating a global sea level average of 7 inches over 100 years and, of ignoring the fact, stated already, that NC sea levels are rising faster than global levels.

  6. Frank Burns

    November 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Greg, again the alarmists don’t get to pick the scales. You claim that 16 years is not enough data to say that global warming has stopped, yet you claim 100 years is too long. Slowing the rise of the oceans means lowering the rise (lowering the ocean). Do you know what the meaning of is, is?

  7. gregflynn

    November 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Oh Frank, you pick and choose data you don’t understand to make political arguments about science. You keep ignoring the fact that sea level rise in NC is greater than in the rest of the the world. The straight line “non-alarmist” projection for NC is 15 inches in 90 years. That’s 5 inches in 30 years. I visit the coast often and can tell you that’s significant.

    Reducing speed doesn’t mean reversing. Slowing a rise doesn’t mean lowering. It means reducing the rate of rise. When the sign on the highway says reduce speed it doesn’t mean go in reverse. I know you are an engineer and understand this.

  8. Frank Burns

    November 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    That’s a negative. I have no concern for the politics but the truth. I dissapprove of the use of changing scales by the alarmists to make their points. According to the study of sea level rise, the relative sea level varies from the global sea level increae from 0.8 to 3.8 mm based on using organisms as a proxy for sea level. That still doesn’t sound like any cause for alarm. It also relies heavily on the relationship of the organisms to the sea level. But regardless of the number, the alarmists want to multiply that number by a factor (3 to 10) based on assumptions of positive feedbacks which have not occured yet but you want NC to agree to that unproven assumption. Many scientists disagree with the positive feedbacks and actually say they are negative.

    I know that slowing down in my car when I see the Highway Patrol, means lowering my speed.

  9. gregflynn

    November 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Variations in sea level rise around the world are a fact. Observed levels in NC have been rising 2-3 times the global average – fact. Straight line projections of 15″ in 90 years for NC have been based on NC observations.

  10. david esmay

    November 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Frank your so called “alarmists”, constitute 98% of the scientific community.

  11. Frank Burns

    November 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Greg, Do you realize that the recommendations from the science panel was 39 inches by 2100? That’s a lot more than 15″. The NC General Assembly was correct to ignore 39 inches. Maybe someone should call the comedian, Colbert and have him apologize.

  12. Frank Burns

    November 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I hate to break it to you but that claim of 98% has long ago been debunked. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/17/that-scientific-global-warming-consensus-not/

    “So where did that famous “consensus” claim that “98% of all scientists believe in global warming” come from? It originated from an endlessly reported 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU) survey consisting of an intentionally brief two-minute, two question online survey sent to 10,257 earth scientists by two researchers at the University of Illinois. Of the about 3.000 who responded, 82% answered “yes” to the second question, which like the first, most people I know would also have agreed with.

    Then of those, only a small subset, just 77 who had been successful in getting more than half of their papers recently accepted by peer-reviewed climate science journals, were considered in their survey statistic. That “98% all scientists” referred to a laughably puny number of 75 of those 77 who answered “yes”.”

  13. gregflynn

    November 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I am aware of a great many things. I am aware that 15″ is greater than 7″.

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