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Rob YoungWestern Carolina University geologist and coastal expert Rob Young is featured in a pair of new public radio stories at NPR and WNYC that highlight some problems with the Hurricane Sandy relief bill passed by the House in recent days.

Young’s main criticism: Spending billions to rebuild damaged beach communities just like they were before the storm is extremely shortsighted and wasteful. He isn’t saying the communities don’t deserve assistance or that they shouldn’t be rebuilt, but he does say that merely trucking in vast quantities of sand to put things back just like they were is absurd.

Young also argues convincingly Read More

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.

 

Nat Keohane of the Environmental Defense Fund has an op-ed in today’s edition of Bloomberg Businessweek that’s worth a read. Let’s hope Hurricane Sandy spurs people to take some of the actions he’s promoting.

“In the 2008 campaign, both presidential candidates called for comprehensive action on climate change through a declining cap on carbon. This time around, the economy has taken center stage; while Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have presented different visions on energy policy, climate change has largely been relegated to the sidelines. Nonetheless, the magnitude and urgency of the challenge have not diminished. If we needed any reminder of that fact, Hurricane Sandy should have provided it—especially coming on the heels of devastating drought, record-breaking temperatures through the spring and summer, and a record low in the extent of Arctic sea ice.”

Read the entire piece by clicking here.

ICYMI, the head of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study – a previous font of global warming skepticism whose single largest grant comes from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation — has changed his mind. This is from an op-ed he wrote for the New York Times over the weekend:

“Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

You can read the entire NYT piece by clicking here.

 

A very intersting and sobering story in Rolling Stone magazine makes clear again why we need to get off of our butts and get to work NOW on the climate crisis:

“If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.