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Sea-level rise 2The latest story comes from New York but it might has well be Florida or North Carolina. Once again, politicians (this time led by New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo) are opting for the politically expedient “quick fix” that will make everyone feel good for a few moments but do nothing to address the long-term scientific reality that confronts the American eastern and southern coasts.

This is from a “must read” editorial in yesterday’s New York Times by one of the nation’s leading coastal geologists, North Carolina’s own Prof. Rob Young of Western Carolina University:

Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $207 million plan to dredge millions of tons of sand off the south shore of Long Island and spread it along the beaches and dunes. The Army Corps of Engineers, which will direct the federally financed project, says it will stabilize Fire Island and reduce the storm surge hazard for the mainland.

In fact, the project will do neither. It is a colossal waste of money and another consequence of the nation’s failure to develop a coherent plan to address the risks from storms faced by states along the eastern seaboard and gulf coast.

As Young goes on to explain, not only is the project unnecessary in that the barrier island in question is already naturally rebuilding itself (and that the dredging about to take place will disrupts important endangered wildlife habitats), but it’s also emblematic of a broader and even more serious problem: The U.S. literally has no comprehensive plan to deal with rising seas: Read More

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Sea-level rise 2Earth Magazine, a publication of the American Geosciences Institute, has a new featured article this week entitled: “Denying sea-level rise: How 100 centimeters divided the state of North Carolina.” It’s authored by a pair of Duke academics – Alexander Glass and Orrin Pilkey (who has contributed in the past to The Progressive Pulse).

“On the surface, it looks like America is a place where scientists and scientific achievements are held in high regard. Read More

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Tomorrow is Earth Day.

Yesterday was the one -year anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Today oil remains in the Gulf and independent scientists confirm that the region is still suffering from the blowout. But oil spills are only one threat to our oceans.

Seafood Market in Louisiana

Overfishing is considered the most critical peril facing our oceans. Overfishing means catching too many adult fish so there are not enough to breed and replenish the species. Around the world, 52% of fish stocks are in imminent danger of collapse. When a fishery collapses, large fishing fleets move onto plunder other species with no concern for the future.

Seafood lovers have the power to change overfishing – Earth Day is a great day to start! Read More