Monday, March 4, 2019

Scientific American Selling Fear

Sea-level rise has cost homeowners on the East and Gulf coasts nearly $16 billion in property value as floods and the threat of flooding drive some buyers away, according to a study released this week.

Analysts at the nonprofit First Street Foundation in Brooklyn studied millions of residential home sales in 17 states from Maine to Alabama and found that coastal property values were rising at a slower rate in flood-prone areas than in areas that did not flood.

“The market is already reacting,” First Street Executive Director Matthew Eby said. “There’s no longer a conversation of what sea-level rise will do in 2050 or 2100.”
So the First Street Foundation is a nice scientific, non-biased NGO right? Hardly; their motto is "Quantifying and communicating the impacts of sea level rise and flooding"

As always, in looking at sea level rise, let's see the actual data for the sea level rise experienced by real East Coast cities, as measured by real tide gauges.

So, actual sea level at various sites up and down the east coast show slow, mostly consistent rises in sea level, at rates between 1 and 3 mm per year (some variation due to land settling, faster in the south than in the north). There is, as of yet, no hint of acceleration in the rate of sea level rise due to any CO2 induce recent warming (which is an argument for some other post).

If the width of a nickel means the difference between your house flooding or not, you live too damn close to the water, and you should do something about it. Raise the house, fill the land, move to higher ground. People have been doing that as long as they've been living in fixed dwellings. If your politicians won't let you, you've elected the wrong politicians.

I had Scientific American subscriptions starting in junior high school, but about 15 years ago, the magazine became more about social justice and "ecology" than about science, and I dropped it.

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