North Carolina Outlaws Alarmist Planning Advice -Restricts SLR planning input to maximum timeframe of 30 years

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

North Carolina has just outlawed the use of long term sea level predictions, when making planning decisions for sea front developments in the Outer Banks.

The new rules restrict planning applications to the use of 30 year sea level rise predictions – and forbid the use of predictions for longer timeframes.

The controversy started 5 years ago, when North Carolina State Scientists predicted that in 100 years, sea levels would rise by more than a metre. This caused uproar from owners of billions of dollars worth of valuable sea front properties, the value of which would be adversely affected by a 1m SLR.

Willo Kelly, of the N20 Consortium, accuses the North Carolina State Scientists who produced the 100 year prediction, of not conducting scientific research, and suggests they instead conducted a biased literary review of cherry picked information, to produce an unbalanced report.

Climate Scientist Orrin Pilke, interviewed at the end of the video, accuses North Carolina residents and politicians opposed to the use of 100 year predictions of “living in denial”.


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July 12, 2014 4:02 am

Scientists predicted .. in 100 years, sea levels would rise .. a metre. This caused uproar from owners .. of .. sea front properties, the value .. adversely affected by a 1m SLR.
Even if true, what does it have to do with state ploitics? What legislation could be impemented at state level to 1) stop the sea, or 2) save the properties?

July 12, 2014 4:04 am

Last line: Pot – meet Kettle.
Pfft – 100 year projections… how ridiculous.
We need far, far more of this kind of thing – ban and outlaw the entire Junk Science climate industry. Stop the massive waste and what is essentially the voluntary dismantling of our entire civilization. Just make it end.

M Seward
July 12, 2014 4:07 am

Lets face it, it is the alarmists who are living in denial that their vigilante boondoggle/scam is just that and that while we humans must have some effect on climate and the environment locally and even globally it is not an existential threat or anywhere near it. What is more they are in utter denial that increased CO2 may be the precise opposite of a pollutant/toxin but rather an essential ingredient for a world population of 7 Billion and climbing with a rising standard of living. Maybe Gaia is playing a long game and actually knows WTF is happening and it is all under control despite what the back seat driver loons say.
Lead the Way North Carolina.

John Slayton
July 12, 2014 4:14 am

Professor Orrin Pilkey: All up and down the East Coast, Gulf Coast and West Coast it’s all the same….
Really, Professor, you should know better.

Ian W
July 12, 2014 4:19 am

Better yet have the climate ‘scientists’ such as Orrin Pilke, make their predictions for sea level rise as yearly levels with detailed metrics against a fixed standard tide gauge. So by 2016 the level will be (n millimeters) measured on the standard fixed tide gauge. Then set into law that they personally (their heirs and successors) and their named institutions (current and future) are liable for damages to be paid to the owners of sea front properties should the level be incorrect by more than say 2mm and the property values be affected.
Having to take responsibility for their forecasts may make them a little more conservative in their claims.

July 12, 2014 4:25 am

At the time those NC State profs made that prediction NC State was where the federally funded ed lab for the SouthEast dedicated to using K-12 education for behavioral change was located. It has since moved to Florida State where it can have a similar skewing effect as the philosophy behind Education for Sustainability taints entire faculty’s drives over what to advocate for and ‘research’ into.
Those 100 year predictions to gain short term behavioral changes and new public policy inadvertently (but foreseeably in the real world) impacted the costs of insurance in the preferred beach vacation areas of the state legislators. They are now doing something about that. Restricting what can be cited in a rate adjustment proposal. It’s always a matter of whose ox is being gored.

John M
July 12, 2014 4:42 am

The scientists will pobably respond by tweaking the models to show a 1 metre rise in 30 years

July 12, 2014 4:52 am

“What legislation could be impemented at state level to 1) stop the sea, or 2) save the properties?”
1) Cue Maggie Smith: “how I sympathize with King Canute”

2) you are kidding aren’t you. the AGW crowd descends from the quintessential environmentalist anti-development meme. so they will ‘save’ the properties by preventing owners from actually building them to begin with. this nonsense about subjecting government planning rituals to accounting for ‘climate change’ is part an parcel of what exponents of climate change hope to accomplish.

David L.
July 12, 2014 4:55 am

Interesting. We’ve been coming to OBX since 1965. I’m currently sitting on the deck of my father-inlaw’s OBX beach house, looking at a bulkhead in the sound that was installed in 1989. We measured the height of the bulkhead relative to low tide and it’s no less than he recorded in 1989.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
July 12, 2014 5:20 am

True Believers on the site where I repost articles such as this one, are calling those who voted for this, ‘anti-science.’ Of course, they don’t bother to look at the data even if you shove the information u[self-snipped]es.

July 12, 2014 5:25 am

Sea level currently increases by ~2.8 mm per year. If that rate were to double over 50 years (which is very doubtful) then total rise over 100 years would be under half a meter. More plausible is between 350 and 450 mm. Even the IPCC has discounted the likelihood of meter+ increases over a century, most of which were nutty ‘semi-empirical’ projections by Stefan Rahmstorf and his lackeys…. utter rubbish all. Whoever the ‘scientists’ were that projected 1 meter increases, they did not actually look at reality, or even conduct a literature review that includes the more likely increase rates. The answer is to hire better scientists, not pass laws against making sea level projections.

July 12, 2014 5:56 am

Making 100 year “irrefutable” predictions on CAGW affected tides, when all the accepted models have been proven to be 100% wrong for the last 17 years, now that is what I call science NOT!

July 12, 2014 6:08 am

Even if his preictions were accurate GIVEN CURRENT CONDITIONS, exactly why is he assuming
those conditions will stay the same for the next 100 years? That’s the most implausible
prediction of all. What, no electric cars in the next 100 years? No fast reactors? Boy. is this guy pessimistic!!!!
So he’s also assuming his side has no success?

July 12, 2014 6:12 am

Every 20-30 years a major hurricane comes along and hits the “reset” button on the Outer Banks anyway.

July 12, 2014 6:16 am

It seems news gets to England via wooden sailing ships. The story is two years old.

July 12, 2014 6:17 am

If I recall correctly they are going to use the past rise in sea level to predict for the next thirty years, which sounds like the most logical thing to do. Sanity is prevailing in North Carolina.

AJ Virgo
July 12, 2014 6:18 am

Waterfront property is the most lucrative of all so one is immediately suspicious. The price plummets due to alarmist claims. The local authorities institute a “buyback” but then own it all. Water levels of course don’t rise and presto…….somebody gets incredibly rich.

July 12, 2014 7:02 am

Um – of course nowhere in the developed world have any politicians enacted crap that pushes current owners off of their oceanfront properties so that they, the pols, can swoop in and grab same at fire-sale prices. Oh, New Zealand you say? Australia? Anyone look at the Green Shores program in the Pacific NW of the USA?

Flood control engineer
July 12, 2014 7:03 am

As an engineer I am accountable for my work. I can lose my life savings with a bad recommendation. That is a strong incentive to do things right. Get an engineer to make some recommendations.

July 12, 2014 7:05 am

De Nile is a good place to live… as long as you’re not part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bruce Cobb
July 12, 2014 7:08 am

What the climate “scientists” say: “You are living in denial”.
What they actually mean:

July 12, 2014 7:29 am

So we have skeptical “denial” (the scientific norm) vs biased confirmation based on selected data provided by global warming religious fanatics. I’ll take the former any day.

G. Karst
July 12, 2014 7:35 am

What I find amazing about this… is the discovery, of some common sense, on the continent. And here I was beginning to think it was extinct. Color me surprised, however, building on flood plains and seashores subject to storm surges will remain risky/foolish. We should not have to subsidize insurance for such risk takers. GK

July 12, 2014 7:41 am

I’d think the more likely impact on sea side property in North Carolina would be due to a hurricane or tropical storm. They appear to be averaging about 150 of those every 100 years.

Frederick Michael
July 12, 2014 7:46 am

This is the same prediction they were making in the mid-1980’s. I recall a 1986 paper by James G. Titus on the impact a rise of one meter (2-5 feet) would have on the coastal zone.
Now, more than a quarter century later, this prediction is clearly not panning out. So, what do the alarmists do? Reset the clock. It’ll be a meter in the next 100 years.
As you all know, there’s no sign of sea level rise accelerating.

clyde william
July 12, 2014 8:03 am

When will the general public learn that just because an alleged Scientist said it…does not automatically make it “Science”?

July 12, 2014 8:10 am

Good for you, NC; your ideas and codes have always made a surprising amount of sense!! I’ve been vacationing in the Outer Banks north of Nags Head every two or three years since the early 1970s, and I’ve had the “mis” fortune of being there to experience the eye of a Cat ll hurricane in the 1970s, and also experience a direct hit by Major Hurricane Bertha, the latter with my son, nephew and niece, all in their early teens at the time. Damage ranged from under-whelming to non-existent. The first hurricane resulted in some people splashing a little tar on their roofs (in Southern Shores). The second resulted in my sister and my mother calling, in a panic, about my taking three youngsters into a major hurricane. The lights never went out. The TV never went out. And, in all the panic, it wasn’t then noticed that each and every phone call went through, without delay. Yes, the three digit wind, all night long, was quite noisy. Oh well! The aftermath included absolutely no damage, and plows removing drifted sand off some of the roads after the ocean subsided. I notice that the aftermath from Arthur, down there, was more of the same.
It is my opinion that the strict building codes, the practical environmentalism of carefully building cottages into the tough, storm-resistant native vegetation, buildings on stilts, and all those high sand dunes make that area just about the safest during intense hurricanes. Now, you seem to be standing up to this Global Warming hysteria. From Duluth MN.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yogyakarta
July 12, 2014 8:34 am

@Flood control engineer
>As an engineer I am accountable for my work.
Well that’s the point isn’t it! They are not accountable for their ‘work’ and not accountable for the fear, stress, mistrust, misspent treasure and the holding back of the development of nations which are not just the consequences, but the intended consequences of their professional judgments.
The claims were made in service of an objective. It might be as mean and narrow as self-promotion but more likely it is in service of the great green goals of well-meaning intentions that float on the tide of ignorance that lifts equally all ships of fools.

July 12, 2014 8:42 am

You’re lucky. I used to live in Biloxi, MS, and there were plenty of stories about people staying to ride out Hurricane Camille. Many of these people lost their lives.
Hurricanes are a force of nature not to be messed with…

Gunga Din
July 12, 2014 8:54 am

So all those landowners now have an underwater mortgage? 😎
(For those unfamiliar with the term, an “underwater mortgage” is one where you owe more on you home than it is now worth.)

July 12, 2014 9:31 am

One has to wonder where the claimed 1 meter SLR comes from. If you look at previous information provided by Anthony for an area near to the outer banks (Norfolk Va) the map referenced below shows the rate of sea level rise around 1-2 mm/year. If one extrapolates the maximum increase over 100 years would be 100 to 200 mm not one meter.
Here is the link to the Norfolk article:
Below is the URL link to the SLR color map:comment image
What am I missing?
Although I do not live along the Jersey coast, I have spent a lot of time there and have not observed any SLR. I have asked locals who have lived and fished, clammed, etc in the Jersey shore waters for over 50 years if they have seen any SLR in the back bays which are shallow where even small SLR would be noticeable. Although they are not skeptics, they admit that they have not seen any measurable SLR on the Jersey coast. On the other hand the US government has apparently recently raised local building elevation insurance requirements based on a 39″ SLR. Homes that once met the elevation requirements and never experienced flooding are now out of compliance because of claimed SLR.

July 12, 2014 11:02 am

Dave says:
July 12, 2014 at 8:42 am
You’re lucky. I used to live in Biloxi, MS, and there were plenty of stories about people staying to ride out Hurricane Camille. Many of these people lost their lives.
Hurricanes are a force of nature not to be messed with…
I am still fascinated by the story of Mary Ann Gerlach. If true, she is perhaps the luckiest person who ever lived. She was the lone survivor of the Hurricane Party at Richelieu Apartments. The Apartments building was vanished by Camille. Gerlach was found in a tree miles away. So the story goes. There is credible evidence she made up some of it, but Richelieu did disappear and people did die.

July 12, 2014 12:08 pm

This is old news that was reported weeks ago in the Washington post.

sleepingbear dunes
July 12, 2014 1:13 pm

I recently walked along a South Carolina beach at high tide. I noticed just to get to the dune grass, the water would have to rise vertically by more than 2 feet. At current rates of rise in that area, the water would take 200 years to submerge the grass, not to mention more rise to get off the beach.

July 12, 2014 3:03 pm

I have the solution to this problem of the Outer Banks property owners. Instead of worrying about the official 100-year forecast depressing resale values and going to the legislature to reject those forecasts (stupid as they may be), they should instead call for legislation that would forbid any taxation of property that will be officially inundated by rising sea levels in the next 100 years. That way future prospective buyers know they are not making an investment in something of permanent value, but rather getting a consumption item that goes away in time.
More realistically, just do the declining discounted future value calculations and require that the taxes on the dwelling be annually adjusted downward to reach zero when the mean high tide mark is *predicted* to reach the foundation of the house. I’ll bet plenty of those same worried property owners would be happy to take that bet.
Considering their tender solicitude towards the plight of their beach-dwelling constituents, the politicians will certainly be fine with the declining tax revenue, don’t you think?

July 12, 2014 4:47 pm

Seriously, is this professor a scientist or an advertising fogey?

July 12, 2014 6:49 pm

Anyone with seafront property, knows that sea level rise is not important, erosion is the biggest problem, I have seen a whole beach disappear overnight, only to return a few months later.

July 12, 2014 8:33 pm

Wu: But De Nile isn’t in North Carolina. Someone tell Pilke.
RalphB: Great idea, but cutting taxes? Not a chance.

July 12, 2014 9:39 pm

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About the 2010-2012 North Carolina Sea Level Fight (But Were Afraid To Ask):

Olaf Koenders
July 12, 2014 9:39 pm

I agree with CodeTech. Make them personally (and their immediate kin) responsible for their predictions / assertions with damages payable upon failure of such. Hang ’em high.

July 13, 2014 5:08 am

Olaf, while that’s not what I said and it’s not what I meant, I wholeheartedly agree with you!

July 13, 2014 6:13 am

SLR or Fall ?
The NC Coastal Resources Commission Science Panel said the rise of Sea Level has been 15″/100 y, and AGW would force rise to 39″ or more by 2100. ,,,,,, but then data from the Div of Coastal Management shows that, while we do have Beach Erosion on some areas, since 1980, Accretion is increasing while Erosion is decreasing, and then, NOAA funded Flood Mapping shows Sea Level has been FALLING significantly for areas of the NC Coast. On top of all that, International Temperature Records have not increased for over 15 years.
While it is clear Sea Level has been rising ( very slowly ) since the last glaciation, this sure is all mixed UP.
How can we trust Scientific Foresight when real world data doesn’t support Scientific Hindsight?
Bill Price USLandAlliance.US ( See full Comments and Docs. – Before CRC meeting end of July.)
PS: To be fair, the CRC Science Panel did admit they didn’t do any real world research,,,, they only quoted the theoretical hypothetical opinions of all the esteemed Peer Experts from the EPA, , The Sierra Club, and the UN.
Interestingly also, in Feb 2011 we asked the SP if they had or would compare current coastal maps with 1850’s US Coast Survey Charts to see if inundation of tidelands due to nearly 2 feet of SLR they say has occurred, has occurred. No response so far.

Wallhouse Wart
July 13, 2014 9:01 am

This is Agenda 21 in action. Local Planning Depts. are using climate change to move people off beaches, river banks and islands and return them to nature. Your local government has to provide an environmental assessment and mitigation strategy to ICLEI. And of course, the consultants brought in to do the environmental assessments are quality stamped by ICLEI to provide the most alarmist nonsense. As governments are risk averse, all the consultant has to is mention that there is a potential for a disaster and the government will have to pay.

July 13, 2014 5:34 pm

The meter per century, or more, has been around for many years. Go back 25 years and project a quarter century to now. That would be a quarter meter, 25 centimeters, 10 inches. Up here in Seattle the ocean has not gone up 1 inch. These 100 year projections are based on nothing more than wishful thinking and political agendas.

July 13, 2014 10:31 pm

Go to scroll down to images of the Tower of London in 1150AD and 2005 AD. Very little difference in almost 900 years!!

DD More
July 14, 2014 8:55 am

Looking at the effect sea levels have had over the past 230 years, what has been the result.
See – An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina With Their Indian Frontiers, Shewing in a distinct manner all the Mountains, Rivers, Swamps, Marshes, Bays, Creeks, Harbours, Sandbanks and Soundings on the Coasts, ’1775′
from NC Map
Compare with a side by side google map and most of the features are still there. A side note that 1775 was at the end of the Little Ice Age and a whole lot of ice was on shore – See Glacier Bay NP.
Glacier Bay was first surveyed in detail in 1794 by a team from the H.M.S. Discovery, captained by George Vancouver. At the time the survey produced showed a mere indentation in the shoreline. That massive glacier was more than 4,000 feet thick in places, up to 20 miles wide, and extended more than 100 miles to the St. Elias mountain range
That’s 1 watershed valley.

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