Headlines: What Climate Alarmists Write Versus What the Rest of Us See

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

I always enjoy the headlines of climate alarmist news stories.

This one caught my eye this week.  Of course the headline included the infamous weasel words:  COULD BE.

At BusinessInsider.com:  4.2 million Americans could be displaced by rising sea levels this century — see if your county is at risk. The linked webpage includes a fancy-schmancy video to show in which counties those displacements might take place, with a bar graph to show which oceanfront states might be impacted most or least.

What did I see?

Less than 1% of Forecast U.S. Population by 2100 Might Be, Or Might Not Be, Displaced by Projected Sea Level Rise of 3 Feet That Might, Or Might Not, Happen. The Other 99% of U.S. Residents Couldn’t Give a Rat’s…  Some Optimistically Looking Forward to Their Inland Properties Becoming Oceanfront.  

That figure of 4.2 million, of course, was for the low-end could-be scenario. If we look at the might-maybe-could-happen high end of 1.8 meters (6 feet) from the study, the could-be displacement more than triples.  Curiously, the headline Up to 13M Americans at risk from sea level rise – study ran for a story at the Governors’ Wind & Solar Energy Coalition website…as if solar panels and wind turbines are going to stop sea level rise.   Maybe the Governors are thinking of dismantling them and using them as landfill for dykes.

The study referenced was Hauer et al. (2016) Millions projected to be at risk from sea-level rise in the continental United States.

PS:  Maybe the Governors would be interested in a realistic look at anthropogenic global warming and climate change presented in my free ebook On Global Warming and the Illusion of Control – Part 1 (700+ page, 25MB .pdf).  If not, maybe the voters of those up for reelection might.

112 thoughts on “Headlines: What Climate Alarmists Write Versus What the Rest of Us See

  1. Yeah sure- like you’d need to read a Businessinsider article to work out if you live near sea-level. “Panic sweeps 4.2 million Americans” “Your risk of drowning when sea level rises”. Clickbait for the intellectually very seriously challenged.

    • Its rather interesting, isn’t it, that illiteracy is seen as a terrible social and economic disadvantage, and we work toward eliminating it. People volunteer to help people learn to read and celebrities make commercials endorsing reading.
      Innumeracy, however, is pretty much ignored, and is even a joke. People will laugh about how bad their math skills are.
      Explains lotteries, though.

      • Two thirds of all US college degrees, never earn a brass razoo for the person who wasted their money on getting a degree that nobody needed in their job. Some of those folks will likely drown. A century is plenty of time to learn to swim.

      • Actually, buying a lottery ticket is a much better deal than paying many times the amount to go to a movie or a sporting event. You do not have a lot of extra expense (parking, popcorn, beer) and you do not waste several hours, during which you can do some good for family and friends, and many volunteer organizations. And sometimes you do get your money or more back.

      • “John F. Hultquist April 11, 2016 at 2:31 pm”
        Sorry, but I have a relative who has a gambling addiction. She’s beat most of her other addictions, but the fact is, gambling is a hard one to break because it is strictly mental. If you and I do the same amount of heroin, or prescription drugs, or alcohol (with some differences in body weight and tolerance, etc.), we’d get equally stoned.
        I can walk through a casino with a billion nickels and not spend ONE. My relative not only goes through all her pension, but her husband’s pension, whatever she can “borrow”, whatever she can steal, etc. She’s banned from the local casino (at her own request), but goes online. Etc.
        As for your movie analogy: if you go to a movie a week, you can probably afford to go to one movie a week (with the prices they charge, etc.). Two movies a week, and you’re probably more of a movie-goer than most. Three or four a week, or one or two movies a day? Putting it all on credit cards (because you obviously aren’t working, and few retired people who have the time don’t have the money, even with a senior’s discount.

      • Seems to me there was this cowboy song about a mangy mongrel, sitting on its A***, and howlin’ up a storm.
        The mutt was sitting on a thorn, and was howling because it was too darn lazy to move over !
        Who was that Country or Western singer that made that famous ??

      • Here you go, George:
        “Hound dog howlin’ so forlorn
        Laziest dog that was ever born
        He’s a-howlin’ ’cause he’s a-settin’ on a thorn
        An’ just to tired to move over.”
        One verse from the song “Life gets tedious (tee-jus) don’t it?” sung by Walter Brennan.

      • You are most definitely at risk…Haven’t you seen that Costner Flick…”Waterworld”??

    • I wouldnt stress for a million years or so. Maybe start planning after a couple of hundred thousand. Always good to be prepared. We live at 1000ft , we will let you know when the water arrives.

    • CodeTech:
      “I’m at 3500 feet. I’m worried. Am I at risk?”
      It depends. How much fuel is remaining in your aircraft? Do you have a parachute?
      As far as rising sea levels go, it’s possible that you could be impacted depending on the asteroid that hits the earth.

    • Probably. Eventually. Give it a billion years or so, and our sun will be going supernova. Can’t discount it might happen earlier, though. Those “give or take a couple of hundred million years” would sound impressive on a headline…

    • I’m at 3500 feet. I’m worried. Am I at risk?
      probably……about 43% of American homes are considered high risk for some sort of natural disaster
      Which makes 4.2 million a very small number

      • Over 300,000,000 Americans will move somewhere this century just cause they feel like it.

    • Yes. Don’t forget that sea level rise will be “lumpy”. That’s a quote that I found from somewhere out there on the Internet. Also, if your 3,500 ft is in California, CA sea level rise includes “latent sea level rise”, where the difference between real sea level rise and computer-modeled sea level rise is stored up somewhere (maybe with all that hidden heat), ready to rear its ugly head when you least expect it.
      (\sarc except for “lumpy” and “latent”)

  2. The SLR thing is just so ridiculous.
    I lived on a tidal riverfront for several years, my back porch literally overhung the river. Once every couple of years the sea rose above the back door jam. There was always plenty of warning, a bit of repair tape and plumber’s mate non-setting putty (normally used to waterproof toilet outlets) kept the door waterproof.
    The new owner had some money to splash – he raised the floor level a few feet.

    • Jakarta has sunk 3 meters in 3 decades. Tokyo sank 2 meters in the XX century with rates of up to 10cm a year. Hell, a 400-km chunk of Japan’s East Coast dropped 60cm in a single day, as a result of the 2011 earthquake.
      That’s why these places have all been abandoned – ooops.

      • In Landers, CA a couple of decades ago they had an elevation rise of nearly 2 meters in about 23 seconds. I guess they’ll be able to keep up with SLR.

  3. We lived for some years on a saltwater marsh on Seabrook Island, SC, in a house right on the marsh, designed for the occasional high tide that washed under the house. It was unscathed by H. Hugo. We noticed no changes over the house’s forty years of experience. An empirical anecdote?

    • Hugo landed north of you, so you were on the backside of the circulation. Little scathing would have been expected.

      • ‘designed for the occasional high tide that washed under the house. It was unscathed by H. Hugo.’
        The mention of Hugo was for validation of the design. Hence my comment.

    • There’s a lot of talk about sea level rise when what really matters is shore-line movement, If the sea stays put and the land drops, the shore-line moves. For what it’s worth, I was born in Napier. My father was there in 1931 for the big earthquake. He used to go sailing where the airport now is. Since then, there has been
      no movement of the shoreline that I can detect on maps. In order to decide whether we’re threatened by sea level rise, what we *really* need to track is where the high water line is.

  4. How about the headline
    “Down to 97% of Americans won’t be at any possible risk of being displaced by climate change induced sea level rise”

    • Slight change:
      “Down to 97% of Americans won’t be at any possible risk of being displaced by climate change induced sea level rise that won’t occur based on empirical current trends.”

  5. And here, UK and Scandinavian readers can see how there property “could” be affected by a return to the conditions that existed just 16,000 years ago.
    Whilst on the upside – a large quantity of usable land “would” be freed up for development, on the downside – Norway and Sweden “may” be completely buried under a vast ice sheet.
    On the other hand, such a return to glaciation “may” not happen. Not for a while anyway:

    • I always love seeing this map, especially the 7000 year ago coast line.
      I think a three to six foot or even higher sea rise could easily be handed with adaption at a lot lower cost mitigation of CO2 emission. I live in Singapore which is at a very low elevation with lots of reclaimed land. I have absolutely no doubt we could handle a 2 meter rise with a minor effort. We had planed for a 1 meter rise years ago and are now ready for it at was a very low cost.
      So far as I can see rising CO2 levels have had nothing but beneficial effects on the environment.

      • Singapore has an unfair advantage. You’re the smartest people on earth after the European Israelis. The US, Europe and Australian held it’s own for awhile but then went Honey Bo Bo.

    • Thank heavens for rising sea levels, or we’d be connected to France! Just doesn’t bear thinking about.

    • It was neat to learn that the Doggers used to be really big in the North Sea. I picked up their story only when they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

    • So The Shire would be about where the white blob is in Ireland.
      The Lonely Mountain would be somewhere around Wismar Bay.
      Mordor would be …. this map is wrong. The UN HQ is not anywhere near Italy!

      • I’m sorry to have to inform you that it has already been purchased by an off-shore wind consortium.
        Soon to become – an on-shore wind consortium.
        They obviously realized that global warming was a ho@x – when they grabbed dogger bank!!

  6. There seems to be a belief that the world as it is now has achieved (for some reason) a stability and permanence unmatched in even recent geologic history.
    Homo sapiens first appeared around 200,000 years ago. The more recent evolution into stable farming communities rather than hunter gatherers occurred 10 – 20000 year ago. In this very brief flash of geologic time sea levels, rainfall, temperature etc have changed markedly.
    The solution to these changes is of course to do what our ancestors did – adapt. Even King Canute realised he could not control the tides!

    • Terry – King Canute KNEW he couldn’t control the tides – it was his courtiers who thought he was able to, so he had to sit on the seashore to prove to them that he couldn’t…
      Just sayin’…..

    • No they build sea defences, if you don’t know how to do that ask the Dutch. They drained much of East Anglia turning it from a malarial swamp into some of the finest agricultural land in Europe. Holme Fen is around 9 feet BELOW sea level and is thriving. Nor is East Anglia the only part of England where this is true. I lived in a house on Romney Marsh set back just 29ft from the seawall that was below sea level while the Somerselt Levels were drained In the Middle Ages by the monks of the monasteries of Glastonbury, Athelney, and Muchelney. In modern times of course the greens are arguing we should allow it all to revert to swampland. I don’t think the question of where their muesli and lentils will come from after half the prime agricultural land in England has gone ever occurs to them, presumably they believe Gaia will provide.

  7. 4.2 million people being displaced over 96 years is hardly enough people to even worry about and thus we can stop researching global warming and sea levels. We have more important issues to worry about. AMA Doctors “kill” about 100,000 people each year according to JAMA. I am of course being sarcastic on the displacement of people to a degree.
    I remember reading an article many years ago about the enemies of government, most of them being made up or over sensationalized. Global warming, infectious diseases, terrorism, Y2K, unfettered capitalism, the domino theory, gun shootings, illegal immigration, etc., etc., etc. I just really brought up the Doctor issue, because it is not one of the prominent memes the lame stream media generally brings up to keep fear in the hearts of the average American. Government must legitimize itself and the ruling oligarchy requires government to redistribute the wealth so that their special interests can skim off some of the money that goes through the treasury due to the various schemes. EDS for example, owned by Ross Perot, provided the hardware and software for Medicare and Medicaid. I found one corporation (a consulting company out of Connecticut) that had won 4,500 existing government contracts. Some call it crony capitalism but it is really fascism, because of the high levels of militarism and police state spending, an obvious part of the estimated $1 trillion spent on police and defense each year. The annual military defense budget alone for 2016 is $600,400,000,000 – Now wonder so many people are willing to lie to the American people. We should all be really afraid, if government does not continue all the redistribution of wealth schemes the main stream media and politicians like Trump, Sanders Cruz and Clinton say we should. Those libertarians like Rand Paul just don’t understand how bad the rest of the world is and why we really need so much government to protect us.

  8. Like most Green articles on BI Australia, it quickly dropped out. I can’t get back in to read it. I suspect few people did.
    Like Al Gore, Barak Obama, Tim Flannery, and the like, I bought a little shack by the water front to retire in. Just like them, I don’t believe in the sea level story. Sea level there hasn’t changed significantly in 100 years.

    • Holland is a special case. Most countries are above sea level, and are threatened by sea level rise. Holland has areas which are below sea level. This is the exact opposite case, so logically, it stands to reason that Holland would be threatened by the opposite situation. Holland is therefor concerned about sea level fall.

      • We definitely are , it would connect us to England and that whole thingy that was going on a few hundred years ago would start all over again.

    • OK I’ll ask the question more directly.
      Why is Holland not the poster boy for why we don’t have to worry about rising sea levels?

  9. What ever would the Climate Liars do without that one word, “could”? It allows them to lie so cleverly, couching their lies within further, far bigger lies.

  10. Rich countries with advanced technology suffers less from SLR, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding etc than poorer countries. (citation needed?)
    The green solution is to build windmills, thus making all of us poorer. No effect on occurence of catastrophes noted.

  11. Reminds me of this :
    There used to be a group of people that would buy shares in small companies for pennies a share … then they would get some ‘crooked’ finance-editor of a newspaper to publish good things about the company. Then when the readers bought loads of shares, they would dump the shares they bought earlier at a massive profit. Check what Piers Morgan was up to before he became a TV star ..
    So, in my most humble opinion; if they were to say, “dont move to the east coast because of the SLR is going to drown everyone” then the property prices would drop. So some savvy people could go and buy those houses cheap.
    How much did A.G. pay for his seaside mansion ?

    • Many people don’t know it, but just south of Orlando, used to be the southern shoreline of Florida. You can dig down in many places in So. Florida and hit what is called shell rock, old coral beds and find various seashells. Like much of the Everglades is today, it was all underwater. I don’t know the time line and I can’t tell if the land is getting higher or the water is dropping, so don’t ask me.

  12. So that is why so many millions of people are moving to Southern Florida or along the beaches of Long Island, etc! They want to drown due to it being warmish.

  13. Based on a rough interpretation of census data 4.2 million people are roughly the number that move their residence within any 6 week period.

  14. Could be wrong but I think the government is still subsidizing home insurance for water front properties.

  15. 4.2 million Americans also could have monkeys fly out their butts. Here’s a dramatic-looking map, with dramatic music, showing how and where this could happen. It’s science, done by actual scientists. Why would they lie?

    • Not concerned at all since we claimed land from the sea. I live near the sea and can’t see what all the fuzz is about. But hey, if the experts say so I guess I must be blind 😉

  16. The lowest point in New Orleans (founded in 1718) is 8 feet below sea level (average rate 8 mm/yr). They have learned to cope to a limited degree with land subsidence/rising sea level. The lowest point in the Netherlands is 23 feet below sea level (average rate 7 mm/yr), but they have been developing and refining flood control techniques for over 1000 years. The simplest and best adaptation is to move your assets to higher ground.
    The alarmists insult everyone by assuming nobody is smart enough to adapt.

    • More than 100 years ago the city of Galveston raised the entire city something like 17 feet using horse and cart technology. Seattle did something similar. It is amazing that a century later we have lost the ability to solve even the simplest of problems.
      I had a low spot on my property. I put out a sign. Free fill wanted. For a couple of weeks trucks from surrounding construction sites dumped dirt in my yard. I rented a bobcat for a day and levelled it all out. Now when it rains and my neighbors property is under a couple of inches of water, I’m high and dry.
      You don’t need to swim faster than the sharks, you only need to swim faster than your buddy.

      • Chicago did too. Basically raised the whole city by one floor to get it out of the lake.

  17. 4.2 million Americans could be displaced by rising sea levels
    Then why is that waterfront property is the most expensive? Why do celebrities and zillionaires continue to snap up waterfront property? Could these stories be intended to cause the gullible to panic and sell their waterfront properties at fire-sale prices to the very people that are promoting these stories?
    We get these sorts of stories all the time in Canada. Newspapers and especially business journals. Such and such is bound to happen. Get in early and make a killing. And 99 times out of 100, the opposite happens and you get fleeced.
    The people that ran the story are the ones that make the killing, by doing the opposite of what they are telling you to do. Odds are the authors of this story are in the business of buying waterfront property, and are trying to drive down prices to increase their profits.
    Climate carpetbaggers in league with the press.

  18. The study does not include the reduction of global population caused by women rejecting sweaty sex. It is a total fail.

  19. This is how all headlines are done for topics that affect populations. No headline says “Hurricane Sandy causes 98.5% of the American Population not to have to be evacuated” or “Smoking will not kill 319.5M Americans this year”.

  20. I quit reading the “if, then, might, maybe, could happen” articles about climate change on Yahoo “news” some time ago. Occasionally, however, I’ll click on one to see how many replies it received. I have not had to take down the actual number of replies to see that the number of people responding to these articles has decreased significantly from just a few years ago – down from many thousands to only hundreds now. My informal sampling seems to support the polling data that shows people just aren’t paying attention.
    Expect the alarmists to become more shrill and insistent before finally giving up.

  21. So, how much does it cost to relocate 4.2 million people and the infrastructure that supports them, as well as the seaside industries and ports, or, instead, to reconstruct the coastlines in response to the sea level rise to obviate the need for relocation? These are real questions that must be considered. Failing to plan for these contingencies, or blithely pretending that they won’t happen, is foolish.

    • The sea would actually have to rise before anyone has to worry about any of it. The rate of sea level rise has not changed recently over the last 150 years

    • This is ridiculous. This sea level rise has been going on for at lest two centuries. No advance planning has been done. people build near the sea with the full knowledge that it will make them vulnerable to storms and tides. Just like people build in wooded areas with the knowledge that fires can and do happen. The biggest problem is government covering peoples butts by providing insurance subsidies and disaster relief over and over again when people rebuild in areas that already had flooding (or fire) issues.

      • Very good comment but make sure you acknowledge there are areas around the world where the land masses are rising as well. Some claim the entire Atlantic seaboard is dropping. It does appear there is a lot of inflated hot air out there which could of course be causing severe problems. Just getting the statists to close their mouths could help.

      • The Scandinavian land mass, rising since the last ice age as a result of the glacier cover melting away and is still ongoing, is contributing to sea rise all over the globe. This is a place not to purchase shoreline property unless you want to expand your vegetable garden.

    • Slipstick April 11, 2016 at 9:00 am
      “Failing to plan for these contingencies, or blithely pretending that they won’t happen, is foolish.”
      Okay so what you are going to do? Start a crowdfund to build protective sea walls? Good luck, not that it wouldn’t be a good idea, even if its just for coastal protection, but think of every wacko environmental group bring lawsuits out to save the creeping dung bug or the wonderful everywhere bird.
      Probably best to continue as you are doing, waving your hands about and doing..nothing.
      Oh my mistake, you are trying to do something dismantle all out our means of producing plentiful and reliable energy for our civilization. Which of course is counterproductive and very unhelpful.

  22. Business news as a category was once well known for objective and hard hitting, critical takes on news. Even on NPR, the US version of the BBC, the business news was reliable.
    That is changing rapidly, as this article shows.

  23. I am one mile as the crow flies from the Gulf of Mexico and at 15 ft elevation. I am one of the 99% that couldn’t give a rat’s ……

  24. How many residences have been built below sea level (New Orleans/Katrina) or on marsh/swamp lands (New Jersey/Sandy) across the country?
    Don’t build in floodplains, quite simple really.

    • So also don’t build in hurricane areas or tornado areas or ice storm areas or heavy snow areas. That should solve all the housing problems.

  25. 4.2 million Americans are displaced by rising immigration levels this century — see if your county is at risk. Perhaps they are referring to CAGW or catastrophic anthropogenic government whoring and anti-native policies that are first-order causes of mass exodus from second and third-world nations.

  26. Has anyone looked at the sea ice growth this last three days? If you draw a straight line through that trend we will all be covered in ice in a month or two and wont have to worry about sea level rise.

  27. Bob, being a bit paranoid about what is happening to data – scepticism will do that sort of thing- for the first time, the ENSO graph has not been updated from last week. Any idea on what gives? The current graph is unchanged from last week. I hope we aren’t in for an adjustment to interevene in the free fall that the graph is showing.

  28. This line shows that it is not a problem. I guess that if the sea rises the new houses will not be build at the shore. Maybe some older houses have to be abandoned, but would they anyway exist at that time.

  29. Forgot “Less than 1% of Forecast U.S. Population by 2100 Might Be, Or Might Not Be,”

  30. What is wrong with the idea in doing nothing at all the coming 10 years. Maybe in 2025 sufficient knowledge is present about our climate. There is still plenty enough time to act if necessary.

    • Don’t be silly. By then, CAGW will be dead and buried, and the chance to make scads of dough from the climate sc* am would be lost.

    • The social elitists of today are an impatient lobby. They have solutions for which there are no problems but because they are apoplectic about not being able to exercise their brilliance because of lack of need they want to begin social engineering immediately. Hence the unflagging alarmism. If too much time passes they will have lost their chance to bask in the glow of their own virtue, will never populate future history books, and will be doomed to be legends in their own minds. The climate has made them giddy with incitement.

  31. Sea level rise has been chugging along at about 3mm per year for thousands of year. Check Ostia, the port city of ancient Rome – completely under water for centuries. And as far as warming goes, Tacitus wrote of the Germans telling him that the Rhine used to freeze over – I’m sure it was all those Roman conveniences that caused the warming. That didn’t have an Albertius Goreus.

  32. If they can say 4,000,000 could be displaced by SLR then surely they can say with 100% certainty that, say, 100,000 WILL be displaced. But they won’t say this because then everyone will ask which 100,000 and that opens a can of worms not the least of which are that their predictive capabilities amount to nothing and that if you actually force the evacuation or isolation by sea wall of the 100,000 living closest to sea level and then nothing happens someone has a lot of egg on their face.

  33. 300 million Americans could also be at risk of:
    A meteor striking the Earth
    A nuclear attack
    Alien invasion
    Another global financial crisis
    Donald Trump
    Donald Duck
    Now, produce a map of which counties could be most at risk for each

  34. Meanwhile, you don’t hear anything about the “50 million climate refugees”, first predicted to occur by 2010, then “updated” to 2020. Have they even found one yet? Maybe if they paid them….

    • Do the snowbirds who flee the Northern USA to Florida and Arizona count as climate refugees ? Or the Europeans who retire in Portugal and Spain ?
      Seems to me they outnumber the folks going the other way by a fair margin. I don’t see any mass movement of OAP’s retiring in the Outer Hebrides or Lapland.

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