Climate Scientist Demands Permanent Evacuation of Coasts Because Climate Change

Orrin H Pilkey

Orrin Pilkey, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology. By Orrin H Pilkey – Orrin H Pilkey, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate professor Orrin Pilkey thinks it is wrong to rebuild after major storms – though so far coastal communities whom he has advised have not been receptive to his wisdom.

Beyond Evacuations: Climate Change May Mean Abandoning Our Coasts Forever

By Casey Williams
Sep 14 2018, 8:10am

A climate scientist thinks that we aren’t taking major storms like Florence seriously enough.

Get out, and stay out. Or at least, don’t come back and build a high-rise. That’s the message Orrin Pilkey, a climate scientist and emeritus professor at Duke University, hopes Hurricane Florence will send lawmakers and coastal residents when it smashes the southeastern US this week. As climate change warms the oceans, swells the seas, and makes deadly hurricanes a fixture of American life, a massive and permanent retreat from the coasts may be the only way to protect lives and livelihoods in the long run, Pilkey says.

In his 2016 book Retreat from a Rising Sea, Pilkey, whose family’s Mississippi home was destroyed by Hurricane Camille in 1969, argues that unchecked climate change could make coastal regions uninhabitable sooner than we think. He thinks coastal communities should respond to this threat by moving away from the ocean now, before it’s too late. Pilkey takes particular aim at post-storm “urban renewal” projects—replacing modest homes with high-rises and mansions, for instance—that swell coastal populations. But even ordinary residents might have to give up the comforting dream of rebuilding after the storm.

Sooner or later, he says, coastal communities will have to choose from two bad options: hunker down beyond proliferating seawalls, or pick up stakes and move inland, forever. As Florence approached, I talked with Pilkey about his thoughts on the storm, climate change and “managed retreat.”

For a lot of people living on the coast, the idea of retreating—giving up their homes, their way of life—is going to be a tough pill to swallow. They’re going to swallow it sooner or later. The sooner they swallow it, the better off they’re going to be. I understand completely. When I’ve talked to people on the coast, I’ve been told to go jump in a lake, and a lot worse than that. In many of the communities on the coast, their beaches will become unstable. And if they don’t want to lose their buildings, they’re going to have to rely on a seawall. So, you’ll have a tourist community without a beach. That’s already happening. For instance, Miami Beach is considerably narrower than it was.

Read more: https://www.vice.com/amp/en_uk/article/xwpzma/beyond-evacuations-climate-change-may-mean-abandoning-our-coasts-forever

In the midst of a major flooding event like Hurricane Florence its easy to forget that living on the coast often provides protection against severe flood damage. The reason is flood water drains back into the sea far more easily if you live on the coast, than if you live inland. Coastal floods are usually very short lived, often lasting minutes rather than days, peaking at high tide.

You can usually protect a home against a brief flood, the way I once did, by covering the doors in waterproof tape and using non-setting plumber’s putty to seal any leaks we missed. Coastal houses can also be built to resist short floods, the house I protected had telescopic air vents, vents which had been deliberately set a lot higher than normal so they were less likely to become inundated by floodwater. Other houses on the same street were elevated on stilts, or set back a little from the water, to provide a buffer.

Houses further inland during that particular event were in a heap of trouble – their flood lasted days rather than minutes. Instead of their floodwater draining away back into the sea as rapidly as it had arrived, the inland floodwater was trapped in slow moving river systems. It is far more difficult to protect a house against prolonged flooding than against a brief coastal inundation.

Obviously a very large large storm surge can overturn the flood advantages of low lying coastal properties. The protective measures I describe don’t work if your near sea level house is buried under 20ft of water. But such severe storm events also affect inland properties, sometimes even worse than properties in coastal communities.

In my experience as a former and current coast dweller, blanket advice to “abandon the coasts” is nonsense.

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200 thoughts on “Climate Scientist Demands Permanent Evacuation of Coasts Because Climate Change

  1. Poor old Orrin Pilkey.
    You are doomed, Orrin Pilkey.
    The coast is coming to get you, Orrin Pilkey.
    Like the Hound of the Baskervilles.
    You can run from the coast, Orrin Pilkey, but you cannot hide.
    Poor Orrin Pilkey.

    • Fair, but let’s face it.
      Orrin Pilkey is merely creating the fusion of Climate Change and SJW “safe places”, the continuing of the myth that your parents told you when “little” that they would protect you forever and ever and ever.

      The truth is … WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE.

      Shane Falco: Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory… lasts forever.

    • I’m going to put this here, because Mr. Pickle’s advice is ludicrous. His ignorance is not astonishing, but a sad reminder that his ignorance affects other people.

      The US Navy and the US Coast Guard both have facilities on all our coasts, as part of the national defense system. Groton , CT is the home of the submarine force. Hampton Roads, VA, is a massive Navy base which is, among other things, home to the East Coast Spec Ops groups (DEVGRU), the SEALS. They don’t just train there. They deploy to Atlantic coastal areas. The entire Atlantic coast, all the way down to the Florida Keys, has Navy/Coast Guard bases, and along the Gulf coast as well, never mind what we have located on the West Coast, PacNW at Whidby Island (subs) and on up to Alaska.

      This is part and parcel of the DoD defense system. Does he WANT to be attacked by hostiles from other countries with no warning? Must I bring up the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941? Is he willing to be forced out of his home or condo or whatever at gunpoint because some rabid, US-hating invaders have done just that – invaded this country?

      He is extremely ignorant and naive, to an unfortunate degree, if he thinks that the only people who live and work in coastal areas are homeowners, which is completely not true.

      Seriously, some of these navel-contemplating nunches need a hard dose of reality about these things. Our outermost defense IS the coasts. He is too ignorant for words.

      • Not only is he ignorant but lacks any basic history. Back in the 1980s President Reagan’s Interior Secretary, James Watt proposed changes flood insurance rules, environmental standards, etc. Basically it went something like this, first no more building on lands at risk, e.g., barrier islands, flood plains, etc. Second if you got wipe out by flooding, storms, etc you had a choice, you could rebuild where you were or rebuild in a “safe(r) zone” and your land in the threat area would go/ be traded to the government. If you chose to rebuild where you had been and faced a natural disaster again, that was it, no money to rebuild and no rebuilding. Either way the land in the threat area would ultimately be protected. One would have thought that the environmentalists would have loved the idea. Yet they so hated Watt because of his western lands policy position they made fun of his proposal. Claiming it demonstrated what an idiot he was.

        • I had forgotten about this. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. A link or reference would be welcome so we can read source documents for these ideas.

          Ecclesiastes 1:9 New International Version (NIV)
          9 What has been will be again,
          what has been done will be done again;
          there is nothing new under the sun.

          As most Leftists would say, “Don’t confuse us “hate” facts.” They:
          1. Don’t want to know the truth.
          2. Believe anything they don’t like is hateful.
          3. Don’t understand the idiocy of their positions about truth.

      • Well, you make a good point that the military needs to be based on the coast, BUT you make a BIG mistake in assuming that Pilkey doesn’t acknowledge that as well. I didn’t reread THIS article, nor have I done external reading of works by Pilkey, so I don’t know if this is covered by them.

        “He is too ignorant for words.” – look in a mirror before making such a proclamation. I will do the research and come back if I need to, to apologize for criticizing you.

        While I advocate a partial abandoning of danger zones, I agree that there are certain things that need to remain.

        I believe that there is no longer a need for workers to live walking distance from water-based businesses such as fishing, shipbuilding, cruise operations, cargo hauling and defense operations. In most situations living a short drive from the water would greatly reduce the danger to life an property from hurricanes and not significantly impact the workers. And, it is entirely possible that allowing nature to reclaim certain coastal features would reduce the danger further.

        Coastal vacation homes could still be built and used, but the cost burden should be shifted away from ALL taxpayers to those who directly benefit. I don’t buy the “economic benefit” arguments that government employees (who directly benefit through “bribes”) give for taxing ALL taxpayers to benefit tourist industries. I’ve been involved in this sort of economic development and the numbers are generally greatly inflated. If there really is such a great benefit, then let the businesses that cater to tourist benefit through lower taxes for ALL taxpayers.

        This reply is written AFTER Florence made landfall in Wrightsville Beach. We had hoped to vacation there next year. That probably won’t happen now. I’ve driven through that area and understand it is a “typical” American neighborhood with businesses, houses and other residential properties.

        Do I advocate abandoning it completely? No. But neither do I want to be taxed for it to be rebuilt without consideration of the dangers.

        What should be done? I don’t know. I just want the PEOPLE to be responsible for THEIR own choices, NOT the government. And the PEOPLE need to be responsible for the consequences.

  2. While there are a few places that regularly flood, some property that gets minorly damaged every thirty years is not an unreasonable bet. And in some places, such as New York City, the costs of inflatable storm barriers is much less than the value of the property protected.

    • BY the logic of this dufus “professor”, the entire state of California ought to be abandoned.
      Why even wait for the next big Earthquake…evacuate NOW!

      • Only if we can quarantine the Californians to prevent them from turning other states into socialist hellholes.

      • Oh God No! If California is evacuated some of the evacuees will end up in Texas. We have more than our fair share of Californicators here already.

      • Some of the flood plains that were under 15 feet of water during Agnes in 1972 have mysteriously been removed from the list of floodplain areas. Problem unsolved.

    • If you live on the coast and want to continue to live on the coast then if your home is washed out to sea, or damaged beyond repair, then you get to rebuild and at your own expense. The taxpayer is not on the hook for one single dime.

      • Let’s not leave out those who live on fault lines, in tornado alley, or areas subject to extensive forest fires, mudslides, or river flooding. ,

        • one should assess risk where ever one lives and act as their conscience moves them, just don’t whine to others when you have a problem.

      • @oldwhiteguy: I agree with you. I would add a further covenant to that. You only get to rebuild once. Subsequent destruction results in condemnation of property with reasonable compensation for the property (based on current assessed value) Changes in building codes will help enforcing this.

    • Where will all the other famous climate scientists and climate activists live if they have to evacuate their beachfront homes ?

    • I remember a few years ago after the latest heavy rain/fire/rain/mudslide sequence when folks in Laguna Canyon. TV news was interviewing folks who had lost their homes in the slides. One guys was saying this was the third time he had lost everything on that site. It was so discouraging, such a disaster. what was he to do.
      The third time.
      He built a new home on the same site.

      • Well, call me insensitive, but you can’t fix stupid you can only kill it. I grew up in Southern California, East LA actually, and remember movie star homes falling into the Pacific off the cliffs of Malibu. It was hard for me to boo hoo over it.

        I don’t care if they use THEIR own money to build. I DO care if they want me to subsidize them and if they ENDANGER the lives of others (first responders, the people around them) because they build in dangerous locations.

        We shopped for homes in San Clemente around 1998. We were shown homes that were precariously perched on hillsides. We did NOT buy any of those despite expansive Pacific Ocean views. And we didn’t end up as a “if it bleeds, it leads” headline.

  3. My reading list in college included the seminal Design with Nature by Ian McHarg 1971

    https://www.amazon.com/Design-Nature-Ian-L-McHarg/dp/0385055099/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536964084&sr=8-2&keywords=ian+mcharg+design+with+nature

    I recall a thorough discussion of natural destruction/reformation of the east coast shoreline and dune environment. Yep. His recommendation … DO NOT build there. Hell … DO NOT even WALK there. Meh. Good luck. Go ahead and destroy/evacuate 20-25% of America’s population and built environment. Shall we start with the Monterrey Bay Aquarium ? Al Gore’s neighbors down on the Santa Barbara shores ? Malibu ?

    Yawwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnn

  4. If I was in government in a coastal community I’d be tempted to issue him a permanent abandonment order. As in no trespassing. The people who settled on the Falklands thought they’d found the perfect safe space. The next advice would be never build where there could be earthquakes, or wildfires, or volcanic ash. Or landslides, or malaria or ticks. Or liberals or scientists who talk about the sky falling.

  5. I live in Quebec. In 1998, we were hit with a freezing rain storm that toppled power line towers and left us without power for as long as two weeks. Thanks to global warming, the likelihood of a recurrence has been diminished. What would Dr. Pilkey suggest that I do?

    • Actually it is a well known fact that whatever catastrophe is most likely to happen in any particular region is far more likely to happen now because climate change. Hot, cold, wet, dry, windy or calm, all of it is now more likely and it will only get worse.

        • Excellent comment – catastrophic “niceness” is a term to use frequently to green snowflakes. The BBC reporters and newscasters have been using the word “catastrophic” in nearly every sentence since last week when reporting on the two hurricane/typhoons currently making the news. Without in any way belittling the harm to people and homes these weather events have caused, the tone of disappointment in the voices of the Beeb’s (slang forBBC) reporters is quite palpable.
          But do they learn to be more careful in their use of language or dire wailing predictions? No, of course not. God forbid, but what would they do if ever we had a repeat of the 300,000 lives lost in the Bangladesh typhoon of the ‘seventies?

        • If it is a warm winter, that has a positive anomaly and is “extreme” weather. Nothing nice about that! 🙂

      • It’s not a well known fact. In fact it’s not a fact at all.
        The reality is that there is no evidence that catastrophes are in creasing. Many such as hurricanes and tornadoes have been in fact, decreasing.

        • Mark wrote:
          “Many such as hurricanes and tornadoes have been in fact, decreasing.”

          Definitely true re hurricanes Mark – here is data from an excellent NOAA report that I digitized and plotted in 2005.

          Chris Landsea was one of the co-authors – I have always liked the integrity of his work.
          http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pdf/NWS-TPC-4.pdf

          Since 2005 it has become even quieter – far fewer hurricane landfalls in the USA. Contrary to popular opinion, that a warmer Atlantic Ocean will make hurricanes more frequent and more powerful, the opposite appears to be true based on the evidence.

          Maybe it’s not the water temperature than drives hurricane strength, but the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles, and that would typically be lower in a warmer world. Gets back to the fundamentals of thermodynamics, and all that. Comments?

          https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1516457668431790&set=a.1012901982120697&type=3&theater

          I have no data on tornadoes – have not bothered to look.

          Best, Allan

          • Alan wrote: “Maybe it’s not the water temperature than drives hurricane strength, but the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles, and that would typically be lower in a warmer world. Gets back to the fundamentals of thermodynamics, and all that. Comments?”

            Like all heat engines, thermodynamics says that the maximum strength of a hurricane is limited by the difference between SST and the temperature in the upper troposphere where air flows out of the top of the hurricane including the latent heat released by nearly saturated air rising from the surface to that altitude. The rate at which air is rising vertically is proportional to how fast this energy can be released. The central low pressure is probably related to how fast vertical transport takes place.

            Hurricane season occurs mostly in the NH during the season when the meridional temperature gradient there is the weakest. The idea that hurricanes are powered by the temperature difference between the poles and equator appears absurd for hurricanes. In temperate regions,

          • Alan wrote: “Maybe it’s not the water temperature than drives hurricane strength, but the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles, and that would typically be lower in a warmer world. Gets back to the fundamentals of thermodynamics, and all that. Comments?”

            Like all heat engines, thermodynamics says that the maximum strength of a hurricane is limited by the difference between SST and the temperature in the upper troposphere where air flows out of the top of the hurricane including the latent heat released by nearly saturated air rising from the surface to that altitude. The rate at which air is rising vertically is proportional to how fast this energy can be released. The central low pressure is probably related to how fast vertical transport takes place.

            Hurricane season occurs mostly in the NH during the season when the meridional temperature gradient there is the weakest. The idea that hurricanes are powered by the temperature difference between the poles and equator appears absurd for hurricanes. In temperate regions, clashes between cold and warm air masses often produces storms.

          • Frank – I wrote “maybe” because hurricanes are not my expertise.

            However, something in your interpretation does not make sense either – if what you say is true, how is it that warmer Atlantic SST’s have produced weaker hurricanes in recent decades?

            Stronger hurricanes seem to correlate with colder weather.

            Seems to me you want a theory that corresponds to observations, and yours does not.

          • Below is an independent post from Bob. Bob’s hypothesis may or may not be correct, but at least corresponds to observations, unlike Frank’s.

            I always prefer a hypo that actually corresponds to observations – it’s a lifestyle choice*.

            [P.S.: * It’s called the Scientific Method.] 🙂
            ______________________________________________________

            Frank wrote to Allan:

            “The idea that hurricanes are powered by the temperature difference between the poles and equator appears absurd for hurricanes.”

            Allan responded to Frank:

            “Stronger hurricanes seem to correlate with colder weather.

            Seems to me you want a hypothesis that corresponds to observations, and yours does not.”

            Bob wrote on a different thread:
            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/16/the-washington-posts-slander-on-hurricanes-and-climate-change/#comment-2458526

            “… manmade global warming that creates “unusually warm ocean water” that worsens hurricanes.”

            “The Earth’s climate is a heat engine. That means the process is driven not by absolute temperature but by the difference in temperatures. That difference in temperatures is what creates the kinetic energy of the wind.

            If the oceans were uniformly hot, there would be no hurricanes. Warm ocean waters spawn hurricanes only if there are corresponding cold waters.

            We are told that global warming will affect the polar regions much more than the tropics. In other words, the difference in temperature between the arctic and the equator will be smaller. That means less atmospheric circulation in general except for vertical convection.

            So, basic physics as well as observational data indicates that there should be fewer hurricanes in a warming world. It’s high school physics folks.”

            [end of Bob’s comment]

            So Frank and Bob – you guys can duke it out – I’ll hold your coats and manage the bets.

            Ten bucks on Bob…

    • Like every other unfortunate weather event, it can never happen again. That’s because, if it does happen again, it will be unprecedented.

  6. I’m so sick and tired of this crap every time there’s a hurricane…
    There’s not even one little spot anywhere in this country where you’re not going to run into some kind of disaster….
    What other disaster gives you at least a one week warning? sometimes even two weeks…
    …and to top it all off
    They preach coast coast coast blah blah….hurricanes go hundreds…sometimes thousands…of miles inland
    …using their metric, Atlanta is just as coastal….

    Some ignorant “emeritus professor” that’s never had a real job…or done a real days work in his life….has no clue where sea food comes from…and how many millions of people make their living because of the sea
    …he thinks they can trailer their boats and equipment…back and forth….several hundred miles every day

    /rant

      • I think a vast majority of the world populations live along the coasts.
        Ummm…that’s how shipping works. It’s kind of difficult to send stuff from China to Peoria without passing over a coast line. And, seeing that Elon hasn’t designed the amphibious freight train just yet, well we will stay put thanks.

  7. The man has a point about rebuilding in a flood plain or in areas with a strong history of hurricane damage.
    (I also object that my tax dollars go to subsidizing insurance for those who take that risk.)

    However he is disingenuous if he wants us to believe that this is the result of “climate change”. He knows that Massachusetts and the Carolinas were hit by larger and more frequent storms in the 1600s.

    He really steps in it when he uses Miami Beach as an example; the streets were was originally built below the highest tides. (Building high rise hotels on marsh doesn’t help either.)

    • Miami Beach as an example; the streets were was originally built below the highest tides….

      Exactly, Fisher bought that dirt/sand road from 5th street north, so he could run the trolley around to Lincoln Road…paved it…and named it Alton Rd…. it went to a coconut farm…coconuts because it flooded with salt water and they could take it…that was in 1920….it’s been flooding almost 100 years

    • The man has a point about rebuilding in a flood plain …

      Back in the 1970s I worked with a group of hydrologists, hydrographers, scientists, and assorted engineers studying coastal regions. Their uniform complaint was that it is stupid to build on a flood plain. When they suggested that to politicians and the general public, the response was the same. If they were lucky, they were politely told to take a hike.

      People insist on building in stupid places and then they think they should be rescued by FEMA or whoever when the inevitable inevitably happens. Aaargh!

      • Many moons ago, our native American peoples (Indians) had a saying. Put the tent next to the creek, you will get wet. (paraphrased) Things haven’t changed a bit.

        • Yet more common sense. I routinely point out that our “dumb” ancestors didn’t sit around waiting for a disaster to kill them.

          The “mysteries” of civilizations “disappearing” are easily understood if you start with the premise that the lower classes moved away in search of a better place to live. They didn’t know how to “write” and even if they did, they were more focused on survival than “journaling” their experiences.

          It was the rich, lazy upper classes that sat around and died in place.

      • I didn’t understand it until I took a family vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We stayed in a big house that was part of an endless row of big houses. Every one of them was filled with renters who came to enjoy the beach, just like we did.

        I knew what my family paid to rent that house for a week, and realized that if the owners got about 4 or 5 good summers in a row, they paid for the house. If they got 10 decent summers in a row, they paid for the house and made enough money to replace it if it was wiped out in a storm. Considering that, on average, any one place along the Outer Banks averages about 20 years between the really big storms, I realized that these home owners had a pretty good investment scheme going on, and that is why the beach was lined with similar houses.

        The market will take care of the coastal development. When it stops being cost effective, the development will stop. Of course, the government needs to stay out of it, and stop enabling development with ridiculously low insurance coverage and public money to the homeowners after the storms. The home insurance industry needs to run like the car insurance industry, and base premiums on the statistical data.

        It would be utterly stupid to start giving 16 year old boys federal assistance so they could buy souped up Mustangs and Corvettes, or any car for that matter. The stats show a high risk that they will destroy or damage any car. So teenage boys are charged a very high rate to insure any vehicle they are driving. That makes sense. So why not do the same for homes that are built where statistics show a high likelihood of future claims?

    • You mention insurance – and rightly so. Certainly tax-payers should never be expected to subsidise any insurance. This whole problem can actually be left to insurance companies to deal with. If in the future there is a perceived risk of flooding they will up their annual premiums – and eventually refuse cover against flooding. Then slowly all coastal areas will change character – and only people who can afford to go without insurance will live there. Abracadabra – problem solved.

    • At last someone with common sense.

      I guess my biggest objection to rebuilding is that it is NOT those who chose to build along the coast that are paying for it with THEIR money, but MY taxes that are being used (and raised) to pay for the rebuilding.

  8. Pilkey is not a climate scientist. He is a coastal geologist. While I agree with him that we need to retreat from coastal regions, attributing this disaster to climate change is disingenuous at best.

    I used to tell my students this: If you built your house on railroad tracks upon which trains traversed on a regular basis, would your house not eventually be destroyed? Afterwards, where would you place the blame? Poor planning, ignorance of natural processes, or climate change?

    • Orrin Pilkey, esteemed Duke Professor, has been on NC Public TV for as long as I can remember telling all us North Carolinians to pack up and move from the coast. This predates the global warming/climate change early years.

      I’m writing this 120 miles from the coast and we are currently having issues with flooding, trees on houses, power outages and the occasional tornado from hurricane Florence. Granted we aren’t having a storm surge, but there are plenty of issues with this coastal storm so following Pilkey’s advice, maybe I need to be 500 miles from the coast to avoid this.

      Everything has a risk. The big question is the benefit worth it? I say it does.

      • At least after a flood there is land to come back to: in my region (East Anglia) the coast is steadily disappearing into the sea taking beach homes with it. Unluckily the UEA is a long way inland!

        • Perhaps it’s simply nature taking back East Anglia with no GW involved? From wiki –

          Despite some engineering work in the form of sea barriers constructed by the Roman Empire, much of East Anglia remained marshland and bogs until the 17th century. From this point onward a series of systematic drainage projects, mainly using drains and river diversions along the lines of Dutch practice, converted the alluvial land into wide swathes of productive arable land

      • Dr. Pilkey is a member of the excessive sea level rise camp (3 feet +) but to his credit not the extreme 20 foot crowd. In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence we can look for his shiny new opinion page submission to the Raleigh News & Observer. Meh.

  9. Surprising he didn’t suggest putting wind turbines up all along the coastlines. After all 97% of scientists reckon that is the solution.
    Mind you I tried that about 77 years ago when I put a windmill on top of my sandcastle. – Didn’t work.

  10. Glenn Reynolds has a proposal that he calls “Tax The Blue Zones”, meaning, increase taxes on the areas most likely to be impacted (if any) by “climate change”. Reynolds notes that these areas are also predominantly “blue zones” politically, so his proposal would increase taxes more on Democrats than on Republicans.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/10/19/glenn-reynolds-tax-blue-zones-climate-change-coastal-flooding-column/74186596/

    I have long advocated a plan to require that in case of any flood, owners would be required to rebuild on stilts or pilings as a condition for any flood insurance payment. Too many people have had their homes rebuilt by flood insurance and disaster relief SEVERAL times. We shouldn’t act like the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and continually rebuild in the same storm gutter.

    • Good suggestions; and if I recall correctly these ideas are already in the building codes of some coastal communities, e.g. towns on the New Jersey shore and Hatteras Island, NC.
      (It would also help if flood insurance did not cover any damage to the ground floor of any new builds or re-builds.)

      Why not simply pick a time some years (say 15) in the future when buyers of flood insurance would pay full cost? Between now and then the subsidy would gradually diminish to zero.

      The dollar values of some of the new shoreline homes are astronomical. If they can afford those mansions, they can afford to insure the risk.

      I would be more tolerant of subsidizing relocation (for lower income levels) outside of the risk zone.

      • Not gonna happen as long as the insurance carriers can jack up the rate on the rest of the state to defray costs. Similar thing in Hawaii. Insurers are required to cover structures built in a volcanically active rift zone if they do business in the state. So, all residents pay more.

      • Yes NJ put new rules in place concerning rebuilding after Sandy, here’s an excerpt:

        “What is the flood hazard area emergency rule? In order to better protect lives and property following Superstorm Sandy and other major recent flooding events, the state has adopted emergency amendments to New Jersey’s Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules that set minimum elevation standards for the reconstruction of houses and buildings in areas that are in danger of flooding. If your property was not substantially damaged, you do not need to take any action now.”

        • Phil,
          You are absolutely correct, NJ requires all new or rebuilt construction in flood zones to be elevated according to a published standard depending on the risk factors. In fact, I own a house on the Jersey shore that the recent post Sandy standards changed the elevation requirements for my home on the Bay even though it has never had a claim for flood for it’s 40 years of existence. Consequently I cannot make significant additions to the house without raising the house 1 foot to meet the latest requirements.
          As far as NJ is concerned there appears to be a lot of misunderstanding about flood Insurance. I assume other states may be different.
          When one acquires a shore home or adds flood insurance, there is a waiting period before the insurance is covered.
          Flood insurance is separate from homeowners insurance which covers wind and non flood hazards.
          One cannot buy flood insurance except through the Federal program, although my home owners Insurance handles the transaction.
          Homes cannot be insured for over 250,000 dollars damage, so more expensive homes do not have complete insurance.
          The cost for raising the home is not covered, although NJ did provide some assistance for permanent residences.
          For raised construction the lower level is not insured at all. I know people who lost refrigerators, washers, driers, etc during Sandy and these items were not covered if in the lower level.
          Existing homes that do not meet current standards pay a premium.
          Homes that are not primary residences also pay a premium over those which are primary residence.

          Since homes can be raised and built to withstand to elements including flooding, I don’t understand the comments suggesting banning construction along the shore. Most homes that are raised provide garage space under the living quarters above

    • Remove all federal flood insurance. Force those who build on the cost to pay the full premium for their own insurance. If it’s too much, or they can’t get it at all, well, it sucks being a grown up. We need to re-introduce moral hazard in this country before we turn into France with bad bread.

      • The federal flood insurance program is supposed to be self funding. Claims are paid from the premiums. It is an additional premium to your regular homeowners insurance.

        We have a commercial building in Baton Rouge that has never flooded until last year and it cost us quite a bit of out-of-pocket money to repair the building. This year we bought a flood policy for around $2000. Federal Flood insurance isn’t free.

        • I assume you are aware that Flood Insurance provides only 250,000 dollars of coverage so the balance is on the uber wealthy, not the flood insurance program.
          True though anything the government gets involved in gets corrupt, but the private insurers cannot provide flood insurance
          If you watch the news, one would note that much of the flooding is not on the coast but inland.

    • Surely it’s up to the insurance companies. ?

      Build on a flood plain, ex-coastal marsh or in a delta and you should pay appropriate flood premiums.

      Build on a mountain and you have different risks and different premiums

  11. At least states like Florida don’t have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year removing snow from their streets.

  12. There’s a town just up the coast from me in Southern California that portions of the streets flood every year during king tides and flood worse when accompanied by high surf. Been going on for as long as I can remember …… over 60 years … and happened before I was born. After the high tide conditions everything goes back to normal. Not to miss a chance at plugging Climate Change NOAA says “Sea level rise will make today’s king tides become the future’s everyday tides.” By bet is in 60 years nothing will change and the people that are building multi million dollar homes on the sand are betting the same thing.

  13. One advantage of Climate professor Orrin Pilkey’s advice is that it could open up the coast to everyone, make the coast a series of state parks, like much of the west coast, esp. Oregon.

    • It’s not exactly shocking that a leftist like yourself would be against private ownership. I presume you mean just for other people’s stuff, not yours, right?

    • Right, RS. And everyone will live away from the coast in gubbermint-funded, mass-produced block-apartments. And ride gubbermint-funded, horse-drawn trolleys into their gubbermint office building re-writing history, controlling the info metered-out to all the citizen-comrades, and writing new, innovative & stifling regulations.

      • And those government-mandated, government-designed, government-funded block houses away from the coast can only be 4 stories high (no elevators!) with open windows for every room (no lights!) and an accessible “open space” between every building, and within walking distance of schools, grocery stores, parks, and all the (permitted) conveniences of life …

        New York liberal politicians tried that before ya know. We could even mandate walls around those ghettos to keep the residents in (er, keep the criminals out) if there are any problems – National socialists tried that before too. Gotta be safe.

  14. Let’s not have double standards. The coastal half of California needs to permanently evacuated because of earthquakes. And then anyplace else that can have any adverse event, including fires, blizzards, floods, volcanos, whatever. Won’t be much left though.

  15. ‘Sooner or later, he says, coastal communities will have to choose from two bad options: hunker down beyond proliferating seawalls, or pick up stakes and move inland, forever.’

    Communist turd. INDIVIDUALS build and live on the coasts. Not communities. Communities result from many individuals choosing to live on the coasts. Communites are the result, not the cause. Communities don’t rebuild after a storm; individuals do.

    • Many communities live behind sea walls. The Japanese for example. Why is this professor so afraid of sea walls?

  16. I highly doubt Orrin Pilkey himself actually stated: “As climate change warms the oceans, swells the seas, and makes deadly hurricanes a fixture of American life.” The uninformed journalist inserted that. Pilkey is a very achieved marine sedimentologist, and the last time I heard him speak, a few years ago, not taken in one bit by AGW. He decries mathematical modelling of coastal sediment behaviour, and likely has the same opinion about climate models as well. He was the editor of the journal and very kindly accepted two of my first papers so I am obviously biased.

    • “On the surface, it looks like America is a place where scientists and scientific achievements are held in high regard. However, just below the surface, there is another America. This America is populated by people who, on economic, political or religious grounds, have chosen to reject the consensus of the global scientific community on various topics.”

      You seem to be wrong, Brian.

  17. “Beyond Evacuations: Climate Change May Mean Abandoning Our Coasts Forever”

    Shoulda thought of that 15000 years ago. Before the ice sheets retreated, there was a lot more coastal property than there is now.

    I’d be willing to bet that during once the next glacial is in full swing, and all of Canada and some of the US are under miles of ice, all those displaced peoples will relish the new enhanced coastlines. Millions of new homes will go up, hotels, casinos, whatever. Then, 100k years later when the ice sheets start retreating again, we’ll go through this bogus human-caused alarmism all over again. We don’t learn.

    • No, no! If we’re smart about this, we’ll move most industry into orbit and turn the Earth into a series of enormous parks.

  18. Right. Everyone moves out of some of the most desirable real estate in the US and then the climateistas move in cheap and easy.

  19. Hey, you guys.

    There’s nothing new to abandoning shorelines. Mankind has been doing it since the end of the last ice age. We’ve been marching inland as sea levels have risen 300 feet. And we’ll continue to do so until sea levels start to fall because ice is accumulating on land again. But then we’ll have to start abandoning high latitudes and altitudes as ice sheets and glaciers build.

    So what? This shite (pardon my Irish) happens over timeframes with which we don’t need to concern ourselves.

    (Hmm, I think I’ll have to save that and include it in my next book.)

    Cheers,

    Bob

    • Bob Tisdale said:
      >happens over timeframes with which we don’t need to concern ourselves
      We have cities that have been around for millenia. Some historical cities are under water e.g. Heracleion. On the scale of civilisations sea level rise even at the current modest rate of 3mm/a does matter. For Bangaldeshis living barely a meter above sea level on the Ganges delta, 30 years worth of sea level rise at that rate is a big deal, regardless of why the sea is rising.
      While sea level rise is not an existential threat for an anglosphere wealthy enough to deal with it, poorer exposed populations should consider deploying their scarce resources on measures that mitigate their sea level rise risks more directly than uncertain measures such limiting CO2 emissions. Whether by bulding on stilts, moving to higher ground, floating or building barriers, we do need to stay above the water. As Bob Tisdale says, we have always been doing it. It will be cheaper and nicer to get ahead of the water than to wait to be forced out.
      Stripped of the hyperbole and the gratuitous anthropogenic attribution, Pilkey’s message is essentially adaptationist. CAGW skeptics should welcome it for that aspect as a rational and effective alternative to the precipitated decarbonization advocated by the renewable energy lobbies.

  20. At the rate sea level is rising a dozen guys with spoons could build a high enough levee bank.

    You can shift a lot of dirt with a spoon if you have several centuries to do it in.

  21. What is all the excitement about?

    All POTUS has to do is name Obama his Chief Climate Negotiator and on that day he’ll announce that this is the day the earth begins to heal and the oceans begin to recede.

    Again.

  22. I’m going to go with neither of Orrin Pilkey’s choices. I prefer choices based on reason not hyperbole.

    • By Pilkey’s logic all small to medium islands should be completely evacuated and no-one should live where their might be cyclones, typhoons or tornadoes, any earthquake zone, near a volcano (active or dormant), wildfire regions, rivers prone to flooding – which doesn’t leave much.

  23. Um, professor graybeard, Nincompoop….we just experienced one of the greatest lulls in US history for lack of CAT3 or greater gracing our shores, all at a time when temperatures are supposedly the HOTTEST they’ve ever been since the dawn of man, which is a lie on its face you blithering idiot!

    • In otherwords, are you saying because we have hurricanes we should not build at the coast? Because there is NOTHING unusual about a strong hurricane hitting the Carolina’s. Now stroke that beard and look important.

  24. It is apparent that the learned professor’s knowledge does NOT extend to economics. Coastal communities form because that is where trade occurs and wealth is created. As more people move there the price of the more wanted property – on the coast where there is a view, etc, etc – increases in value. Does the professor have ANY idea of the reluctance of a politically powerful and very rich populace to watch the value of their property go to zero because the government took his advice and prevented him from selling!

  25. Spread this far and wide, get people to move away from the coast! Property values there will plummet, and I can afford the house by the sea that I’ve always wanted. Another plus for climate change!

  26. “Beyond Evacuations: Climate Change May Mean Abandoning Our Coasts”

    Beyond climate science. The scientific method may mean abandoning our activism and advocacy and returning to objective scientific inquiry.

    • Beyond catastrophism. Actual academic standards may mean abandoning our easy alarmism and returning to hard work.

  27. Actually, perhaps permanent evacuation of both coasts is not a bad idea if we can send them to Mexico and Canada, permanently. The remainder of the country voted correctly in the last election, overwhelmingly I believe. If we could just do the big cities even better. Why punish all the good people on the coasts? Then if we could somehow deal with the Chicago, Cleveland, etc. types in the central part of the country we’d be in the clover. Thank god for the electoral college.

  28. Another member of the parasite class. (Don’t get me wrong, we definitely need scholars). But as a guy who’s never had a productive job, never produced anything, he should keep his advice to himself.

  29. “Sooner or later, he says, coastal communities will have to choose from two bad options: hunker down beyond proliferating seawalls, or pick up stakes and move inland, forever. ‘

    That’s what they said 15,000 years ago and 400 ft of sealevel rise ago. /s

  30. The problem is that as the current interglacial period ends and the next ice age begins to develop, Sea levels will lower and coastal areas will move farther away by themselves without us having to do anything about it.

  31. The real problem for the elitist Left is that too many of the unwashed masses owns prime beach front real estate that they want free and clear without the riff raff.

    They want the beachfront, but they want to buy it at a fire sale rice from owners who have been duped on climate change and SLR.

  32. Anthony,
    Did you change stuff up on posting?
    No more thumbs up/down?
    And posted comments are now disapearring into the ether.
    Did you piss off the Google gods?

  33. “Get out, and stay out. Or at least, don’t come back and build a high-rise.”

    Good scheme, why doesn’t he do that instead of expecting other people to do it.

    This is what gets up my nose, people like this who expect everyone to do his bidding.

    There is still free speech – give us your message and then go home.

    Here is an organization who will tell him to bugger off!

    https://thedemiseofchristchurch.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/un-headquarters-and-usd1-2-billion-upgrade-and-rising/

    Cheers

    Roger

  34. Calling him a climate scientist is pushing it a lot. Maybe an oceanographer. Whoops, I meant ocean scientist. Forgot, for a moment, how untrendy it was to be post-fixed by -ologist or -ographer. Now that physics envy is de rigueur.

  35. This is truly amazing even for the Guardian. Grounds for complaint to the Press Commission perhaps? Hard not to conclude that it is deliberately misleading about trends in storm frequency and intensity. Note the one clear claim – that there has been a rise in ‘named storms’ since 1900.

    “Based on the total number of named storms, there has been an increase since the start of the 20th century.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/weather/ng-interactive/2018/sep/11/atlantic-hurricanes-are-storms-getting-worse

  36. I store interesting sayings that one comes across in life. One such is:

    “The time to buy property is when there is blood on the streets”

    Opportunities abound 🙂

    M

  37. Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, Sandy, Andrew and Irma, the 5 most damaging ones in US history cost an estimated 455 B$, (including, I believe, the 1000 bucks the last one cost me personally).

    This amounts to 2.4% of the US GBP of 17 768 B$.

    Or less than 10% of the estimated dotcom crash investor loss. (approx 5 000 B$ + 17 years of inflation).

  38. True to form the BBC are making out Florence to be a direct result of AGW! Every warmist in the Carolinas has been shipped in by them to put in their two cents worth! I hope the real people of the Carolinas face this with typical American stoicism, & they will rise & rebuild, & carry on as normal! GBA!

  39. He’s lost it.
    Paranoid in the generally accepted sense.

    Keep well clear in case it’s infectious.
    (haha, I’ve *just* ‘got it’= Let’s all move to the coast)

  40. Are these people stupid or what? Never heard of dikes & dams?

    Just hire some Dutch, cheaper than insurance (in the long run) or not being insured (in the long & short run).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Works
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuiderzee_Works

    “The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised. Along with the Zuiderzee Works, the Delta Works have been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.”

    • Exactly! The inundation of 1953 killed 2,551 people – result the best Sea Works in the world. After Katrina a US commission went to Holland for advice, in spite of the Administration. After that and Houston the Army Corps. of Engineers should have been given full support.
      Trump’s infrastructure initiative is being undermined by advisors PPP pipedreams.

  41. New Bern, NC has been in the news about how bad the flooding is.
    Much of my family lives there.
    The town was founded in the early 1700’s and has flooded frequently.
    That never slowed people down. New Bern has grown steadily for many years.
    Worldwide people like living near water.
    From the time of the Noah stories on people have been at risk for flood.
    For the same period of time people like this Professor have deceitfully over hyped the risk by claiming universal messages from local weather events.

  42. Houses on stilts?

    I know you Americans are SO much more intelligent than the rest of the world put together, but observing how people live where surface water is an annual event might bring you out of the 19th century where construction is concerned…

    • Obviously you are totally unaware of the construction that has been going on for decades. Newer Homes along the shore are totally raise to an elevation to keep them from flooding when there is a significant Hurricane. In New Jersey, Sandy, not even a Hurricane as it made landfall, cleaned out many of the vulnerable homes that withstood earlier storms. If you look at the barrier Islands a large percent of the homes are significantly elevated as now required by code.

  43. I live in the UK.
    It’s possible to get 44 miles from the sea in the UK.

    Where would he suggest we all go?

    [Scotland highlands? /brexit of England .mod]

    • Do you get hurricanes with storm surges sometimes in excess of 15 feet? If you are right on the coast, even in the US, 30 feet above sea level should protect from the storm surge. Problem is that so much of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts are beaches and low dunes, barely above sea level.

  44. I have to admit I saw the homes right ON the beachfront sand and queried their sanity
    storm or not, thats just daft.

  45. The empirical evidence (IPCC AR5 Report, Chapter 2) show for the past 100 years, there have been no increasing trends of neither frequency nor intensity of: hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tropical storms subtropical storms, and thunderstorms…

    Moreover, Sea Level Rise (SLR) has been stuck at around 7 inches per century since 1800, and this century will be about the same, so obviously CO2 forcing has had almost nothing to do with SLR.

    Free markets (not government hacks) are excellent at determining where buildings/infrastructure should and shouldn’t be built based on property insurance rates..

    Unfortunately, Leftist hacks think high insurance rates are mean and unfair…so they subsidize them, and/or use taxpayer money to rebuild after a catastrophic natural event, even for buildings that were uninsured…

    If Leftists remove risk, crazy things will happen in any market and taxpayers get stuck with the bill.

    Leftists are really stupid.

  46. Just another leftist trying to tell people how and where to live their lives. A major corner stone of the collectivists creed is the idea that they are superior and must guide or force the masses to do what they believe to be the right thing. I always get a chuckle when some Academic who’s life has been lived primarily in the Ivory Towers bestows their “wisdom” upon us unwashed masses who live and make our way in the rest of the world outside the halls of Academia. It is a characteristic found in a lot of “teachers”.

    • So true. Academics are among the most useless people on the planet. If someone tells me they are a professor I know immediately they are a pontificating fool – exceptions being engineers or specialists who are geniuses in their field but couldn’t buy a bus ticket or a quart of milk without help. They are completely unworldly their lives consisting of – middle class upbringing, university education and that’s it. I had a dozen jobs – paper boy, hand-cleaning wheels in a car wash, pump jockey, air force craftsman (got out early), smelter worker, vacuum cleaner salesman, insurance salesman, before I was 25. I was lucky enough then to land a job as a reporter at a daily newspaper.

  47. I wouldn’t buy property on the GOM coast, or on the east coast south of MD. Not after seeing the destruction of the last several hurricanes. People in Houston are still not back in their homes, and they aren’t even strictly on the coast. FEMA isn’t able to cope with the scale of damage. If WUWT readers want to spend their hard earned csh that way, its their choice.

    • The majority of homes in Houston suffered no damage. There are certainly people in Houston still not back in their homes, but of the ~10,000 homes needing permitted repair after Harvey, over 6000 were complete after 6 months. For those who were displaced, a month ago 70% reported their lives were back to normal.

      • Would you want to be one of the 30%, a year after Harvey? I wouldn’t, which is why I wouldn’t put so much $ in harm’s way.

        • “I wouldn’t, which is why I wouldn’t put so much $ in harm’s way.”

          Virtually all the damage in Harvey was from inland flooding (i.e., not storm surge). It’s ridiculous to decide where to put property based on avoiding damage from more than *2 feet* of rain happening in a couple of days.

          https://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/153/590x/secondary/Hurricane-Harvey-texas-flooding-1047124.jpg

          It make much, *much* more sense to develop portable measures that can be brought in to protect homes and businesses on an as-needed basis.

        • No I wouldn’t. I lived in Houston for a time and chose to leave mostly due to the unpleasant weather that occurs there most of the time. Threat of hurricanes had nothing to do with my decision to leave.

          That said, Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and 4th most populous. Obviously, more and more people choose to live there for a variety of reasons. I would suspect that many do so for economic reasons but not to put $ in harm’s way.

  48. Seas have been rising for 20,000 years and continue to rise at 8-12″/century… has nothing to do with AGW… but it is a fact and because of that it is foolhardy to build high rises and mansions in ocean sand dunes and in flood plains… no point in arguing… just abolish federally subsidized flood insurance and the problem solves itself. You want to build in hazardous areas. Fine. Try to purchase mortgage insurance and flood insurance without taxpayer help.

    [You are required by site policy to use only one user_id/login_id while commenting. Chose one of the other (Sarastro92 or Posa) and stick with it please, or contact the site_owner off-line and explain the requirements for two id’s. .mod]

  49. Wow. And Gore paid all that money for that beach property, too.

    What’s the chance of Gore taking this advice?

  50. I saw the aftermath of Camille, wonder if his family home was near the one with the shrimp boat in the yard. Based on a failing memory there are 5 long established marine laboratories, no doubt lavishly government funded, that were struck in Harvey and Florence. This is along with an uncounted number of retired academics, some of whom know better, not necessarily best.

    I am looking out my window at a flowing street in Rockport, Texas where upstream a post-Harvey house is being built blocking a pond drainage. The Live Oak Peninsula, where developers want to make it look like the Florida coast, and are well on the way, is a Pleistocene Barrier Island covered with Carolina Bay like ponds which come and go with the cycles. There are an uncounted number of flooded cars here today, some probably affected by the poorly planned four lane highway built right through the middle of the peninsula.

    Unprecedented, every 18.6 years, more or less.

    The old Rockport courthouse was torn down with great difficulty in the 1950s, maybe the only one in the state. Most of the government buildings put up since now have to be replaced, except for the old schoolhouse, well built and located. A three story damaged motel is adding a fourth story. Talk about loss of tribal memory! But they are having meetings. Us older folks won’t go for fear of having a stroke.

  51. There is far too much focus on climate change as being the only and main source of risk to coastal areas. Treats from other natural causes like earth quakes and volcano eruptions which can generate immense damaging tsunamis are down played or ignored until it is far too late. Nowhere is this threat more real and possibly imminent as well, than in the Atlantic Ocean Coastal regions. There is a potential time bomb in the region of the Canary Islands namely the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma Island where the western flank of this volcano could slip into the sea due its porous nature. If this were to happen, it could create a tsunami in size and destructive power unlike any modern era tsunami. It would dwarf any flooding experienced recently due to Florence but all coastal areas of the Atlantic Ocean could be affected. Yet when did we last hear of any recent scientific papers , studies or international conferences by the scientific community to mitigate this potential disaster which could dwarf the damage due to global warming .

  52. Wood is the bane of mankind, claim researchers.
    Its ability to splinter, and the danger of splinters, no one can deny.
    This puts people at a general disadvantage,
    for the mere inability to deny or scoff at any danger at all means,
    no one can tell the researchers to just shut the F up
    and no one really knows exactly where their money is coming from
    or why the tabloids are full of splinter scare-stories
    but a growing number wish it would stop.

    In past generations people actively pushed back
    at those who wasted their resources and time.
    Once aggravated they put extra effort into it.

    As mankind was evolving the social structure of today
    bullies of every kind were seldom tolerated and guaranteed swift action,
    subject to sustained pursuit and swift payback.
    The basic idea was, failing to encourage undesirable behavior is never enough
    there must be a concerted and coordinated effort to single them out
    and exact punishment that varied from place to place.
    Then as people settled in metropolis and relied on central government for justice,
    satisfied that it addressed the real crimes that afflicted them,
    a strange thing began to happen. The public expression of discontent or anger,
    including righteous anger by those aggrieved by policy or person,
    began to be equated with actual violence. The bullies supported this,
    because it allowed them to hide behind the skirt of the judiciary
    that had been appointed to punish true violence. Senate and judiciary,
    swayed by a growing opinion that talk of violence promotes violence,
    passed laws that further clouded the distinction between words and actions.

    So it was that society lost the use of its only tool for making bullies back down:
    the threat of violence that does not actually contain violence.
    And children grew with no clear distinction between words and actions in their minds.
    As children this was regrettable and sad. As adults they have become dangerous.

    We have crossed the Rubicon of redress, and our modern world is one
    where bullies are rewarded for being aggressive and shrill. There is no limit
    to their power, no credible threat to their behavior. Every incursion into your space
    must be met with an indifferent shrug, as we see the quality of life diminishing.
    We are (to quote the archaic) no longer secure in our persons and property.
    And dare not speak up about it because to take offense is seen as an offense.

    Confusion of “to take offense” and “malicious offense” is the bullies’ greatest triumph.

    So you’ll be reprimanded if you consider splinters a small price to pay for the use of wood.
    Incredible photographs of people impaled by splinters will flood the news.
    The dodgiest ones will attract the most attention because there will be no one left
    who dares to be the first to speak out about anything. Another generation of mothers,
    unchallenged, will tell the young terrifying stories about wood.

    And plastic will cover the land. Some day even the people will be made of it.

  53. It did not take long for some computer based study “Climate Change to make Florence worse”…
    https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/you.stonybrook.edu/dist/4/945/files/2018/09/climate_change_Florence_0911201800Z_final-262u19i.pdf

    It did not take long for the CBC, Canada’s foremost global warming propagandists to disseminate this rubbish.
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/hurricane-florence-climate-change-1.4824624

    Yet in the text nuances are abundant: “The researchers aren’t saying with certainty that there will be 50 per cent more rain from the hurricane as a result of climate change. “What we’re saying is that in our forecast of Hurricane Florence, that it was 50 per cent higher. This is a forecast multiple days before landfall.”

    So the author Nicole Mortillaro uses the word “likely” to package her agitprop piece.

  54. Amen! Hallelujah, brother! The first thing I say after EVERY hurricane is: What part of BELOW sea level do you NOT understand? (I’ll go back and read the article and comments, but I just had to enter my exclamation upon reading the headline.)

  55. I’ve been studying climate science and global warming alarmism since 1985 and have written about it since 2002. I have two engineering degrees from top universities.

    Early on, it was obvious, based on the fundamentals of science, that global warming and climate change hysteria were false alarms.

    It is true that atmospheric CO2 has been increasing since controlled measurements started in 1958 at Mauna Loa. Some people argue about the cause of that increase, but that is a secondary issue – atmospheric CO2 IS increasing, by about 2 ppm per year.

    The global warming alarmist hypothesis argues that this increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause runaway and catastrophic global warming. There is not, and there has never been , any credible evidence to support this hypothesis. In fact, there is ample credible evidence to the contrary, such that any resulting warming from increasing atmospheric CO2 will be mild and net-beneficial to humanity and the environment. The dangerous manmade global warming hypothesis has been falsified, based on full-Earth-scale evidence.

    At least the global warming hypothesis is sufficiently scientific to be falsifiable – and it has been adequately falsified. The “climate change” aka “wilder weather” hypothesis is so vague and changes so often that it is not even falsifiable, and therefore it is not science, it is nonsense – the prattling of imbeciles.

    “A theory that is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific.” – Karl Popper.
    “By having a vague theory, it’s possible to get either result.” – Richard Feynman

    Examining the conduct of the chief proponents of global warming alarmism reveals another important observation – the alarmists’ use of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” tactics to harass and intimidate their scientific opponents, compromise politicians and university colleagues and administrators and propagandize the gullible public. This vile harassment was apparent starting in the 1990’s and became even more obvious with the release of the Climategate emails. The proponents of global warming hysteria were exposed as unprincipled scoundrels.

    Global warming / climate change alarmism is the greatest scam, in dollars terms, in the history of humanity. Tens of trillions of dollars have been squandered, and millions of lives have been lost.

    I suggest that the leading conspirators in this huge scam belong in jail, for crimes against humanity.

    Properly deployed, the tens of trillions of dollars squandered on global warming alarmism could have:
    – put clean water and sanitation systems into every village in the world, saving the lives of about 2 million under-five kids PER YEAR;
    – reduced or even eradicated malaria – also a killer of many millions of infants and children;
    – gone a long way to eliminating world hunger.

    Regards, Allan

    Notes and References:

    Climate sensitivity to increasing atmospheric CO2 is low – probably less than 1C/(2xCO2).

    Christy and McNider (2017) estimate climate sensitivity at 1.1C/doubling for UAH Lower Tropospheric (LT) temperatures.

    Lewis and Curry (2018) estimate climate sensitivity at 1.6C/doubling for ECS and 1.3C/doubling for TCR, using Hatcrut4 surface temperatures (ST). These surface temperatures probably have a significant warming bias due to poor siting of measurements, UHI effects, other land use changes, etc.

    Both analyses are “full-earth-scale”, which have the least room for errors.

    Both are “UPPER BOUND” estimates of sensitivity, derived by assuming that ~ALL* warming is due to increasing atmospheric CO2. It is possible, in fact probable, that less of the warming is driven by CO2, and most of it is natural variation.
    (*Note – Christy and McNider make allowance for major volcanoes El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991+)

    The slightly higher sensitivity values in Curry and Lewis are due to the higher warming estimates of Hadcrut4 surface temperatures versus UAH LT temperatures.

    Practically speaking, however, these maximum sensitivity estimates are similar, about 1C/doubling, and are far too low to support any runaway or catastrophic manmade global warming.

    Higher estimates of climate sensitivity have no credibility. There is no real global warming crisis.

    Increased atmospheric CO2, from whatever cause will at most drive minor, net-beneficial global warming, and significantly increased plant and crop yields.

    Conclusion:
    The total impact if increasing atmospheric CO2 is hugely beneficial to humanity and the environment. Any scientist or politician who contradicts this statement is destructive, acting against the well-being of humanity and the environment.

  56. Eric Worrall said:

    “Climate Scientist Demands Permanent Evacuation of Coasts Because Climate Change”

    How does any of that amount to him demanding anything?

    • “Orrin Pilkey…hopes Hurricane Florence will send lawmakers and coastal residents when it smashes the southeastern US this week. As climate change warms the oceans, swells the seas, and makes deadly hurricanes a fixture of American life, a massive and permanent retreat from the coasts may be the only way to protect lives and livelihoods in the long run, Pilkey says.”
      Notice the “lawmakers” part. Notice “the only way” part. Connect the dots. His language is that of an ideologue. He, like his Warmunist brethren believes that government is “the answer”.

      • Bruce Cobb said:

        “Notice the “lawmakers” part.”

        Yes, he hopes that decision makers will take notice of something he believes to be an issue.

        ” Notice “the only way” part.”

        Yes, he believe that a retreat from the coast may be the only way to deal with it practically.

        “Connect the dots.”

        The only way to turn that into a demand is to do what you’ve done and add your own dots.

  57. “For a lot of people living on the coast, the idea of retreating—giving up their homes, their way of life—is going to be a tough pill to swallow. They’re going to swallow it sooner or later. The sooner they swallow it, the better off they’re going to be.”
    So, if it’s a personal decision about when to swallow “the pill”, what’s the problem, as long as they are footing the bill, not taxpayers. Oh, wait, the National Flood Insurance Program is subsidized partly by taxpayers. But he doesn’t say anything about that. Instead, what he wants is a national program of forcing people out, perhaps reimbursing them. Yeah, that’ll go over big.
    Pilkey and his ilky want the government to run roughshod over people’s rights, in the name of “Climate Change”. Because, the ends justify the means in their sick, twisted minds.

    • We need to let people live and die by their choices. Mandatory Evacuation means ALL first responders too.

      You want to “ride it out” you do it on your own. Tough love. Do that once and you won’t have to do it again.

      Government should have no role either way. Do not subsidize and do not force out.

  58. What part of BELOW sea level do you NOT understand?

    I don’t agree with Orrin Pilkey’s belief that climate change will make the current coasts unlivable, but I do agree that we need to rethink constantly rebuilding on the coasts.

    I spotted this article when I came to WUWT to suggest that one of the regular writers for the site do a post about where all the storm debris goes. I’m sure I can find some articles elsewhere on the topic, but I trust WUWT for provide a relatively unbiased report on the subject.

    I’m curious where all the stuff from Indonesia (2004), Haiti (2010) and Puerto Rico (2017) was “buried.” Or, is it still sitting around in piles?

    “…its easy to forget that living on the coast often provides protection against severe flood damage.”

    Yes, but why rebuild if your home and livelihood will be destroyed again?

    There is no longer a reason to live in the low-lying coastal regions because transportation to those locations takes minutes not hours or days.

    Isn’t it wiser to live inland in a location NOT in a flood zone and commute to the coastal location?

    “Obviously a very large large (sic) storm surge can overturn the flood advantages of low lying coastal properties.”

    “You can usually protect a home against a brief flood…”

    What is a “brief flood”? And how HIGH is a “brief flood”? Can taped doors protect against water that rises 3’, 6’, 12’ above the ground level around your home?

    “The protective measures I describe don’t work if your near sea level house is buried under 20ft of water. “

    “their flood lasted days rather than minutes”

    And they should not be building in flood prone areas to begin with. And, prophylactically, I grew up in Southern California, so don’t say, “You probably think we shouldn’t build in earthquake zones.” See the rest of my comment. I don’t care where you live as long as it isn’t at MY expense. I don’t want to share MY money with you or anyone else. Yes, I am extremely selfish.

    “In my experience as a former and current coast dweller, blanket advice to “abandon the coasts” is nonsense.”

    That is because it was Other People’s Money that was paying for rebuilding not only YOUR house but also all of the infrastructure, government buildings, businesses, etc. destroyed because YOU, and not ME, get to live on the coast and in areas prone to disasters.

    I’ve chosen to live in what I consider a “safe” location. You are free to choose where YOU want to live, but you have NO right to MY money to subsidize that. Isn’t that one of YOUR chief arguments AGAINST carbon taxes and other climate change regulations? That each INDIVIDUAL should be allowed to make their OWN choices?

    There are MILLIONS of square MILES of land that is NOT prone to disasters. And there are transportation solutions to allow rapid, low-cost access to those areas that are that must be used for certain activities – water based shipping, fishing, recreation. It is the environmentalists and NIMBYs that are preventing their development as alternate locations to rebuilding in coastal danger zones.

    Oh, and if we stop rebuilding in coastal zones, won’t those zones (wetlands, barrier islands and other natural features) PROTECT the inland areas from the most severe consequences storms?

    Why did the Okies flee the Dust Bowl? Can we make that land desirable again?

    So many questions, so few answers.

    • “So many questions, so few answers.”

      The answer is to develop techniques that:

      1) Are inexpensive,
      2) Can be deployed anywhere in the world, and
      3) Are portable, so they can be brought in where needed and set up in the days before a storm.

      I developed a conceptual design for a portable hurricane storm surge reduction system as I analyzed what went wrong in Hurricane Katrina. It involves tubes filled with water and air. The air-filled tubes float on top of the water, reducing the amount of wind-blown water that reaches shore. The water-filled tubes provide sufficient mass such that the tubes never reach shore, but instead stay out at sea until the hurricane comes ashore.

      I think tubes filled with water and air could also be used to reduce inland flooding, although I haven’t spent much time analyzing that possibility.

      • Did I read something about water filled tubes around the time of Katrina? I vaguely recall one of the governors wanting to deploy something but being told they couldn’t.

        I do recall them using water filled tubes to either reinforce or repair the levies.

        • “Did I read something about water filled tubes around the time of Katrina?”

          As far as I know, my idea of tubes filled with water and air (and with a weighted curtain extending to the sea floor), and deployed relatively far out at sea has never been proposed before.

          But much more important than the specifics of my particular idea to reduce storm surge is that the main point is that the system needs to be *portable*. It needs to be capable of being deployed to protect any city anywhere in the world on a few days’ notice.

          Fixed levees and fixed storm surge barriers (such as the storm surge barriers to protect London, Venice or New Orleans via Lake Bourne) are *not* the answer. A fixed barrier that protects New Orleans does not protect New York City. And a fixed barrier that protects NYC does not protect Miami. And a fixed barrier that protects Miami does not protect Tampa. Etc., etc. etc.

          Right down to protecting New Bern, NC from Hurricane Florence. If my proposed system was available, it could have been deployed at the exit of the Neuse River into Pimlico Sound, and New Bern probably would have been spared most of the flooding it experienced:

          https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/maps-heres-where-flooding-from-florence-could-be-the-worst

  59. So … he doesn’t like Holland ?
    Wouldn’t like Pella Iowa either ….where if you aint Dutch ..you aint much !

  60. I’ve visited a few 18th Century Plantation Mansions near New Orleans that must have weathered some beauts. Post and heavy beam construction. I think a little thought using a light anchored steel beam in the ceiling and cables could be employed that might he cheaper than the regular sticks they still call 2x4s. Maybe you would save on insurance costs.

    • It amazes me that people in the hurricane and tornado areas of the USA continue to build with wood-frame construction, which is so easily destroyed by high winds and flooding.

      In the mid-1990’s, I designed and patented an Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) System called Advantage Wallsystems. http://www.advantageicf.com/

      I no longer have any interest, financial or otherwise, in this product or company, but want to point out the advantages of ICF Systems.

      An ICF structure can be built with concrete floor and ceiling decks and steel shutters to survive most natural disasters. The polystyrene foam is closed-cell, so it will also survive a flood – interior finishing materials such as drywall must of course be replaced.

      Moving valued possessions to the second floor should preserve them in most flood situations – if your second floor floods, you are building in the wrong location.

      The primary benefit of this particular ICF system is that it is stronger and can sustain much higher concrete pour heights than most other ICF products – it also has features than enable ease of use.

      When areas in the USA rebuild after natural disasters, will they simply use stick-built construction that will be destroyed by the next natural disaster, or will they employ ICF construction that can survive floods, hurricanes and tornadoes?

      Regards, Allan

      • That’s why more states should follow NJ’s lead after Sandy by requiring tougher standards for rebuilding (and new construction) in affected areas.

        See Phil. September 14, 2018 at 6:04 pm

  61. So Orrin Pilkey, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology, has no appreciation of climate or weather history and how human communities coped with its variability. No appreciation of how the climate has changed quite naturally over the last 1,000 years or more, and continues to this day.
    It would seem that Orrin Pilkey has studied a version of geology of which most people were not aware.

  62. What a blemish on Duke University.

    Here’s a thought — know where you are building and developing human population centers, and plan accordingly via focused preventative measures, as well as focused intervention plans where preventative measures are not enough.

    Use money squandered on hysterical CO2 prevention for building more hurricane-resistant structures. Also, know that the REAL cost of developing in such areas is the cost of repairing or replacing what storms destroy. Again, use the money squandered on hysterical CO2 prevention for a standing rebuilding fund, whose sole purpose is to fund inevitable storm-damage repair. THIS is living in reality.l

  63. 10,000 years ago this blokes ancestor was saying “No move from river to coast. River stable, sea water go up and down. One day sea rise and we all drown, flood caves.”

  64. I think that’s a pretty good idea, actually, just as long as we don’t do it as a result of “carbonophobia.” My own (unfunded) research persuades me that the old CO2/warming mechanism is rubbish, and that thinning of the ozone layer by anthropogenic and volcanic chlorine is the actual cause of global warming and perhaps of sea level rise as well.

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