“Major storms could submerge New York City in next decade” cries a randomly selected mainstream media outlet over a story about a new report warning residents that climate change could make life difficult in the not-too-distant future. The report, from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, is pretty standard stuff for those who have been paying attention to the growing link between global warming and extreme weather. And maybe it will spur New Yorkers to take the subject a bit more seriously.

But there’s a certain set who will welcome this 600-page conpendium of alarming research. After all, most Tea Partiers aren’t living in NYC, and most members of the far right persuasion have contempt for those do call the city home. So when they read that

By the mid-2020s, sea level rise around Manhattan and Long Island could be up to 10 inches, assuming the rapid melting of polar sea ice continues. By 2050, sea-rise could reach 2.5ft and more than 4.5ft by 2080 under the same conditions.

In such a scenario, many of the tunnels – subway, highway, and rail – crossing into the Bronx beneath the Harlem River, and under the East River would be flooded within the hour, the report said. Some transport systems could be out of operation for up to a month.

they will probably just say: “Good serves ‘em right.” Proving only the political climate is now so absurd that scientists can’t win whatever they do.

Comments

  1. #1 Moopheus
    November 17, 2011

    Something seems to be missing–the first paragraph is describing changes over decades, then switches to hours?

    And I’ve been in New York during storms–that’s the way it is now.

  2. #2 JohnSullivan
    November 17, 2011

    It takes a lot of courage to claim the sea level will rise 10 inches in 10 years, when the sea level is currently falling 5mm per year over the last 2 years.

  3. #3 MarkD
    November 17, 2011

    John Sullivan, It takes a lot of something other than courage to make yet another silly prediction.

    Anyone willing to wager? I say it won’t happen and with this weighty body of “evidence” to back your bet, maybe give me 100:1 odds so as to be fair?

    To the author: I believe the word is “compendium” unless by Freudian slip you meant to demonstrate this article to be a con.

  4. #4 Vince Whirlwind
    November 17, 2011

    John Sullivan demonstrates the usual capability for comprehension present in the Denier: Nobody said “sea level will rise 10 inches in 10 years”.

    His ridiculous choice of a 2-year trend in sea level changes is also noted.

  5. #5 Wow
    November 18, 2011

    “when the sea level is currently falling 5mm per year over the last 2 years.”

    It takes far more “courage” (or bare faced contempt for truth) to say that a 2 year trend will continue for 100 years.

  6. #6 Mark D.
    November 18, 2011

    Wow you so un-wowed me. In the words of Vince W. “nobody said that” and how could it be “truth” when you’re talking about the future? For the record (and the truth you speak so strongly about) where exactly did he say that?

    Vince W. technically you are correct but they did say it will rise 10 inches in 12.5 years (give or take a .01). In my mind, that still qualifies for the rather polite comment John Sullivan made about a truly ridiculous bit of fear-mongering.

  7. #7 mandas
    November 20, 2011

    Mark

    “…..In my mind, that still qualifies for the rather polite comment John Sullivan made about a truly ridiculous bit of fear-mongering…..”

    So ummmmm, where is the ‘truly ridiculous bit of fear-mongering’?

    “…. but they did say it will rise 10 inches in 12.5 years (give or take a .01)…..”

    Well ahhh, no they didn’t. The quote that James put up says – very clearly for those of us who are able to read English – says that something “COULD” happen “IF” something else continues to happen. It doesn’t say “WILL” as you suggest.

    But then, you could actually go and read the report – James has provided a link so there is no excuse not to – and see what it REALLY says. If you had done that, you may have discovered a few things and you might have been able to comment from a credible position, rather than one of ignorance. Here are a few snippets on the subject:

    “…Sea level rise projections that do not include significant melting of the polar ice sheets (which is already observed to be occurring) suggest 1 to 5 inches of rise by the 2020s, 5 to 12 inches by the 2050s, and 8 to 23 inches by the 2080s. Scenarios that include rapid melting of polar ice project 4 to 10 inches of sea level rise by the 2020s, 17 to 29 inches by the 2050s, and 37 to 55 inches by the 2080s….” (page 6)

    “….Sea level rise projections for the coast and tidal Hudson River based on climate models (which do not include increased melting of polar ice sheets) are 1–5 inches by the 2020s, 5–12 inches by the 2050s, and 8–23 inches by the 2080s.
    • If the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets continues to accelerate, sea level rise would exceed projections based on climate models. A rapid ice melt scenario, based on observed rates of melting and paleoclimate records, yields sea level rise of 37–55 inches by the 2080s…..” (page 49)

    So here’s a tip for everyone. How about, instead of relying on what a newspaper article says about a report, you actually go an read the report and find out what it really says before commenting. You will look less foolish if you do so. But then, that’s typical denier screed. Why read primary sources when you can just put forward your ideology with no evidence other than someone else’s interpretation and opinion?

  8. #8 Wow
    November 21, 2011

    > In the words of Vince W. “nobody said that”

    So what did:

    “when the sea level is currently falling 5mm per year over the last 2 years.”

    have to do with the sea levels in 100 years, moron?

  9. #9 Mark D
    November 21, 2011

    Wow @ 8 calls me a Moron?

    Where exactly did John Sullivan say ANYTHING about 100 years?!!!!!

    !!!!!

    Friendly place here…..

    mandas @7, Oh I see I’m supposed to ignore news in favor of exactly what the report says. Then you appear to agree with me that this news story (about a report) is fear-mongering. By the way, the first sentence uses the word “cries”. That already sets the tone for a non science reply.
    P.S. did you want to wager or are you not that faithful?

  10. #10 Wow
    November 22, 2011

    Yes, I call you a moron.

    This is because you are one.

  11. #11 Mark D
    November 22, 2011

    Wow, your skills at detecting intelligence are in need of recalibration. At best, this puts my confidence in your abilities to assess global warming science in a precarious state.

    Second, your skills in English language, and indeed your abilities to communicate are feeble and mindless.

    To summarize, you are a dense, rude, nearly illiterate, unrefined, ignorant, thug. I’m surprised the blog owner puts up with you. I won’t any longer. I’ll respond to others but Wow has achieved “intellectual invisibility”. (congrats. Wow)

  12. #12 mandas
    November 23, 2011

    Mark

    I responded to you yesterday but for some reason my response has been moderated and not posted. So I will try again.

    At post #9 you asked:

    ‘”….Oh I see I’m supposed to ignore news in favor of exactly what the report says…”

    Well duhhhh! Of course. Do you really think that what is said in a newspaper article should take precedence over what the report actually says? I know that the average moron in the street thinks newspapers are the ultimate font of truth and justice, but those of us with an IQ above 50 don’t think that journalists are the most credible people in the world, and we tend to check to see if they get things right. In this case, they were only partially right (well there’s a surprise!!).

    Unlike scientists, journalists and deniers tend to work in a fact free zone dominated by spin and ideology. And unlike scientists, journalists and deniers never admit that they have made an error, even when the evidence is pointed out to them. Take your position on this issue for example.

    At post #6, you said this:

    ‘…..Vince W. technically you are correct but they did say it will rise 10 inches in 12.5 years (give or take a .01)….’

    But as I showed you, neither the newspaper article nor the report said anything of the sort. The newspaper article said ‘…up to 10 inches….by the mid 2020s’, not ‘will rise 10 inches’. Because the report said ‘…1-5 inches by the 2020s’ (without significant polar ice cap melting)….. and ‘4-10 inches by the 2020s’ (with melting) – which in anyone’s language IS ‘…up to 10 inches…’. It is not, never has been, and never will be ‘….10 inches….”. So your range of 9.99 – 10.01 (you know – give or take 0.1), should have been “1 – 10 inches”. It looks like you were out by a factor of 1,000% on your estimate of the lower rise.

    So here’s an opportunity to demonstrate a modicum of integrity. You were wrong. Your statement completely misrepresents what both the newspaper article and the report said. You have been shown the correct information – which was always available to you anyway but you chose not to read it and to instead rely on your own spin and ideology in your argument. So now you know you were wrong, how about you man up and admit it? (but I bet you won’t)

    Speaking of bets, at post #9 you also asked if I would take your wager, or was I not faithful enough. Well, if you knew the slightest thing about me you would understand that I am not faithful at all. I leave faith to religious nut jobs and deniers. I accept evidence. And the evidence is well and truly in. You live in a fact free zone, devoid of any rationality. You fail to read evidence when it is given to you – probably because you know that evidence is the enemy of denialism. You may not respond to wow because you think he is rude, but his rudeness is just directed at you personally. Your rudeness is that you denigrate hard working people who present evidence and who are attempting to warn us of a significant danger that we all face. And that is infinitely worse.

  13. #13 Wow
    November 23, 2011

    > your skills at detecting intelligence are in need of recalibration

    No, they’re working fine, thank you.

    PS don’t point the “you’re dense” finger when your first post uses TWO POINTS to determine a trend. Even at 14 I knew you need three points to determine a trend and variance.

  14. #14 Mark D
    November 24, 2011

    You became visible only long enough to ask other readers to consider my first post @3 above:

    John Sullivan, It takes a lot of something other than courage to make yet another silly prediction.

    Anyone willing to wager? I say it won’t happen and with this weighty body of “evidence” to back your bet, maybe give me 100:1 odds so as to be fair?

    To the author: I believe the word is “compendium” unless by Freudian slip you meant to demonstrate this article to be a con.

    Now Wow, @ 12 you say: “your first post uses TWO POINTS to determine a trend. Even at 14 I knew you need three points to determine a trend and variance.” So all the other readers can see, I made NO claim about trends at my first post #3.

    Wow, at 14 you may have known the things you claim (although I doubt it). Talk to me if or when you get to 15 would you?

  15. #15 Wow
    November 25, 2011

    > It takes a lot of something other than courage to make yet another silly prediction.

    > Anyone willing to wager?

    What? That you’re absolutely happy to make more silly predictions?

    I’d wager that’s a certainty.

    > So all the other readers can see, I made NO claim about trends at my first post #3

    LIAR!

    “the sea level is currently falling 5mm per year over the last 2 years.”

    That’s you saying about a trend. Otherwise it’s irrelevant.

    So which are you going to cop to? Making a trend of two points or being an irrelevant blowhard?

  16. #16 MarkD
    November 25, 2011

    OK you can call me a moron because that is subjective. Calling me a liar however is definitive and slander. My comment about a wager pertains to the prediction made by the “study”. I did not suggest a wager on the comment made at #2 by John Sullivan. In fact it was John that said: “the sea level is currently falling 5mm per year over the last 2 years.” NOT ME. Just because you seemingly cannot comprehend or read doesn’t permit you to slander.

    Retract your slander and apologize!

    I suggest you read the Code of Conduct. http://scienceblogs.com/main/code/

    I’ll cop to nothing.

  17. #17 Wow
    November 29, 2011

    “Calling me a liar however is definitive and slander.”

    Truth is a valid defense against slander charges.

    But you’ve just shown you’re all for silencing free speech. I believe that’s supposed to be quite important in the USA…

    “I made NO claim about trends at my first post #3″ is a lie.

  18. #18 Tütüne Son
    December 6, 2011

    Now Wow, @ 12 you say: “your first post uses TWO POINTS to determine a trend. Even at 14 I knew you need three points to determine a trend and variance.” So all the other readers can see, I made NO claim about trends at my first post #3.

    Wow, at 14 you may have known the things you claim (although I doubt it). Talk to me if or when you get to 15 would you?

  19. #19 Wow
    December 6, 2011

    Too late, already older than 15.

    When you have a point and feel like making it, feel free to do so.

  20. #20 Neil B.
    December 14, 2011

    Dropping in lately – Wow: I think you got JohnSullivan and MarkD mixed up somewhat up there. MarkD is basically making fun of JS. It’s a shame you guys argued so much, you’re basically on the same side. Chill more, you’ll do better.

  21. #21 Wow
    December 15, 2011

    I don’t think so NeilB, else why the complete hostility rather than explanation from MarkD?

    If MarkD were parodying JS or was poe’d, he’d be agreeing with it being a much greater asshole in his response at #6 to my post at #5 which was quoting JS at #2.

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