Yesterday I was scanning the local news, as I often do, and I noticed a particular headline that got my attention.
The headline basically said that according to a researcher, rising sea levels will put Galveston, TX 25 percent underwater. Since I live near Galveston, I decided it was an article that I needed to read to find out if I needed to pack the Jeep and head for higher ground, or perhaps invest in a house boat, to avoid the coming flood waters.
Now I should know by now that the local media in this part of Texas, and perhaps everywhere now, tries to raise the level of sensationalism to epic levels in every story that they post.
So, the headline should have been a huge red flag to me since this was the same paper that just the day before had sensationalized a traffic stop involving a man legally carrying a gun by saying “Man pulled over by police in north Texas with gun in car.”
Of course in Texas I am sure that people with the legal right to carry a concealed handgun or rifle are pulled over every day by police without incident. The gun laws state that a concealed gun owner must alert the officer to the presence of the concealed firearm, and the traffic stop continues as normal just as it would were there not a gun in the car.
What made this particular gun in car police stop more tasty for the “if it bleeds it leads” newspaper was the fact that the man in the story pulled over with the gun was none other than George Zimmerman who was recently acquitted by a jury of his peers in Florida of manslaughter charges.
Had it been any other man with a gun in the car getting pulled over it would not have been news. And the officer did not even issue a ticket as Zimmerman was left with just a warning.
So with that and many other examples of poor reporting from my local media I should have taken the rising sea levels story as another example of Chicken Little the sky is falling reporting and nothing more.
And of course after reading the article that was exactly what it was. Basically according to the expert quoted in the article in 87 to 100 years, when most of the people reading this article will no longer be alive, the oceans are expected to rise and cover 25 percent of the current land along the coast.
After that more and more land will be covered every few decades until at some point Dallas, which is around four and a half hours from Galveston, becomes a beachfront town.
Actually, Dallas as a beachfront town might not be a bad thing since the only thing I really don’t like about Dallas, aside from the high occurrence of tornadoes, is the lack of a decent beach nearby.
So as has been the case for years the rising waters of the future are being blamed on polar ice melt caused by man made greenhouse gases, etc. While it is certainly important to do what one can as a society to ensure that climate change is not heightened through the efforts of man, there is tons of evidence showing that the change has little to do with man’s activities.
I am certainly a believer that the climate goes in cycles of change and there was another article in the paper that had me less concerned about the rising sea levels (beyond the comfort of knowing that I won’t be alive to see it).
There is a beach near Beaumont, TX that has arrowheads and other primitive tools wash up on shore from time to time. The items tend to wash up after a big storm churns up the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
It is believed that the items come from long submerged villages about 25 miles out to sea. So that stands to reason that there has been ocean encroachment for centuries if not eons. And it is highly doubtful the early residents were emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases leading to the flooding of their villages.
The seas will rise and fall again as they have before. As Eugene Levy’s character in the American Pie movies would say, “It’s a perfectly, ah, natural kind of thing.”
So despite headlines announcing pending doom and despair brought on by rising waters along the coast, the effects are centuries away from reaching the level of devastation seen in the Hollywood disaster films.
And who’s to say that the Earth doesn’t get destroyed by a huge asteroid before the oceans gobble up the shoreline since according to some people in the United States space industry that is the real threat facing the third rock from the sun.
And while I hold little faith in NASA’s asteroid lassoing efforts ever getting off of the ground, I certainly believe that technology will exist by the time the seas are rising to coast swallowing levels to pump the water inland for irrigation and desalination or find some other way to win the battle at the shoreline.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go put a down payment on some future beachfront property in Dallas in case I live to be 150.
Copyright 2013 R. Anderson