Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

Facing Climate Change

What Impacts Can We Expect Locally?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

The impacts of Hurricane Sandy brought national attention to the potential devastation of coastal areas from a storm surge event, and it seems our climate is changing faster than anyone could have imagined. A newly released NOAA report says that scientists have very high confidence (greater than 90% chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 8 inches and up to 6.6 feet by 2100. Although debates ensued about whether Hurricane Sandy was directly related to climate change, New York City Mayor Bloomberg afterwards said: “…while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of [climate change], the risk that it might be — given this week’s devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.” Truer words could not be spoken.

What are some impacts of climate change we can expect locally? Farmers will face dwindling water supplies and seawater intrusion, fishers will face the decline of essential coastal ecosystems that support fisheries such as wetlands and kelp forests, dramatic impacts from sea level rise will occur (with approximately a 3 feet+ rise in sea level predicted for the Central Coast area by around 2100 according to the best available science), and our marine environment will become increasingly acidified. Add to this an increase in fires and drought, coastal erosion, heat waves, damage from storms and storm surges during high tide events, and increased flooding. Already, the Santa Barbara Cemetery is moving graves due to coastal erosion. We have lost bluff frontage at Shoreline Park, and will continue to lose ground there. Many homes will be threatened by coastal erosion. The SB Airport, built on fill, has historically experienced major flooding in 1969 and 1995, even prior to the major onset of sea level rise. Our wastewater treatment plants, railroads and highways will be affected by sea level rise and flooding.

Our communities can proactively address dangers we will likely face as sea level rises, structures and beaches are lost, flooding becomes common, species become increasingly threatened and disappear, and a range of other threats become clearer and more pronounced. Excitingly, the Ocean Protection Council has just authorized disbursement of up to $2,500,000 to fund grants in California to create vulnerability assessments, data collection and updates to Local Coastal Programs to help local governments plan for adaptation to sea level rise and associated climate change impacts.

How can we move towards the next needed steps? We can ask our local governments to help prepare us by updating our General Plan and Local Coastal Program with “adaptation” measures to handle public safety threats and how land uses might be impacted. These can include things such as planning for retreat (moving land uses away from areas prone to flooding or erosion), and including policies that don’t allow for artificial revetments that will ultimately reduce beaches in our area. We need to cultivate political will and leadership that can prepare us for the coming changes scientists are confident will occur. We need to plan for a new future.

This is not just an issue of science. It will take a renewed effort at all levels to plan for a different future. At the Environmental Defense Center, we are consistently applying state and federal law to ensure that offshore and onshore developments do not emit harmful greenhouse gas pollution, working to support appropriately sited renewable energy production and energy efficiency, and partnering with local governments, agencies, other community organizations and the public to advance local climate change impact research, planning, and mitigation. And on a personal level, we all need to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by thinking about our level of energy consumption, and considering how we might plan for the predicted impacts of climate change.

As the famous saying goes: if not us, who, if not now, when? Together, our community can address this critical issue.

Christina McGinnis of the Environmental Defense Center is the OPEN Program Director


Independent Discussion Guidelines

At least Christina cited the noted scientist and climate change expert Michael Bloomberg in her litany of anecdotes as to why the sky is falling.
We've lost bluff frontage on Shoreline? You mean just like all bluffs on all oceans have been eroding since the earth was formed? Who knew...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 7:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Gosh, I didn't know Super-storm Sandy got up graded to a "hurricane". Not to worry about facts Christine, but the Antarctic is growing while the Arctic is melting. Should result in a neutral rise in sea levels, so put that one to rest.

Even in Alaska, the naturalists (aka "scientists") claim while some glaciers up there are shrinking others are growing. And what the heck is with the Univ of Hobart Maritime Studies Institute building their new huge educational complex right directly at the water's edge?

I guess some "scientists" are not getting the message. But the deeper question is what is the fear than generates all this global warming guilt and hysteria? I am not getting it. Fear of change? Fear of fear? Fear of the sheer population growth on the planet that is already irrevocably changing everything?

Something deeply existential is under-girding this, but I can't put my own finger on it. Perhaps it is just the cyclical angst of youth growing up and "global warming" is the generational shibboleth du jour. Is this the last gasp of belief in authority figures (aka "scientists") in a world taken over by moral relativists?

Is this global-warming stitck a bit noisier than the earlier and equally angst-riddled generational Howl, On the Road, and Rebel Without a Cause days due merely to the ease of today's electronic media saturation?

It is scary to grow up and realize one's life is full of pit-falls, betrayals and shaky foundations and indeed one is existentially alone in the universe. This is the void that has been met by "religion" in the past.

So in today's non-churched generation, is this global-warming Church of Green the natural substitute? I suspect it is. It carries most of the trappings found in all preceding religious traditions.

Ponder this well for the new year.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 10:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@italiansurg: snarkasm aside, the statement “You mean just like all bluffs on all oceans have been eroding since the earth was formed? Who knew...” suggests ignorance. The sky is not falling, but the sea level is rising. Shorelines rise and recede due to many factors. Do you think erosion is responsible for the seashell fossils so common in SB foothills a thousand feet or more above current sea level? A little study will reveal that quite a lot has happened besides erosion “since the earth was formed.”

More to the point of the subject article, there is no reasonable doubt that the average temperature is rising each year. The temperature increase has caused most (but not all) glacial ice sheets to thin measurably, resulting in more sea water and a higher sea level. Warmer water takes up more space than cold water which has also contributed to the rising sea level. But these effects are offset in part by the “rebound” of ground level as glacial ice recedes, which, with more accurate GPS measurements, has only recently been understood. However, it turns out that the water level is rising much faster than the freed land is rebounding so the bottom line net effect is that shore lines will move inland, and, as the article suggests, people need to plan and act accordingly – personally and via government. And certainly in this case, involving complex science and politics, the more informed we are the more effective we will be.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Oblati: your statement “…the Antarctic is growing while the Arctic is melting. Should result in a neutral rise in sea levels, so put that one to rest” is flip and at odds with the best scientific evidence available. There are a few glaciers that are growing but most glaciers (Greenland and most in Antarctica) are melting. There are a lot of physical factors involved but there is no reasonable doubt that the sea level is rising, and for the foreseeable future will continue to do so. But the rate of rise is perhaps slow enough so that a ‘Manhattan project’ is not necessary in order to mitigate major problems. Here’s a good summary article:

“I am not getting it. Fear of change? Fear of fear?” You are not getting it, that we agree on. I fear the effect of people who are unaware of their limitations yet pose themselves as experts and spew misinformation that makes careful analysis by the more thoughtful among us more difficult. This kind of behavior increases the polarization in our communities and makes reasonable planning more difficult, drowned out by the fringes, one screaming that the sky is falling, while the other buries its head in the sand and denies anything is happening.

A balanced and informed approach will serve us best.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yosemite Valley was exposed because of global warming. What is behind concluding change is always a Bad Thing? That is the crux of the issue.

Who is really against "change". Those who cry change is happening and it is All Bad, are in fact saying they don't want change.

Or those who mock the hysteria and accept change is always already happening. Yeah, so the seas are rising. So?

It is the rest of the stuff that follows that gets too crazy to swallow and makes one consider ....what else is going on inside their psyches, those who decry change and in fact do not want things to change even one micro millimeter.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 12:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The words “fear” and “bad” only appear in your posts Oblati. Change and danger are not always bad and in fact both are inevitable. But some changes and dangers are controlled and/or understood to some extent, while others are not. A change in sea level of a centimeter is not necessarily alarming but that fact that the rate of rise is accelerating is something to understand. I think the broader point is that It’s up to each of us to decide how seriously to heed the potential dangers associated with climate change and act accordingly. Generally, our lives will be easier if we “proactively address” and adapt reasonably to changes that appear to be inevitable, ie, rising sea levels, and to do what is reasonable to minimize the uncontrolled part of the change, ie, pollute less. If we all did at least what you advocated in a separate post when you said “Oblati supports driving fuel thrifty cars and no more than 55 mph,” then the world would be cleaner and greener (and fewer people would die needlessly in car accidents).

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 1:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oooooo ..... "potential dangers" ...... is a scary and conclusionary phrase. Substitute "potential benefits of global warming", and we can have a dialogue.

Yes, only those driving 55mph or less are qualified to enter this dialogue. You know, that person you passed on the freeway and giving them the finger for driving so slowly.

Additionally, only those who can change the minds of the 8 billion other people living on this planet, besides those few millions living here in California can have a meaningful dialogue as well.

No, we don't "set the example for the rest of the world" with our Johnny-come-lately eco-freak attitudes that requires the rest of the world does with less, while we talk the talk but don't walk the walk ourselves.

Healing hypocrisy used to be the challenge of religions. Now we are on our own, but need to do the same thing. Worshiping at the Church of Green is as smug as those who still claim literal biblical truth. Amen.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 1:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's a very different picture if you're a sea mammal who depends on floating ice drifts to rest.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 1:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Uhhhhh, you don't mean that viral shot of the polar bear taken a little bit off the coast in the middle of August do you? My church does believe in both Darwin and evolution. Bears gotta swim and birds gotta die......

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 2:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Fascinating "Show Boat" reference......

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 2:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Edna Ferber? O's "our Johnny-come-lately eco-freak attitudes that requires the rest of the world does with less, while we talk the talk but don't walk the walk ourselves." ahhh, it's so funny I feel janked even over on this juicy thread.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 4:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"potential benefits of global warming"? Wow. Oblati’s hubris is almost humorous. He doesn't appear to understand, or even be interested in, the unpredictability and often knife-edged stability of complex systems – like our climate. Yet he has opinions on the subject.

The related and equally arrogant idea that humans can ‘engineer’ the weather or climate is explored in books like “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control” by Roger Fleming. Some of Fleming’s ideas are captured at:

If an individual wants to play Russian Roulette while chasing a polar bear, OK. But do it in your own asylum and don’t point the gun at me or anyone else, and when you catch the bear....

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 1, 2013 at 6:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati doesn't seem to mind exposing his/her own ignorance through his/her ad hominem twisting of Christine's fairly straight-forward piece. What deniers like him (probably) or her (less probably) won't do is to address the basic science of "greenhouse gases," accumulated and sequestered over millions of years and released into the atmosphere in a comparative eye-blink of time in the Fossil Fuel era (200+ years). Oblati's free time would be better spent reading credible atmospheric science than wasting everyone else's with his useless blathering.

Pagurus (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 12:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Yosemite Valley was exposed because of global warming."
-- Oblati

Yes, and that global warming took place over geologic time and was the result of natural processes. Let's say 100,000 years. But now we're looking at similar global warming over a period of, say, 100 years.. That's three orders of magnitude. Big difference.

For example, suppose I hit you up the side of your head with a brick at .1 mph. You'd say ouch then we'd go out for a beer. If I hit you with a brick at 100 mph (the same three orders of magnitude difference) you'd be dead. D.E.A.D. Big difference.


SezMe (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 1 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Capisce or capisci.
Also, Christine's piece was hardly straight forward nor is the political agenda of her group. And there is big money and huge political issues involved in "saving the planet". For gawdsakes the enviro friendly Sierra Club, even after reviewing irrefutable evidence that illegal aliens were efficientl destroying the desert, refused help save the planet by taking a stand against their runs to the border...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 7:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

“…And there is big money and huge political issues involved in "saving the planet"….” italiansurg, January 2, 2013 at 7:14 a.m.

This is true. It is also true that there is more money and politics involved in maintaining the status quo.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 8:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dunno if there is more money in preserving the status quo or not, but you and I concur that objectivity is compromised on both sides. Also, I apologize for the illiterate nature of my previous post as the proof readers are on holiday...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 10:05 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I know a few folks who do climate-related research. They're investigating & modeling the impact of atmospheric dusts on climate.

At lunch, we often talk about how the dissemination of science knowledge has become so politicized in this country. It may have started in the upper echelons of our political institutions, but quickly infected the public through the usual outlets (i.e. Fox News, Heartland Institute, "talk radio", etc.).

It's gotten to the point where some folks can't see the forest from the trees. No matter that there are human-caused climate processes now occuring on a planetary scale. Processes that carry lots of inertia and so are difficult to counter once they get rolling.

Nope. Let's not nip those in the bud. Much better to air pet peeves about this or that group because you don't like the cut of their jib.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 11:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

To sezme: Io capisco bene. If you are going to be cute pretending you are a polyglot, at least spell correctly.

Read today's NewPress to see more global warming blather that barely gets out of the chicken little guilt-card phase to discuss anything remotely practical -- heat-capturing was as good as I could figure out.

Get back to me when you get those 8 billion other people on board so we don't just p*ss in the wind here all sound and fury signifying nothing. Change happens. Be more flexible, okay?

Somehow "scientists", who are just as flawed as any other group of human beings, have taken on uber-authority figure status among the worshipers at the Church of Green. Creepy.

"Science" is as greedy and politically driven today as any other group. Just follow the money which is where the rest of us "deniers" just can't quite pin down where it is going with this whole global-warming malarky.But mark my word, something as whackadoodle as the slavish Church of Green ideology can only have selfish profit motives behind it somewhere. You can just smell it.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 2:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The "Free Market" is suppose to solve the problems but if a competing market pops up to solve the problem they get criticized for profitting. So government then should fix it?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 2:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The free market that worked best in the US was the Protestant value free market; not the unfettered free market. No longer sharing a responsible Protestant-value common cultural core in the US has been a high price to pay in exchange for this newer emphasis on maintaining cultural diversity.

Midwestern agrarian values of hard work, thrift, honesty, permanence, delayed gratification and long-term planning have been replaced with the strike it rich, everyone gets a second chance, re-invent oneself, move easily away from failure and responsibility. These had no color line BTW.

Each perspective has its virtues; each has its drawbacks. But the free market works best in a common core value culture. It works at its worst when there is no cultural bedrock other than greed and strike it rich.

I honestly don't know if the old values still work or whether we are now irrevocably on a new path which may be the undergirding of this extreme anxiety and need for authority figures we are seeing now, unfortunately being exploited by junk science and charlatans who sell indulgences to those looking for magic totems.

I see a devolving society; not an advancing one. But I am old. Perhaps this is a common cultural affliction of the aged. Of course what is ironic is this junk-science "back to earth" mentality might be underneath it all merely a wish to return to to the old midwestern agrarian values instead. Turning the clock back to pre-fossil fuel fits into this nostalgic yearning as well perhaps. I dunno.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 4:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nicely put Oblati, first time I've ever agreed with every paragraph. But how about Post-fossil fuel instead of pre? Civilization used fossil fuels as a jumping off point, now we need to jump onto something else. And it could indeed be more agrarian.
When I think of traditional Midwestern values I think of neighbor helping neighbor, and an inclusive community. Doesn't mean one has to subscribe to old prejuidices and ignorances to embrace these values. And you'll find many of these values still strong in Latino communities.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

FEMA describes the Sandy catastrophe as a Hurricane - see:

Science does not take place in a political vacuum. Values, beliefs and perceptions (as expressed in this dialogue) vary, and the knowledge from science and local tradition can be lost in the politics over how we use and abuse nature. The challenge of adapting to a changing climate is part of human and non-human (living) evolution. California indigenous peoples (and there were well over 150 tribes) in the middle ages faced drought, famine, and dwindling food security. But their local knowledge (and an incredible amount of conflict between tribes) led to cultural adaption.

If you doubt that we face a similar challenge today then your children's children will only have our industrialized economies and your blind attachment to the status quo to blame. Ecological insecurity - declines in fish protein, declines in carbohydrates (cereals and grains), ocean acidification and the loss of primary ocean production (phytoplankton that produces 50% of our oxygen), rising seas, a the largest decline in native species diversity in millions of years is on our door step. Government's failure to respond is matched by our green greed that perpetuates ignorance.

My New Year's resolution is as follows: Please let me be free from ignorance. Let the other animals, plants and insects that we depend on for our economies be free from our ignorance. Let the ocean continue to breathe the air that is our shared breath. Let us be more self-reliant and less vulnerable to the ignorance of our past. Let's embrace a new etiquette of freedom.

Momo (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 7:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If you are using a computer, cell phone, or have had your life saved by a doctor, or depend on technology for your livelihood, and you don’t want to be a hypocrite, thank a scientist. Of course you also have to thank the infrastructure that allowed the scientists that developed the knowledge that led to all the relative advantages we enjoy now to flourish. This includes the public schools, places of worship, even politicians that used taxes to build roads, sewers, and water purification systems. Scientists are one facet of our community and can’t exist without it. Are all these people human? As far as I know they are. However, the scientific method, the system that is most directly responsible for the explosion of advances in our recent past, is also the thing that biases scientists away from the more subjective and destructive aspects of humanity. But scientists are human so there will be mistakes, greed, opportunistic activities and the like. The thing that makes science different is the scientific method – which demands publicly reproducible results - and the fact that ‘mother nature always wins’ – this combination results in a strong (but not perfect) restorative force with respect to subjective actions: If another scientist that you don’t know can’t reproduce your result, your result is suspect at best. There isn't such a harsh and objective restorative force at work in religion, politics, or any other human activity. So what do we turn to in order to understand the climate changes that are occurring, or other natural phenomena? Science is the best we've got so we need to use it. Of course no human system is perfect so there is bad science out there. That’s why we’re all better off if more of us are intelligently skeptical - which demands that we actually try to understand what we are talking about.

The notion that there were ‘good old days’ when Americans were a big happy protestant family humming along to the same tune is bunk. Putting that kind of myth forward as fact is an example of the uninformed subjective spewing one sees on popular ‘News’ or from many popular radio personalities. Any serious historian will laugh at that idea. As a quasi-random example, read about Teddy Roosevelt’s battle with the Senators that were ‘striking it rich’ by robbing public lands. TR wanted to balance the use and conservation of public lands – he was one of the last truly conservative politicians in this country. The point is that only ~100 years ago Senators were appointed by the political machine, not elected as they are now. The system was as much driven by money as it is now, if not more so. It was not a happy agrarian time; that only exists in fantasy. The further back in time you go, the shorter and more brutish life was for most people.

I think Momo expressed our only hope: that is to replace ignorance with knowledge informed by good science.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 8:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To dispute the climate is changing and our part in that is tantamount to debating the shape of the planet at this stage of the game.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 2, 2013 at 10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This blog link provides some good information based on scientific information about Climate Change with a particular focus on the Gaviota coast and land-use policymaking in Santa Barbara. Highly recommended.

We need to encourage our coastal planners and managers (including private property owners) to start taking seriously the issue of biodiversity loss and ecosystem disturbance in this region. The County and City of Santa Barbara is required by State law to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The State has also developed a solid range of strategic elements and goals for future climate change adaptation. See:

Yet, the County has yet to embrace planning tools and new policies in their General Plan and Local Coastal Plan (including the new Plan for the Gaviota coast now under development) that can address the loss of sensitive coastal habitats and species that are increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of anthropogenic climate disturbance along our coastal areas, including coastal watersheds. Let's encourage the County to address biodiversity issues in their Climate Action Strategy and Local Coastal Plan updates. Note, even if we cut greenhouse gases to pre-industrial levels, our oceans and coastal habitats and associated native species diversity will continue to be threatened. Let's be in the forefront across this wonderful State, and encourage progressive, science-based coastal planning. If we can't do it, no other place can.

Momo (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 10:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)


Have you googled "Flat Earth Society"?

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 10:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice site but you are a day late and a dollar short.

As pointed out by "italiansurg" , costal California has been falling into the Ocean all my life and probably more so since all the heavy fresh water use started in the 1960's along the coast. One only has to view the Pacific Coast Highway in the Malibu. Water flows down hill to the sea, naturally. The palisades are soft soil, add water and they crumble.

This is not news to Californios.

The coastal waters are already dead, at least compared to what it was when I started diving in the 1960's, very dead.

Remove 35 million from the California population, remove the dams, water diversions and nature may repair itself, anything less than that is just ******* in the Wind.

I see all these Grand Plans as just a Cottage Industry to put OPM in the bureaucratic pocket of someone else, a reason to exit.

The only real honest solution is to Depopulate which is not on the table, so why bother - current plan, it is waste of money.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 11:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes the only change one can really talk about with certainty is the massive population change. Get a chicken and grow lentils in your back yard is all I can offer.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 3:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Replace the car with a horse and do not overgraze...

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 3:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for a good article, Christina. The comments, unfortunately, are mostly hot air - ironic.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 9 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Responsible urban planning including mixed use buildings is a good start. God forbid we invest in public transportation improvements. A light rail system would be nice.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 3, 2013 at 9:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I've heard India and China are the worst offenders.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 4:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Breakdowns of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by activity, country and other info is available at:

Per that source, the break down of GHG emissions by country:

China – 23%
USA – 19%
EU-27 – 13%
India – 6%
Russian Fed – 6%
Japan – 4%
Canada – 2%
Other – 28%
(This adds up to 101% due to round-ups)

Power generation (Energy Supply – 26%) generates the most GHGs followed by industry (19), forestry (17), agriculture (14), transportation (13), buildings (8), and waste & water treatment (3).

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 5:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Like my good friend Oblati, I feel guilty and helpless about global warming and my culpability causing it, so instead I would rather believe as a matter of blind faith that all those scientists are just biased liberal hacks.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lets see on our coast, I have read articles on Pollution Sites in the Channel made by the Federal Government, Increased acid in the surrounding Ocean due to human population activity, Shipwrecks at Conception and elsewhere on the Central Coast polluting the Channel down current, Global Warming etc. Many theories on why. Is it all of them or one of them.

The Anacapa Island Closure that is almost 3 decades old has very little improvement. Santa Barbara Island that is much further from land, dead as dead can be. Observation tells the tale, its dead.

I have a VHS-C that I shot 20 years ago that I need to transfer to digital and compare to footage I will shoot this summer, pictures showl all.

You can spend all the money you want and close everything but your Population has created a tipping point where biologically it can't recover. Its called breeding yourself to death.

Natural Law is the Supreme Law of the Planet wheather you like it or not. Mans ego and arrogance will be his downfall.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 11:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)


"Replace the car with a horse and do not overgraze..."

My point is all these money intensive micro feel good projects make no sense and have no benefit except to employee bureaucrats.

Let play King for Day and look at the macro.

We have a society that depends on early 19th century energy and is wasting billions on feel good inefficient solar/wind.

America split the atom, traveled to the moon.

As King I hereby degree,

1. A go to the moon approach for Fusion energy starting now, no more solar/wind feel good garbage, get it done.

2. All able bodied people work, no more handouts to able bodied people.

3. Government is not your Mother.

4. Close all offshore Military Bases.

5. No more foreign aid to anyone, they have their country, we have ours.

6. No more borrowing, each generation must pay its own bills.

7. The elected only enjoy the same Medical and Retirement plans that the electors have, no Special Class Privileges.

8. We have equal opportunity under the Constitution, Civil Rights, but we are not equal, novel idea.

9.Natural Law, an idea that created this Country, is the controlling force, Social Engineering is a false prophet.

10. No more Crony Capitalism.

I could go on.

Bottom line with no Leadership for decades and none in the foreseeable future, nothing is going to change, just more of the same Piled Higher and Deeper until it rots, i.e. Roman Empire, you know the history.

I see no big picture leadership from anyone that really addresses the problems, we have become Philosophically Bankrupt, so its here is the new boss, same as the old boss.

For the City of Santa Barbara to stop polluting the Pacific Ocean,
major changes would have to take place.

1. The complete replacement of the sewer/water underground.

2. Aquifer recharge catch basins.

3. A complete rethinking of what a city looks like and the population it can support.

4. How much would this cost?

So in reality without Leadership of an Extraordinary Kind we are toast.

The King abdicates, your turn to tell me how the current path will not end well.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Vote -Howgreenwasmyvallley - 2016

The point J Adams misses is we can squeeze all the blood left in the California turnip and not have it be worth a bucket of warm spit while the rest of the country and the rest of the world is leaving us in their carbon emission dust bin.

But Adams just can't seem to take his self-hating hair shirt off which makes me question his deeper principles and what exactly is his dog in this fight. Self-loathing seems to be a big part of the Church of Green - the whole original sin concept, with not a small dose of Holier than Thou mixed in as well.

If the greenies would only stop smoking pot, they would be more credible.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 1:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the deniers would stop drinking they might understand.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 1:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"But mark my word," ranted Oblati, who shows his age and his fear in denying the obvious: reread Hodgmo's posts.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 6:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Whether or not humans are causing climate change can be debated, but was cannot be denied is that the polar icecaps are melting.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 4, 2013 at 7:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To me the main "take home" message is not that we better start doing something quick to slow or prevent global warming and its effects but rather that it is pretty much inevitable whatever the cause and we need to start making plans for the accelerated rate of coastal erosion, rising sea levels, likely increasing drought and a variety of other somewhat predictable phenomena. Fortunately most serious emergency preparedness professionals are starting to take this problem seriously rather than blathering on about various preposterous pseudoscience. I personally fully believe in global warming and that it is in large part caused by green house gases and thus human caused to a significant degree, however I do not believe the world has the political will or cooperative spirit to take a meaningful concerted effort to reduce that, at least not yet. Vastly more serious and obvious catastrophes will be needed to get governments in the US, China, Russia, India etc to take serious actions. In the meantime I would suggest that one eat, drink and be merry and not buying property in low lying coastal areas.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 6:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

WSJ: NDVI - Normalized Difference Vegetation Index: Greenery across the planet is on the increase confirmed by satellite imagery.

"The inescapable if unfashionable conclusion is the human use of fossil fuels has been causing the greening of the planet in three separate ways: first by displacing fireword as a fuel; second by warming the climate; and third by raising the carbon dioxide levels, which raise plant growth."

"... an increase in carbon dioxide should itself accelerate growth rates of plants, CO2 is a scarce resource that plants have trouble scavenging from the air, and plants grow faster with higher levels of CO2 to inhale."

"Between 1982 and 2011, 20.5% of the world's vegetation got greener, while just 3% got browner; the rest showed no change."

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 9:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Instead of painting a Blue Line, why is SB who is full of forward looking progressive not taxing themselves to build a sea wall? How many San Blas Islands or the Maldive Islands have been *confirmed* to have sunk into the alarming abyss?

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 9:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"In another example of the unexpected consequences of environmental change, a new study shows that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reduces the nutritional quality of wheat. Although an increase in carbon dioxide stimulates photosynthesis and growth in many types of plants, unless they increase their uptake of nutrients by the same degree, the nutrient level of the resulting crop is diminished."

"Laboratory studies indicate that reduced nitrogen and protein content as a result of elevated carbon dioxide levels is a general response in many crops, and cannot be countered simply through increased fertilization. New research is under way to determine if other crops do in fact have this same response.

The finding that carbon dioxide inhibits the ability of plants to absorb nitrogen has major implications in the battle against global hunger and poor nutrition. Wheat is one of the world's most important food crops, and as global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide increase, our over-populated planet will start to suffer the consequences."

tabatha (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 8:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And there you have it, the Battle of the Sound Bites. Think I'll just sit this one out until someone or something else settles it, because a "consensus of scientists" just does not cut it.

Change happens. Adapt. Take some lessons from the cock-roach - just ponder upon the climate changes he has experienced and out-witted them all. Surely we humans can best the cockroach.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 9:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati is correct on one point, evolution is about survival of those most willing to adapt; not the stubborn strong who perish.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 9:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't be a dummy, be an Oblati, come and join the cockroach party! (are we done now?)

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 10:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

LOL, hodgmo. We will survive by leaning/adapting to eat those out-witting cockroaches. Garlic and butter, anyone? Ooops, no garlic, no butter - just man and cockroaches.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 11:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I know some people who could eat their words.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 5, 2013 at 11:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I suggest we juice them.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 6, 2013 at 10:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Geez, Oblati don't sit this one out, everybody at the News Press and WSJ loves your words of wisdom.

rblacumbre (anonymous profile)
January 6, 2013 at 11:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Gee Oblati, no apology or retraction for attributing quotes to me I never made? We kinda let that thread slip away huh. I don't know why people think you're a journalist.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 6, 2013 at 11:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Gawd, Oblati dear, you love to cite stuff but won't read others' refs (e.g. Tabatha), and no apologies or retractions for falsely quoting others KV)?? You show your true stripes, so you certainly must be an N-P pseudo-journalist.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 6, 2013 at 12:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oblati, whatever your boss (Wendy) is paying you isn't enough.

rblacumbre (anonymous profile)
January 6, 2013 at 2:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"WSJ: NDVI - Normalized Difference Vegetation Index: Greenery across the planet is on the increase confirmed by satellite imagery."
-- Oblati

I found the article Oblati quoted. It is written by the controversial climate change skeptic Matt Ridley:

Briefly, here is what the quotes don't tell you:

1. The WSJ may have good business articles but it is a well-known haven for writers who are climate change deniers and skeptics.

2. Matt Ridley is not a climate researcher. His degrees are in zoology. Ridley has spent most of his career as a writer with a Libertarian viewpoint and is a well known spin-meister for climate change skeptics. Ridley was also disgraced when he was forced to resign as chairman of the UK's Northern Rock bank (under Ridley's leadership from 2004-2007, Northern Rock over-leveraged itself with sub-prime mortagages, went bankrupt, then was bailed out and nationalized).

Here's what Media Matters has to say about Matt Ridley (if you're caught doing bad things, it doesn't really matter who the cop that caught you is, does it?):

3. Ridley states in his WSJ article that his article is based on an online lecture given by well-known climate researcher Ranga Myneni. Here is the lecture:

I watched the entire lecture. It is fascinating, but filled with nuances and caveats that cannot easily be summarized in a lay article.

4. Ridley has taken great liberties in drawing conclusions in his WSJ article that Myneni never made in his lecture. In addition, Myneni has provided many caveats about his research and how it is to be interpreted .. It's clear to me Ridley ignored the scientist's warnings to reinforce his Libertarian messaging. Here's a good example ....

Ridley wrote in his WSJ article:

"Dr. Myneni ... concludes that 50% is due to "relaxation of climate constraints," i.e., warming or rainfall, and roughly 50% is due to carbon dioxide fertilization itself."

But here's what Myneni actually said in his lecture:

"The attribution to fertilzation is somewhat speculative and not on very solid ground, and we have to refine this before this paper goes out for publication"

Furthermore, Myneni warns the 30-year observation period cannot be interpreted as a trend because it is very short and could just be a temporal variation (like I said, lots of caveats than need to be taken with the big picture).

For a better synopsis of the work Myneni and his colleagues are doing, this NASA brief is much more objective than Matt Ridley would ever want to be:

In summary, the WSJ article Oblati quoted is another example of politicization of science by someone who has just enough technical knowledge to twist the truth.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 6, 2013 at 2:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you EB, esp. for the details, and for taking the time to research this properly. And Oblati aka Wendy-clone has just enough internet knowledge to find Ridley's superficial article and claim the WSJ supports climate-change skeptics. How much does Wendy pay you for this BS, Oblahti?
Henceforth, I can't give any more time to Oblati who isn't in it for discussion or honest references [we had to have EB show it to us, from WSJ], just wants to stir the pot. Stay over at the News-Suppress, O, you belong there.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 6, 2013 at 5:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The News-Supress now regrets not having its own unmoderated comments.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 9:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The best thing about global warming will be diluting the effects of all the hot air expended on this topic. East Beach, apply this same level of scrutiny to both sides of this issue. Dr Dan, get a muzzle for all the straw dogs you unleash. BTW: those dogs don't hunt no more. Woof.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 12:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, Oblati, you identified your own 13 comments as "hot air", nice to know you're so humble. When EB takes your comments seriously, does some research [WSJ NDVI Dec. 6]: you do not respond. Hot air from you.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 12:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Woof, Dr Dan.

Oblati (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 2:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Someone's getting flirty.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 7, 2013 at 5:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The bottom line is you are all playing with the Micro World.

I don't see a JFK on TV saying "In this decade we will have Fusion Energy".

Think of all that would be possible with Fusion, doesn't matter your position on Global Warming, if the species, thats us, is to go forward, the next jump in energy technology has to be made.

The World has no Leaders, we are stuck in the Twilight Zone of the Nanny State, cue the twilight zone music.

I read that NASA needs to rent out space in Florida, so sad.

Talk about stewing in your own juice.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 12:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"East Beach, apply this same level of scrutiny to both sides of this issue."
-- Oblati

Oblati illustrates my point nicely. There are only two "sides" because there are those, like Matt Ridley and Oblati, who want to politicize science to fit their (starts with an "L") ideology.

Spinning and propagandizing the best science we can muster does not create a sound foundation for making good public policy.

The politics belong in the policy-making process. Stop trying to skew the playing field by spreading propaganda.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 2:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

People seem to be confusing politics with Science. There are no two sides in Science, it just is. The facts of global climate change are undeniable all around us in every country.
And unfortunately Howgreen is quite right, we are a world without leaders.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 2:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Eastbeach: Well said.

@KV: I agree that good science ‘just is.’ I wish science were apolitical, but as one, I can tell you it is not. Projects are often funded for political reasons, however good scientists never let their results be skewed by the politics, and the good news is that most scientists work this way. The bad news is, not all do.

@Howgreen: I share your wish that our national energy were focused on the problem of creating a better energy supply system. Personally, I’m not sure fusion is the best bet, but the major point is that our money and energy are going to protect the status quo petroleum based economy, not our much-needed next step.

Bottom line: Mother Nature always wins. We can get on-board and work with her by implementing science-based policies, or become oil for the next dominant species.

hodgmo (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 3:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

arf, arf, I'm raisin' my hind leg for ya, Oblahti!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 3:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If I wanted to have an honest card game, I'd be better off inviting a bunch of scientists than a bunch of politicians or SBNP editors. But the game would be tough since the scientists would probably all be card counters :)

That said, there have been some famously dishonest researchers like disgraced South Korean cloning researcher Hwang Woo-suk.

This is where the scientific process of replicating results and peer review is critical - although it's not fool-proof, at least in the short run as in Hwang's case. Money and pride can corrupt. But I suspect this is more of a problem in commercial areas like pharmaceuticals than climate research.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
January 8, 2013 at 4:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: