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Even conservative Newport Beach gets serious about rising sea levels

Photo: Balboa Island storm

Communities up and down the coast have begun drafting plans to build up wetlands as a buffer against rising tides, to construct levees and seawalls to keep the waters at bay or to retreat from the shoreline by moving structures inland.

Among them is Newport Beach, a politically conservative city where a councilmember once professed not to believe in global warming. Now, the wealthy beach city is considered to be at the forefront of preparing for climate change.

Though some in Newport Beach remain skeptical that global warming caused by humans is elevating sea levels, city planners are looking at raising seawalls by a foot or more to hold back the ocean. New homes along the city's harbor are being built on foundations several feet higher than their predecessors as a precaution against flooding.

"I feel a real sense of urgency to begin planning for this right now," Mayor Michael Henn said. "To me it's irrelevant what the causes of global warming are. What we are dealing with is the reality that sea levels are rising."

Read more: "Coastal cities prepare for rising sea levels."

-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Water surges over the seawall on Balboa Island in December, when a major storm hit. Credit: Newport Beach General Services

Comments () | Archives (8)

We former climate change believers now see the scientists breaking ranks everywhere, especially after Obama’s failure to even mention the climate “crisis” in his state of the union address to the nation. Reasonable people now see the exaggerations committed by a science industry. The real planet loving voters are now the controlling majority, the: “former climate change believers”. We are happy about climate change being wrong and or exaggerated, not disappointed. We were all fools and history is showing climate change to be another Iraq War of false Weapons of Mass Destruction. Shouldn’t we all feel a little guilty for condemning our kids to a death by CO2 for 25 years of climate change warnings and needless panic? Remove the CO2 and continue stewardship of the planet anew I say.
Let’s get ahead of the curve because history is watching this CO2 insanity die a slow death.

It is so typical of wealthy conservatives. They will be agnostic on the cause of rising sea levels, merely interested in saving their own property. It is easier that way, since if the causes were better known, it is likely to drive down the value of their energy portfolio (which they use to pay for the seawall). This myopia, this selfishness, is what the world dislikes about Americans. Never mind that you can afford a seawall, the Bangladeshis can't and there is nothing you really want to know about that, except that the H2 Hummer in your garage cannot POSSIBLY have any impact on the planet.

"What we are dealing with is the reality that sea levels are rising"

LA's sea-level hasn't changed in at least 30 years:


So which reality are you referring to, Mayor?

Sea levels have risen 400 feet! since the peak of the last ice age some 18,000 years ago --and have been rising at the rate of 7 inches per century for past centuries.

Sea levels will continue to rise at that same rate -- no matter what we do. It has nothing to do with alleged Global Warming, carbon dioxide -- or any other human influence.

S. Fred Singer

NOAA's sea level data for southern California indicate a rate of sea-level rise over the last century of 0.83mm/year, with no acceleration in the rate. This corresponds to a net increase of about 3 inches over the entire last century.


Hey, climate change deniers: keep printing your astroturf somewhere else. The science is, and has been in for quite some time: humans have changed the global climate through burning fossil fuels.


Let's see some real sources, Meme Mine, to back up your assertions.

The only controversy is what the Koch Brothers and their fellow oil-pumping buddies keep stirring up so they can keep making obscene profits while the world drowns.

And for all you rich sods in Newport Beach: you reap what you sow.

Building a one-foot-high sea wall for Newport Beach is not one of the greatest of investments -- but not a complete waste either. It will stave off the effects of an unstoppable sea level rise by about 200 years, I reckon.

The only "permanent" solution, good for about 100,000 years, is the onset of the next ice age -- which will again take ocean water and transform it into ice covering Northern land masses. Get ready for immigrants from Canada!

S. Fred Singer

The conservatives Republicans in Newport Beach are no different than the socialist Democrats in Newport Beach. They are all the same people except for the D or R after their name.


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