VA Scientists Banned From Saying “Sea Level Rise”

When I reported on North Carolina’s attempt to legislate away the reality of sea level rise earlier this month, I hoped public ridicule would deter other states from following suit. Apparently, that hope was as futile as King Canute’s order to the tide.

Last week, the Virginia General Assembly commissioned a study on rising sea levels and their potential impacts on coastal Virginia. But before the study got the legislature’s stamp of approval, all usage of the words ”sea level rise” or “climate change” were removed. Apparently some Republican assembly-members didn’t like the fact the research would give credence to these “liberal code words,” so they insisted that they be replaced with the term “recurrent flooding” instead.

Phew! Now thousands of residents in Norfolk and the rest of coastal Virginia can breath easy–climate change will no longer present a threat to their homes and businesses. All they have to do now is plan for that pesky “recurrent flooding.”

What these legislators fail to realize, in their zeal to purge the world of climate change reserch, is that they’ve villanized the wrong term. As Scott Huler writes for Scientific American,”Sea-level rise is utterly politically neutral, because it is scientific, not political. It involves data and science, not politics and manipulation. ‘Recurrent flooding’ on the other hand is a completely political phrase because it tries to soft-pedal reality.”

According to scientific tide measurements at Sewells Point in Norfolk, the sea level has risen by 14.5 inches in the past 100 years. The trend is projected to continue for at least the next century, and some scientists predict that the rate could accelerate, with the level rising an additional 2 to 3 feet by 2100, and perhaps higher.

To call this type of trend “recurrent flooding” is laughable. Flooding is a sudden and temporary occurrence. It happens, and then it subsides. Sometimes it takes months, but the water eventually goes away. What scientists predict will happen to Virginia’s coastline will not go away. It will get worse every year until the water is lapping at the porches of beach side homes.

Unfortunately, this possibility is less-frightening to some lawmakers than the idea that developers might stop trying to build those homes. So instead of allowing scientific fact to inform their legislative decisions, they’re exercising their right to be totally, willfully wrong.

Related Reading:

Rising Sea Levels Raise Risk Of Record Floods

Antarctica’s Ice Shelf Shrinking, Shrinking, Shrinking… [Slideshow]

Nation Of Kiribati Relocating Due To Rising Sea Levels

Image via Thinkstock

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

94 comments

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.about a year ago

Blathering idots!

janice b.
jan b.3 years ago

William----Most don't know CO2 Never Goes Away (At Least Not for 100 Years). I had to look up the details that I forgot i.e. England no longer burns the soft sulfuric coal that poisoned the lungs of Londoners in the Great Smog of the 1950's which killed around 4,000 people in five days . Though the toxins may be gone, the carbon dioxide emitted in Britain and everywhere else in the 1950s remains in our atmosphere today.
Photos taken a few decades ago and those today show ice melt at the No & So Poles, Glacier Nat'l Park, Ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland has contributed nearly half an inch to the rise in sea levels in the past 20 years......I can understand why the polluters don't want to admit to global warming.....they don't want to spend the money to clean up their messes or polluting ways....so they pay-off scientists to support their cause.

William G.
William G.3 years ago

I do not blame anyone for being mislead by the CO2 scam, but here are some facts and a viable reference to become knowledgeable, rather than mislead. http://www.c3headlines.com/2012/08/new-hadcrut-data-indicate-huge-co2-emissions-have-little-impact-on-last-15-years-of-global-cooling.html HadCRUT is the IPCC's gold-standard for measuring global temperatures - over last 15 years (180 months) the globe has cooled with a -0.24C per century trend, not warmed as predicted. HadCRUT is using precise NASA satellite data that also shows the total ice accumulation on earth (not just the Magnetic North Pole) are remaining remarkable constant, as are the ocean levels. No scientist should suggest otherwise without new and improved data set. The climate is changing, which NASA suggests may be caused by spatial event; this is, naturally occurring events of our solar system. FACTS, FACTS, not unfounded national news coverage.

William G.
William G.3 years ago

I do not blame anyone for being mislead by the CO2 scam, but here are some facts and a viable reference to become knowledgeable, rather than mislead. http://www.c3headlines.com/2012/08/new-hadcrut-data-indicate-huge-co2-emissions-have-little-impact-on-last-15-years-of-global-cooling.html HadCRUT is the IPCC's gold-standard for measuring global temperatures - over last 15 years (180 months) the globe has cooled with a -0.24C per century trend, not warmed as predicted. HadCRUT is using precise NASA satellite data that also shows the total ice accumulation on earth (not just the Magnetic North Pole) are remaining remarkable constant, as are the ocean levels. No scientist should suggest otherwise without new and improved data set. The climate is changing, which NASA suggests may be caused by spatial event; this is, naturally occurring events of our solar system. FACTS, FACTS, not unfounded national news coverage.

Jade H.
J h.3 years ago

As a friend of mine's grandmother use to say, "Well, there's no sense in being stupid if you don't show it!" How true that is! LOL

Past Member
Past Member 3 years ago

Canada has long ago been gagged! anyone watching or reading the news would understand this to be the truth~ Its seems the whole planet is being ripped apart for what these greedy people want~ its not enough they have billions its never going to be enough~ there is but one way I believe something will ever be done and thats to all stand as one and say enough! We cant wait on this cause by the way our weather is presenting its self we don't have all that much time.The only thing that brings me a ounce of satisfaction is knowing that those who could care less about the well being of our planet, will never have known what we have always known and that is what its like to be at one with Mother earth.. Okay I admit it does not bring me any satisfaction, but the thoughts do keep my imagination going and what I imagine now that brings me joy.~

Temperance Ropple

BUT it is a KNOWN fact that Norfolk Navy Base moved a few miles inland because of the "recurrent flooding".....Smart people (non-Republicans) will only substitute in their minds "sea level rising" where "recurrent flooding" is spelled out and KNOW what is being talked about. The only issue is that HISTORY is being "gaged"....Where oh where did freedom of speech go..today you can be fired or jailed for speaking the TRUTH!

Mark Donners
Mark Donners3 years ago

This isn't just what Republican government creatures do, it's par for the course for most Democrats also. If you encounter ANY politician or government administrator lurking about you're on the safe side to assume the thing is stupid and evil until proven otherwise.

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley3 years ago

This makes no sense--telling a lie, and believing one, isn't going to change facts...and we must deal in facts in order to deal with the problem.
Some people are such twits!!

Marilyn J Leger
Marilyn J L.3 years ago

Willful stupidity continues to amaze me.

If just saying something negated the facts, I could say I weigh the same as when I got married. More's the pity.