Apocalyptic demands for funding are too cost free.

Sometimes the lack of response to statements — I mean just an ordinary, slightly skeptical response — is striking.  Here’s Warren Town Manager Kate Michaud asking the U.S. Senate to protect the town from an apocalyptic future:

“The data analysis concluded that by the year 2100, three hundred and six of the area’s four hundred buildings could be lost to the rising water,” Michaud told the committee. “With three feet of sea level rise in the next 30 years, three of the town’s major roads, including the primary evacuation route, would be flooded with salt water and impassable every day at high tide.”

Projections can produce numbers; that’s what they do.  It’s good practice, however, to step back and put them in more-tangible form for a plausibility gut check.  306 out of 400 buildings in an area is more than 75% (three in four).  Michaud’s testimony asserts that the town “predicts” three feet of water rise in water from 2017 to 2047.

NOAA tide data from Newport puts the 100-year trend at 2.85 millimeters per year of increase.  We’re currently five years of the 30 into Michaud’s prediction — 17% of the timespan supposedly bringing a three-foot water rise — and even taking this climate-change-friendly data source at face value puts the increase below that trend, at 12 millimeters.  The trend to hit three feet in 2047 would have to be a huge curve upward, and if that doesn’t happen, the 100 year destruction of 75% of the Warren neighborhood seems implausible.

Again, let’s get away from the numbers.  Michaud is claiming that by the time a child born today begins to reach full adulthood, when she’ll probably be into her retirement, the water will have permanently risen nearly the full difference between low tide and high tide.  Does that seem plausible?

Whatever your answer, the timespan raises an important question that nobody asks:  Will there be any consequences at all for Michaud (whom, not to be unfair, I’m merely presenting as a proximate example of a great many people) if this dire prediction turns out to be laughably wrong?  Of course not.

Maybe that should change.  How about somebody in government who imprudently terrifies the public in this way should lose her or his pension.  Something.

Right now, climate alarmism has only upside, so it’s not surprising how much we see of it.


Featured image by Gustave Courbet on WikiArt.

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