23 May We cannot afford to be like a diabetic in denial
We cannot afford to be like a diabetic in denial when in comes to speaking out loud and doing something to mitigate sea level rise.
When asked to speak to groups about rising sea levels I avoid using politically charged phrases like “climate change, carbon emissions or melting glaciers.” Instead, I talk about what I have seen through my own eyes in the Beaufort River and the many creeks around us. I share that I saw the tide rise over eight inches on the dock that was in front of my house and how the neighbors dock was underwater durning King Tides. I talk about what happens when stormwater from heavy rains collide with high tides forcing draining systems to fail because the outfalls into the rivers and creeks are lower that the sea level and the systems takes in rather than discharges water flooding the area.
Some in the development and real estate business discourage me from writing and talking about rising sea levels because it could discourage people from moving here. My purpose is just the opposite which is to demonstrate the our small city has our eyes open, a task force of volunteers working on possible solutions and staff already looking for federal grants to address some of the issues we face that will only get worse if we do not address them.
I have not read the study referenced in the following article. But my anecdotal evidence is that most of the City can become resilient for up to three feet if not more. And I am not sure we will see a mass retreat by our residents at the rates suggested by the researcher. That said, it opens one’s eyes. The sooner we work together as a community, the better chance we have of preserving the special place we are fortunate to be able to call home.