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Wacko alarmists miss real LA CPRA report story

Predictably, environmentalist wackos took the draft 2017 master plan issued by Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and spun it to fulfill Luddite fantasies, thereby missing the actual story.

Every five years the state prepares one, which outlines the kinds of projects and estimated dollar amounts of these to protect the coast. As part of the process, it tries to gauge the utility of these through a forecast of future scenarios, including the input of climate change. This expresses itself through an estimation of sea level rise (SLR).

The draft 2017 version outlines three scenarios for the rise. In Oct., 2015, a team of scientists and others forwarded their best guesses concerning the range of estimates. Naturally, given the notorious imprecision and lamentable track record in past predictions of this nature, the data they used was fraught with peril. For example, the research leaned on work from the National Climate Assessment (NCA) issued in 2014 by the Pres. Barack Obama Administration, a document replete with overstatements and mischaracterizations that made it more a sales pitch than informed source, and also the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report long on politics and short on science. As another, it utilized a Maryland report the conclusions of which those data simply did not support.

Nevertheless, it came up with a range of predicted sea level rise slightly attenuated at both ends compared to the 2012 report, which had policy recommendations based upon a scenario of 50 centimeter rise and 100 centimeter rise by 2100. That appendix then went to the CPRA, which shortly thereafter came under the control of the Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration.

The draft version the CPRA subsequently released included that data and its three chosen scenarios. Yet despite the similarity in postulated SLR to the 2012 report, the CPRA for the draft 2017 report chose scenarios of much higher SLR by 2100 – 100, 150, and 200 cm, the highest beyond what the appendix forecast and higher than just about any allegedly scientific study of any place on Earth ever released (the NCA and ravings of former National Aeronautics and Space Administration mandarin James Hansen aside).

That produced breathless headlines, but even that wasn’t enough for some wackos. One went so far as to take the only line in the entire report that even remotely mentioned the possibility that significant anthropogenic climate change existed – “The culprits … include the effects of climate change, sea level rise, subsidence, hurricanes, storm surges, flooding, disconnecting the Mississippi River from coastal marshes, and human impacts” – and fantastically concatenated that into implying that the report links anthropogenic climate change with natural disasters to produce large loss.

But even those less unhinged also confused science and politics. Longtime Louisiana climate alarmist Bob Marshall, in an article reprinted in the Baton Rouge Advocate, also imputed the report to say that a cause of land loss was “accelerating sea-level rise due to global warming” – an assertion simply not present in it. He also argues that the impetus to the draft’s shifting more attention to flood mitigation came from the “steadily increasing rate of sea-level rise as greenhouse gas emissions warm the oceans and melt ice fields and glaciers” – based upon a view of accelerating SLR with little scientific support.

Of course, these writers who religiously believe in the faith of significant anthropogenic climate change missed the real story – the politics behind changing the SLR scenarios. If that ever comes out, it should be fascinating.

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