Spalding Craft: Wait for evidence of sea-level rise

May 16, 2014 

Bruce Siceloff’s May 15 news article “ State begins sea-level forecast,” particularly when viewed in context with your May 15 editorial “Getting warmer,” unfairly characterizes skeptics of sea-level change as cranks or developers with a vested interest in the status quo.

As a matter of scientific fact, sea-level rise has not accelerated from the historical rate (about a foot per century). To require communities to plan, starting now, for a 3-foot rise by 2100 is justified only by blind faith in climate models that so far have been highly imperfect. Average temperatures have not increased for the last 14 years, and sea-level increase has not changed, despite dire forecasts.

Yes, the climate is warming and sea levels will get higher, but can’t we wait for some evidence of accelerated sea-level rise before we bake into law a prediction that will unfairly punish legitimate coastal development? The intelligent thing to do would be to plan now for the background rate, then revisit the evidence every 10 years or so.

I’m a retired lawyer with no interest in real-estate development. However, I would like for us to avoid passing damaging rules before the facts require it.

Spalding Craft

Morehead City

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