CNN just posted an article about rising sea levels. It’s good to know that the editors are much smarter than President Donald Trump or his equally climate denying Environmental Protection Agency Commissioner, Scott Pruitt. The EPA matters because climate change is right up there with the national debt as a threat to national security. The DoD, in a recent report, says that rising sea levels will put more than a thousand military installations in serious jeopardy.
But CNN is wrong in their projections. I’ve just returned from Antarctica on a research trip to validate the most likely temperature and sea level rise projections in the ClyFy novel I’m writing. 3°F of average temperature increase and three feet of sea level rise by 2050. The scientists all agreed these were plausible.
I commented, “Two feet by 2100? Get real. 3 feet by 2050. Talk to me after Cat 6 hurricanes blanket the Caribbean every year. Last year was just a preview. Pay attention CNN.” Sea level rise is accelerating. One witty Facebook user quipped, “I will be dead by that time so who cares?” I thought he was being sarcastic, but he turned out to be dead serious.
And there you have it. This is why deniers exist. They don’t want to spend their own money to solve a problem that might affect their grandkids and not themselves. It’s pure, unadulterated selfishness. They can’t accept the truth of that, so they deny the science of climate change. The equation that is most dangerous, according to Jeffrey Kluger of Time, is n=1, otherwise stated as, “If it matters to me, it counts. If not, I don’t give a damn.” Trump and Pruitt and others of their ilk might have greed and corruption as motives. But n=1 applies to them, too.
Richard Smith is an author and policy analyst in Northern Virginia