Alarmism at Scientific American (again)February 24, 2015
Scientific American is such an embarrassment. It’s sad, because I used to like that magazine.
Once again they are shills for the global warming alarmists, scaring people with wildly exaggerated claims about sea level rise. This time Colin Sullivan writes that the sea level at New York City could increase by six feet by 2100.
Heat waves and floods caused by climate change could mean disaster for the Big Apple’s five boroughs by the end of the century, with sea levels now predicted by a new report to climb by as much as 6 feet by 2100.
Really? 6 feet by 2100????
First, lets start with a minor point. Real scientists and science writers usually don’t use “feet,” they use meters. So why does Scientific American use “feet?” My guess is that it is some linear combination of the following two reasons: the Scientific America audience isn’t really scientifically literate these days, and “6 feet” sounds like more than “2 meters” (even though it is actually slightly less).
Now, lets get to the major point. Any responsible journalist writing about sea level rise in at New York City would present the historical data. There are nearly 150 years of sea level rise data available for The Battery (at the southern tip of Manhattan) from NOAA…
Do you notice that the sea level rise is less than 3 mm/year? Can you detect an acceleration over the past 150 years? The sea level at the Battery will go up about 22 cm by 2100 at the present rate. To go up 6 feet (1.83 meters) by 2100 it would have to look something like this…
There is a part of me that wants to heap invective on Colin Sullivan and Scientific American, but I realize that while that may make me feel better, it will not help the situation. So I will simply ask them, “Why don’t you show the actual historic data?” It seems like a no-brainer, and anything less is journalistic malpractice.
Deniers and Alarmists
People like me have been branded with the “denier” epithet. Why this particular word? We are called “deniers” an ugly attempt to link us with Holocaust deniers. It is an inaccurate and unfair moniker.
But we tend to call those at the other end of the spectrum “alarmists.” Is that an unfair accusation? I don’t think so, and this Scientific American article demonstrates why. They pretend to be an objective source, but leave out the most pertinent data. I can only think of two possible reasons for this: they are just stupid, or they want to cause a state of alarm. I may be charitable in assigning the second motive. “Alarmist” is an accurate and fair epithet for them.