Diary

Whoa Ho, Up She Rises

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Under the disturbing headline in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, “Sea Levels Rising Faster, Study Says,” we learned “Global sea levels are rising faster than previously thought, though seawaters haven’t climbed as high as scientists estimated, according to a new study.” In other words, the reason seawaters haven’t risen as high as expected is because they are rising faster than expected.

If there is a better example of the tortured casuistry of the zealous Climaterian evangelist, it is likely buried in a footnote on page 2365 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report.

The sea level study, which was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, sought to explain why sea levels weren’t rising as fast as environmentalist prophets had hoped they were, or, to put it another way, if the sky was in fact falling, why weren’t bits and pieces of it found floating in the ocean?

Much to the dismay of serious climate science grant writers, despite hundreds of billions of pounds of carbon and other greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere since 1993–nearly half of that emitted by private jets carrying Al Gore, Bill McKibben and other diminutive poultry to climate conferences in exclusive resorts around the world–sea levels have only risen a paltry 3.2 millimeters a year. That translates into a total global sea level rise of–wait for it–2.77 inches.

At this rate, tiny South Pacific islands will be completely underwater within a millennium or two. Obviously, that couldn’t be true. I mean, who’s going to willingly return to the lifestyle and life expectancy of the stone age just to forestall an event not likely to occur within the lifetime of your great-great-great-great grandchildren?

Faced with a fact-based challenge to the One True Faith, Christopher Watson, Abbot of the University of Tasmania and Climaterian Monastery, commissioned a study. Using the most up-to-date scientific tools, the study resolved the question of why the sea level rise failed to come anywhere near the numbers proclaimed by the Prophets of the One True Faith.

Lo and behold, upon careful analysis, it turned out that sea levels hadn’t increased by 3.2 millimeters a year, but in fact, it had increased by somewhere between 2.6 and 2.9 millimeters a year, reaching a total increase of 2.25 – 2.50 over the past 22 years. Yes, that’s correct. Or, as Gautam Naik, the Wall Street Journal reporter put it, “Sea levels were more or less static in recent millennia. But there had been a significant rise in the 20th century, which is widely accepted to be one of the most pronounced effects of climate change.”

Quick quiz: if you saw the ocean levels rise by less than two-and-a-half inches over the course of more than two decades, would you describe that result as more or less static, or a significant rise? If you chose the latter, you may have what it takes to become a High Priest or Priestess of the Climaterian Faith.

What existing High Priests confronted was an existential crisis of faith. How could the seas not be rising ever more rapidly? (The answer, of course, is that Barack Obama was nominated as the Democrat Party Presidential standard bearer in 2008. You may recall his proclamation that from that day forward, the seas would no longer rise). However, as Obama’s term is about to end, the seas must necessarily resume their inexorable rise. The climate clerics had to find the numbers to support their panicked cries for additional research dollars.

Using really nifty new tools, including satellite imagery, tide gauges and accounting for “a slight discrepancy related to the electronics,” the they found what they were looking for. Even though the seas were rising even more slowly than expected, over the last ten years the rate of slowing in the rising levels was lower than in the previous 12 years, which is “consistent with the projection of future sea-level rise estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change!”

So, there you have it. Scientific proof that the sky is in fact falling, and the seas are rising, and we all need to reduce our carbon footprints so Fiji Islanders won’t be forced to live in house boats in Marin County and climate change advocates can continue to fly around the world on their private jets preaching and seeking converts to the One True Faith.