McClaughry: Is there a sea level rise problem?

By John McClaughry

One of the most serious coming effects of climate change, as declared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will be rising sea levels. Global Mean Sea Level has risen steadily by  around eleven inches since 1940, and the IPCC projects an acceleration as higher global temperatures cause the oceans to expand. Let’s say it might rise by two feet by the year 2100.

I got to thinking, the level of Lake Champlain varies by six feet over the course of each year, and that’s been going on since Champlain first visited here in 1609.

Then last month my daughter bought a house on an inlet in coastal Maine. She remarked to me that twice a day her pretty little inlet is a broad stretch of mud with a tiny stream down the middle, as the tide comes in and out. She said “if I’m out in the middle of the inlet in our kayak, and lose track of time, I can’t get out of the boat and walk to shore because the mud is deep and impassable.”

So it occurred to me that if people living along Lake Champlain can cope with a six foot change in the high water mark every year, and the folks on the Maine coast can deal with a six foot change in the high water mark every 12 hours, why are we worrying about a two-foot rise sea level in 80 years?

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

11 thoughts on “McClaughry: Is there a sea level rise problem?

  1. Mr. McClaughry,

    I appreciate your often isightful commentaries. This one is lacking your usual keen observations. To compare an inland lake with no tides to the problems of rising sea levels is as they say, comparing apples to oranges. Not to recognize there are island nations and low lying large populations areas in countries already prone to flooding, is to ignore the real danger to millions pose by rising sea levels.

    Climate Change advocates have done a real disservice by their extreme comments, exaggerations and impractical ideas. Those of us who recognize the impact humans have on the environment, believe in conservaton and seek reasonable adjustments to ensure a healthy life for future generations would do well not to imitate climate extremists when making our arguements.

    • John,

      Please check for yourself.

      A recent article (June 6) tell us that Guadalupe in the Caribbean is going to be uninhabitable in 20 years due to sea level rise, presumably from CO2. We’re told that all Caribbean islands will be affected.

      I can’t find any long-term sea level trends for the Caribbean; the nearest I can find is Key West, but I think we can safely assume that this is representative of sea level rise for the general area. If we go to the NOAA website I linked to in another comment, we find the trend for Key West and it’s 2.52 mm/year since 1913. There’s no rise in the trend: it fluctuates and is now toward the upper end, but it’s done that in the past.

      There is no signature of sea level rise due to CO2. It doesn’t exist. It’s pure speculation and assumption, plugged into models that spit out a reality that we take as true and certain.

      Since I’m limited to only one link to avoid moderation, you might also want to look up “Low-lying Pacific islands ‘growing not sinking'” by the BBC.

      Virtually nothing that we’re told CO2 is doing is actually happening. It’s just “to a hammer everything looks like a nail.”

      One of the greatest threats to us isn’t CO2 climate change, but instead the theory of CO2 climate change. This theory is now being used to bludgeon us into a new “stay safe” and is the basis for the radical reset of society and economics proposed by the World Economic Forum (look it up!) which will lead us to a collectivist global government (“build back better”) wherein we’ll all be monitored and managed for a greater good we’ll have no say in. Why will this be “necessary”? Because of supposed CO2 catastrophic warming. But, this is fiction. The fiction is necessary for imposing global governance, much as our reaction to Covid-19 supposedly necessitated a global medical police state.


  2. Considering what it costs to live on any coast – East, Gulf or West, only the wealthy seem to have the largest, most expensive homes right on the water and if it get’s flooded or blown apart, they just build right back where it was before. Mother Nature will do whatever she wishes – blowing off an underwater volcano, breaking a fault line, blowing the top off a dormant volcano…most never know when it will happen, but it does happen and it is happening. The Earth survives…climate change activists do not.

  3. All you need to know about gorebull war mongering…. a 1989 statement by a
    UNEP (environmental program) Representative declared Nations Will Be Underwater by 2000

    Have you heard of any Nations Under water EVER??? and it’s been 22 years
    beyond their claim. It’s all part of the one world order to make the USA a third
    world country by taking away our capitalist society and spreading our wealth to the
    misfit counties of the world using WEF, WHO, the UN and other world councils.

    As far as I’m concerned they can take their climate change and shove it where the
    sun don’t shine…The climate isn’t a constant, it’s always changing and political hacks can’t do anything about it..

  4. The same rationale needs to be applied to Earth’s warming as we continue to rebound from the Little Ice Age at a 0.13 deg C/ decade pace. CO2 is following the Earth’s warming, not driving it.
    Here in Vermont our avg. seasonal temps vary some 70 degrees with day to day variations of 30+ degrees. I think we can all manage 2 degrees. Not sure we can really even notice it honestly. Warmer winter low temperatures are welcome.

  5. We should ask what’s the reality behind the hype. holds that we need to get CO2 to 350 ppm to “stay safe.”

    In 1960, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was approximately 320 ppm.

    Were the seas rising in 1960? Yes, they were. Why? Not because of CO2: we note that oceans have been rising since 1900, according to long-term tide gauges. Why? We might surmise that this is a natural reaction from the Little Ice Age (circa 1300-1850.) Going back to geologic time scales, we can note that we’ve have rapid sea level rises in the past, and the current sea level is relatively stable.

    We can see that evidence for ourselves in long-term sea level information provided by NOAA.

    A couple of long-term tide gauges are these: Honolulu; the Battery (NYC); Newlyn, UK; and Mera, Japan. If we click on these and then in the pop-up window we click on “linear trend,” we see that there’s no acceleration in sea level rise: it remains fairly constant. Sea level is rising for reasons that have nothing to do with CO2; otherwise, prior to 1960, if CO2 were affecting sea levels, we should have seen a lesser slope in sea level rise. We don’t see that.

    We can’t splice satellite altimetry to tide gauge data and then say,” look, acceleration!” If the tide gauges aren’t showing it– our most direct data– then we have to assume that the satellite data is calibrated wrongly. Indeed, this is exactly what a sea level expert, Nils Axel Morner, states is the case: the satellite data showed no sea level rise, and they tilted the data to fit the theory.

    Sea level is, indeed, rising, as it has been since about 1900 or earlier. We should figure out why and there are several reasonable theories for this. None of them, however, posit that CO2 reached back in time and made the sea levels since 1900 start to rise. We see no acceleration of this rise. We therefore see no effect whatsoever of CO2 on sea level.

    We should understand that the oceans hold 1000x the heat of the atmosphere. It would therefore be absurd to imagine that the atmosphere– which would have to rise 100 degrees to warms the oceans 0.1 degree– is doing much to the oceans. And, we really don’t care if the arctic melts completely (which it isn’t: there’s plenty of winter ice and spring ice has been rising since about 2014.) The arctic is sea ice. And so far, there’s no significant melting of Greenland or Antarctic ice, despite the massive hype, and we can see this is sea level rise, which, as can be demonstrated by simply looking at actual long-term sea level graphs, isn’t accelerating.

    Nothing is happening. We can see this for ourselves. Nothing that isn’t in harmony with natural cycles is happening. Even the polar bears are fine, despite all the hype.

  6. One of the most serious coming effects of climate change, as declared by the Intergovernmental
    Panel on Climate Change will be ” rising “sea levels !!

    Sure, the only thing on the rise at sea level, is all the new real estate construction, and it not
    cheap…………. apparently this rising sea level scare isn’t scaring the developers or the banks
    funding these projects ……. ” The sky is falling, the sky is falling”……..again.

    Oh yeah #44 Barack Hussein Obama purchased real estate on Martha’s Vinyard and spent
    $12M…… he must be really scared or stupid ??

  7. Are really smart people concerned at all about rising sea levels?……..Apparently not.

    Based on what’s happening to the prices of ocean front properties around this country and the world, the really smart people can’t buy ocean front homes fast enough……Price nor rising sea levels are factors as millions of dollars in asking prices have sky-rocketed in recent years as buyer’s continue to bid up the prices.

    If smart people are actually smart people, and if they weren’t smart how did they get those millions of dollars to buy ocean front properties?……And if they are smart, they’re most surely read the New York Times and are aware of the warnings of raising sea levels.

    So who are you going to believe?……The kids from VPRVG and 350.ORG preaching about rising sea levels or the smart people betting on rising ocean front property prices and non-rising sea levels?

    PS: Let’s not forget about the “smartest of smart people” Barack Obama and his nose thumbing at rising sea levels and ocean front property acquisitions……If you don’t believe me that Obama is smart, just ask him.

    • Peter:
      A guy by the name of Betts, who claims to be DR. (of what, I am not sure)
      says that the sea levels are rising at an alarming rate. I do not believe him for a minute. The state of Florida, for the most part, has been under water 4 times since they have been able to document that. This does go back thousands of years. So if we have all of these precursors in FL, what is keeping the problems from manifesting, when during the dung burning eras there were high sea levels? I have found that in trying to come to grips that make sense, historical events and facts are items people like Betts and others do not want to hear. The reasons being, they(reasons) thwart the cases they are trying to make.

  8. It’s all about scare tactics and people who build in low lying areas that are routinely subject to flooding.

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