Galveston, Perry, Sea Level, Science and Politics

As the church lady would say, well, isn’t that convenient.  Apparently, there’s a Texas sized dustup about all of the above in my title.

Some whine bag is crying because his fluff science got edited out of a report.  The usual suspects are crying scientific censorship.  Oh noes!  Really?  Someone would edit poor science out of a report?  Shocking, truly shocking.

A pant wetting oceanographer named John Anderson wrote a chapter in a report for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about sea level rise in Galveston.  Apparently, Anderson works for Houston Advanced Research Center, which contracts with the TCEQ for a periodic “State of the Bay” publication.  But, when the report was submitted, officials decided they couldn’t accept a report that said climate change is caused by human activity and is causing the sea level to rise.  So, the commission commenced to editing the report………… because its theirs to do so.  But, Anderson says that the cuts to his paper were political and had nothing to do with science.  Oh, really?  He later states, “Sea level doesn’t just go up in Louisiana. We’re the next in line. We are in fact starting to see many of the changes that Louisiana was seeing 20 years ago, yet we still have a state government that refuses to accept this is happening.”

Well, since we’ve been screwing with sea level stuff, I thought I’d take a quick check.  The PSMSL database has two spots called Galveston.  Strangely, they both have the same annotation on it!  (Weird, I know.)  Way back when this was added…..

For a discussion of submergence near to Galveston, Freeport and
Sabine Pass, see Emery and Aubrey (Sea Levels, Land Levels and
Tide Gauges), 1991, Springer-Verlag, page 39.

You can find that here.

Now, this implies things but doesn’t really state much.  What does Emery and Aubrey have to say?

“Aubrey and Emery suggest, however, that tidal gauges should not be used unquestioningly as a benchmark for measuring eustatic sea-level changes. Tectonism, subsidence, ocean current variability, and human activity can, and do, affect the accuracy of these records. Understanding the reasons for changes in land and sea levels is essential for the proper development of coastal regions.”

The book costs about $160, so we’re going to have to be content with the synopsis.

So, what does all this mean?  We shouldn’t use Galveston sea-level information for much of anything.  There are and has been changes occurring to Galveston bay area for time period much longer than the current alarm over climate change.  What’s funny, is that if Anderson hadn’t gratuitously stated that (paraphrasing) ‘Human caused climate change was the cause for sea level rise’.  Then his little chapter probably would have gone untouched.  Galveston has a problem with their bay encroaching into their land.

Fortunately, readers here are well informed of the sea level changes, measured by both satellites and tidal gauges and know this Anderson is simply engaging in what he’s accusing the TCEQ of doing.  He’s rejecting established science and allowing his political bias to enter his work.  I hope Rice isn’t paying him that much for his works of fictional drivel.  It’s all over but the shouting, but the shouting is going to get louder and louder for a while.

If you stomach the whining, your can read about it here.  Or for the Guardian’s political hit job, here.  (They somehow managed to tie this to Virginia’s investigation of Mann.)

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2 Responses to Galveston, Perry, Sea Level, Science and Politics

  1. Mike Davis says:

    It is directly tied to the Virginia investigation of Mann. Both Anderson and Mann have created works of fiction that they want to pass off as science related to climate. Both have let their biases get in the way of real science!
    Maybe Anderson is trying out for a position of contributing author to RC.

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