By Robert T. Smith
According to a Newsweek article, a "study has highlighted the speed at which U.S. cities along the East Coast are sinking as sea levels continue to rise...This subsidence is largely a result of climate change." The point of the article is to proselytize once again for the existential crisis alleged to be caused by man's effect on the climate.
Accidentally, this allegation of climate change causing sinking land is correct. However, this fact is not in our time, but in earth's time.
In their practice of science, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) studies glacial isostatic adjustmentfrom the last ice age 16,000 years ago that continues to this day. Imagine ice two miles thick sitting on the earth's surface. The downward pressure under the two mile thick ice sheet compresses the soil, but just like pushing down on a pillow at home, the adjacent soil (or home pillow) not under the ice sheet (or the adjacent pillow that is not being pushed down) rises. "Flash forward" in earth's time to the two-mile thick glacier having melted due to the natural cycles of the earth, and the soil that it had compressed continues to rebound upward to this day. At the same time, the area of soil adjacent to the ice sheet that had been pushed upward during the glacial period of earth time continues to sink in our time as a function of this glacial isostatic adjustment.
Other causes of land sinking are due to the earth's natural activities and also to some of man's activities. Some land subsidence is related to plate tectonic activity, extracting oil, groundwater, or minerals from underground or even the weight of large buildings in concentrated areas of cities pressing the earth's crust downward.
As we know from the earth's time, the climate has been warming since the last ice age as depicted in this example Figure from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which also demonstrates the climatic changes, warming and cooling not caused by man's activity, over the earth's time.
As we also know, there are short-term and mid-term changes to the climate based on the natural rhythms of the earth acting in its time. Our earth has gone through many periods of naturally occurring global warming and cooling. The historical record allows us to know that the Vikings colonized and established agriculture in Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period, and we know of the dark days of a frozen Thames River in the U.K. during the Little Ice Age. Each of us older folks can remember alternating colder and warmer times, alternating periods of snowy, rainy, or dry times in our own lifetimes.
The knowledge of the science and history of earth's time should mitigate the ongoing proselytizing by the man-caused climate warming zealots and their desire to dictate a large portion of man's activities through the control of carbon.
Robert T. Smith is an environmental scientist who spends his days enjoying life and the pursuit of happiness with his family. He confesses to cling to his liberty, guns and religion, with antipathy toward the arrogant ruling elites throughout the country.