Climate Change: Report Warns State on Sea Level Rise

By Published On: September 16, 2011

It could be goodbye to “Muscle Beach” where Austrian immigrant and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger worked out as a young man to pump up his Hollywood career. At least, that’s what a Sept. 13 report examining beach erosion due to climate change-induced sea level rise warns. The California Department of Boating & Waterways-funded report predicts billions of dollars of statewide losses of property, tourism revenue, and wildlife habitat if the level of the ocean rises 4.6 feet by 2100. For instance, Venice--home to the outdoor Muscle Beach weight lifting gym where tourists ogle biceps and six pack abs--would be literally washed up. It could suffer an estimated loss of $440 million in tourism revenue because its beach would largely disappear. The researchers assessed the economic damage of a 4.6 foot sea level rise because that scenario marks the consensus expectation among state agency scientists about how much the ocean level will increase during this century due to climate change. * * * * * The California Air Resources Board Sept. 12 released proposed amendments to its carbon cap-and-trade program rules for public comment. The release comes in advance of an expected adoption hearing on Oct. 20. After expected approval of the amendments next month, the Air Board plans to send the final version of its rules to the state Office of Administrative Law for review. The Air Board plans to begin fully enforcing the cap-and-trade program in 2013. Accompanying the changes, the Air Board introduced a number of protocols to govern carbon emissions offset projects, including those involving forestry, livestock, and eliminating ozone-depleting substances. * * * * * Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency won’t make its end-of-the-month target date for proposing greenhouse gas standards for power plants. Speaking to reporters in San Francisco Sept. 14, Jackson said that developing the emissions standards remains a high priority for EPA, but that it is developing a new schedule that will extend beyond Sept. 30. Jackson’s announcement marks the second time in less than three months that EPA has delayed proposing the power plant greenhouse gas standards. In June, the agency announced it was moving its July 26 target date to Sept. 30. * * * * * Former Vice President Al Gore on Sept. 14-15 ran what he called “24 hours of reality” concerning climate change in a worldwide webcast involving speakers, panelists, and video on the effects of climate change in 24 locations around the world, though not California. “Ferocious storms and deadly heat waves are occurring with alarming frequency all over the world,” stated Gore. “We are living with the reality of the climate crisis every day.” The Heartland Institute--which disputes the scientific reality of anthropogenic global warming--dismissed Gore’s webcast for its “dogmatic view of climate catastrophe.”

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