17 May 2007


I find myself this first post-legislative day in the delightful community of Shishmaref, that poster-child of global warming. The story, for those of not in the know, is that increasingly severe fall storms and later-forming sea ice have devasted Shishmaref's shoreline leading to dangerous erosion.

I arrived with this knowledge and eager to see the shoreline for myself. But when I took a walk along the oceanside of town this morning, I thought to myself, "How can erosion possibly be a problem? There's a good 50 to 75 feet between the nearest house and the waterline."

Then I actually started talking to people and almost immediately heard this comment from one store-owner who lives near the shore: "We lost 40 feet of beach in the last severe fall storm we had. And we've had two of those storms in the last three years."

It's amazing what happens when you talk to people who actually know what they're talking about rather than leaping to whatever first conclusion enters your mind.

1 comment:

CabinDweller said...

Yeah, and just take a look at some pictures from 97, or hmm, 98. There were several houses ready to fall over a severely undercut bank. Heck, I took a bunch of them.

They've lost a ton of shoreline over the years and moved a bunch of homes already.