By Progressive Charlestown guest columnist Jim Bedell
This is the complete and illustrated column that ran edited letter the Independent. Jim’s organization, the Rhode Island Shoreline Access Coalition fights for the right of all Rhode Islanders to use and enjoy the shoreline as guaranteed by the Rhode Island Constitution.
|Some of “It” is scary, some of “It” is hopeful.|
The scary part is the consolidating evidence of global warming, the surprising acceleration of sea level rise, and the accepting of the profound effects these will have on Rhode Island.
The hopeful part is the proactive call to arms by our little state, stepping out in front of the crowd to take meaningful steps to deal with the changes coming our way.
Those steps come in the package of CRMC’s Beach SAMP (Special Area Management Plan.) If you don’t know what that is…well…start paying attention.
It is time to look over the time horizon. Sea level rise is accelerating way beyond previous assumptions.
Before anthropogenic warming began accelerating in the mid 1900s, scientists spoke of natural post glacial sea level rise in terms of a few inches per century! The latest NOAA projections cite the range in sea level rise above 1990 levels to be a maximum of 7 feet by 2100.
The youngest of our current schoolchildren will live long enough to see Waterplace Park, Galilee, Misquamicut and much of Wickford and lower Newport under water, and whole waterfront neighborhoods abandoned.