Texas gets Smaller

Interesting piece from McClatchy newspapers included on the Guardian online today, all about the dramatic change to the Texas coastline that will follow this latest hurricane.

Texas is of course famous for being huge, but also for having a highly developed coastline and generally a very polluted environment. And one of the changes that is mentioned in the article is the rising sea level, they quote an article in the journal Science:

global sea level rise of 31.5 inches by the year 2100 should be the assumption. The highest conceivable rise, they estimate, is 6.5 feet.

6.5 feet..? 2 meters in less than 100 years, at the most.

More disturbing changes for Texas, many of the important barrier islands were washed away during Ike, and other natural barriers have also taken a huge hit. This means the next storms will do even greater damage to places further inland, possibly places that are not prepared to deal with flood waters and dangerous winds.

If you read the article for yourself it gets into oxygen levels in the gulf of mexico, which are also a major point of concern.? Yet somehow since hurricane ike passed you don’t see the mainstream examining these issues and investigating how the coast is going to be OR not be re-enforced and restored in an environmentally sound way.? Much like in Louisiana, once again we are left wondering if there will even be a coastline in 20 years, and why is the federal government not preparing for this reality.

Later this week I’ll be back on this topic, only this time with a focus on the very grim recovery process in Haiti.


  1. September 23, 2008

    Living in Houston, TX has allowed for many benefits and few hurdles. Like any well-worn shoe, when the weather gets bad the seams will loosen to allow water in, and tighten once dried.

    For every soul who had a more miserable time waiting for FEMA goods than durng the storm itself, imagine how those who lost less than a home could wait in line for a hand-out.

    Mother nature prepares the future of Earth regardless of those who wait in line for tomorrow’s good weather. What we think is painful is not nearly as bad as what we would put ourselves through for something free. Nothing’s free, and the closer you put yourself to the edge, the farther away from a real future will you enjoy.

  2. September 25, 2008

    I live right next to the sea, and I remember a few years ago when the Greenland Ice Sheet Melt = +7m Sea Level first got reported, the first thing I did was go and measure how far above mean high tide our house is. 14m – so not such an immediate panic. But for people living on low-lying land, this is clearly a problem RIGHT NOW – never mind in a 100 years’ time!

    • bicyclemark
      September 26, 2008

      thanks for the comment and certainly food for thought Karl… if only more people would at the very least go out and take note, measure for themselves as you did.

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