28 May 2017
Raul Grijalva, the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a hot letter this week to the Secretary of the Interior. It was about the removal of the first line of a USGS press release last week. The press release was about a newly published paper showing a dramatic increase in coastal flooding as sea level rises, and I wrote about it last week here. Even Richard Nixon would tell you that it’s the cover-up that gets you in deep water, and last week’s attempt by political appointees did just that.
The letter is below:
Coastal flooding is becoming an ever increasing issue here in Maryland and in nearby Delaware, and Coastal Flood Warnings were issued this past week along the Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay. There was no storm, just a new Moon and a light to moderate onshore flow, but that’s all it takes now, and every year is a little worse. This NOAA report from 2016 has more about it and the image below is from it.
Look at the chart below from NOAA’s Climate.gov blog. Lewes, Delaware (in my viewing area) has seen a dramatic increase in flood days since 1960 from around 5 to 23 now. We cover flood issues here with nearly every storm or astronomical high tide. Bethany Beach (just south of Lewes) has even greater water issues, but it’s widespread along the east coast now from Miami to Boston.
So, go ahead and censor press releases. This issue needs a lot more public attention, and that will certainly help. Just ask John Dean (His book Blind Ambition is a must-read by the way). I would suggest that the political appointee who removed the inconvenient line from that press release start with this one first.