Thursday, July 30, 2015

Washington DC Is Sinking Into The Sea; Will Take Bad Politicos With It?

Burlington (Vermont) Free Press editor and writer Adam Silverman created a splash on the pages of USA Today this week by reporting on splashy research indicating Washington DC is sinking.

Well, we knew for ages that metaphorically, Washington is sinking, but now Silverman tells us that University of Vermont research say the sinking scenario is literal.

Washington DC is sinking, and the ocean is rising
Rut ruh, Jim Inhofe!!  
Or, as Silverman puts it, "......the results of a study that concludes the District of Columbia is sinking is a physical manifestation of the political environment in the nation''s capital."

The news has been picked up by all the major news outlets. Cue the late night comic jokes, too.

Here's the problem:

The U.S. Geological Survey and UVM research shows much of DC sits on land dredged up from the Potomac River. It's settling, and is expected to fall six inches or more during the next 100 years.

Meanwhile, sea levels are rising, possibly faster than first thought, due to climate change.

Money quote in the USA Today article:

"'It's ironic that the nation's capital, the place least responsive to the dangers of climate change, is sitting in one of the worst spots in could be,' said Paul Bierman a geologist at the University of Vermont in Burlingotn and senior author of the new paper about Washington's descent, said in a statement. 'Will the Congress just sit there with their feet getting ever wetter?'"

Probably not, the way things are going. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-OK, will probably just grab another snowball to "prove" to the world that Washington is not in climate and elevation trouble.

I'll just let Silverman do a little more reporting here, as seen in USA Today:

"'This falling land will exacerbate the flooding that the nation's capital faces from rising ocean waters due to a warming climate and melting ice sheets  - accelerating the threat to the region's monuments, roads, wildlife refuges and military installations,' University of Vermont researchers said in releasing the findings Tuesday."

We've heard about Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Will Congress, under the powerful intoxicant of the fossil fuel lobby, throw snowballs while Washington DC sinks?

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