Time to plan for rising sea levels

Climate change is the subject of intense debate, particularly over its cause.

Manmade or natural? It doesn’t matter to many of us who believe that the climate is, in fact, changing.

What’s more, it should matter even less to those who live along our coastlines where sea levels are rising. That is virtually beyond dispute. The ocean levels are increasing and they figure to threaten the very communities that sit at the water’s edge.


Thus is it time for local experts to take the hint from climatologists and other experts to deal with this issue locally rather than continue to think globally about climate change.

Texas is one of those many states sitting along large bodies of water that are facing increases in sea level. The Coastal Plain, in fact, rises from the Gulf of Mexico quite gradually, meaning that much of the plain rests at or just slightly above sea level for many miles inland.

We’re safe here on the Caprock, which sits nearly 3,700 feet above sea level. No one I’m aware of has said the Gulf of Mexico is going to rise that much.

But our neighbors downstate, along the Gulf Coast from the Valley to the Golden Triangle — indeed all the way along the coast eastward — need to begin thinking about the consequences of doing nothing.

It involves a lot more than just filling up sandbags, folks.

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