Skip to content

Bay Area Voters Will Decide Next Month If They Want To Pay To Adapt To Sea Level Rise

May 14, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




From the loons at Climate Progress:


California has long been a leader in tackling climate change. But in June, voters in the San Francisco Bay area will have the chance to take their state’s commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation a step further.

Measure AA, which will be on the June 7 ballot in nine counties in the Bay Area, seeks to improve the health of the San Francisco Bay by instituting a tax on Bay Area citizens. The tax, which would amount to a property tax of $12 a year, or $1 a month, would fund projects to remove pollution and toxins from the bay and improve habitat along the bay’s shore. That in and of itself is important: the San Francisco Bay is plagued by mercury, pharmaceuticals, runoff from cars and trucks, and trash — a 2012 study found that the bay takes in 1.36 million gallons of trash every year.

This is an extremely forward-thinking solution to climate adaptation

But the tax, which is expected to raise $500 million in the next 20 years, would also tackle a more dire threat to San Francisco residents: sea level rise. The money would go towards projects that would “provide nature-based flood protection through wetland and habitat restoration along the Bay’s edge and at creek outlets that flow to the Bay,” and “build and/or improve flood protection levees that are a necessary part of wetland restoration activities.”

“This is an extremely forward-thinking solution to climate adaptation,” said Garrison Frost, spokesman for Audubon California, one of several environmental organizations supporting the measure. The state of California has done a lot to address climate change, he said, but so far its efforts to adapt to climate change haven’t quite caught up to its efforts to mitigate it. That’s where initiatives like this come in. “There are a lot of things happening in state capital right now on adaptation … [the state] is incredibly proactive, but frankly, budgets are tight,” he said.

And adapting to climate change — and the sea level rise that accompanies it — is essential for a coastal state like California. According to the National Research Council, sea levels off the coast of much of California are projected to rise by about three feet over the next hundred years. That’s higher than the average projected sea level rise for the rest of the world, and will leave the coast more vulnerable to storm surges and waves. That includes San Francisco Bay: according to the NRC report, which was published in 2012, the Bay Area could see an increase of “extreme water heights” from nine hours per decade now to hundreds of hours per decade by 2050, and thousands of hours per decade by 2100.


Meanwhile, back in the real world, sea levels at San Francisco in the last 160 years have been rising at a sedate rate of 1.94mm/year.





And far from accelerating the rate of increase has been slowing down in the last half century.




The real pity is that the money they want to waste on a non existent problem could have been spent on the other, very real environmental problems, which they have identified. Things like pollution and toxins.

  1. Robert Doyle permalink
    May 14, 2016 9:56 pm

    So, the test is:

    Will citizens give blindly?
    If so, how long will the process continue?

    Thank you for your blog.

  2. Billy Liar permalink
    May 14, 2016 11:06 pm

    ‘Wetland restoration’ worked really well for the Somerset levels didn’t it?

    Maybe it will be different in SF Bay and cause fewer problems than it solves.

  3. John F. Hultquist permalink
    May 15, 2016 2:38 am

    $ per parcel
    Therefore, the low income folks will pay relatively more than the rich.
    The reverse Robin Hood technique.

  4. May 15, 2016 3:50 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  5. Dave Reed permalink
    May 15, 2016 4:56 am

    I live in the Bay Area, and will vote on the Measure AA in the upcoming election. I was quite surprised to read here that we might be voting to “pay to adapt to sea level rise.” In fact, as you can see if you read the above link to Measure AA, it is not concerned with “Climate Change” or rising sea levels,
    Before each election here, we receive a booklet which contains the text of any propositions or measures, and impartial analyses of the effect(s), an argument in favor, an argument in opposition, and rebuttals to each argument. None of that material mentions rising sea level.
    I suppose that the Audubon Society claim ( that the measure would protect against sea level rise is technically true, since part of the funds are to be spent on flood protection. However, the actual concern is severe storms. In the past few decades, flooding from the Napa and Sacramento rivers has been suppressed by accumulating flood waters in the reservoirs behind our big dams. This flood control policy comes at the price of keeping the reservoirs filled to only ~70% of capacity. The recent sustained drought has called this policy into question, and we may decide to allow higher water downstream during storms. Measure AA is claimed to provide some protection against that, along with the 4 other thrusts of the measure.

    • miket permalink
      May 15, 2016 6:54 pm

      Thanks for the additional information. Just shows, again, how careful one has to be before accepting that what one is being told is the full story.

  6. Graeme No.3 permalink
    May 15, 2016 5:37 am

    Sea level rise will be about three feet over the next hundred years. That’s higher than the average projected sea level rise for the rest of the world???? Or do they mean that California will be so burdened with debt that it will slide downwards?

  7. May 15, 2016 12:02 pm

    One big earthquake could change all the airy-fairy calculations in a matter of seconds.

  8. May 15, 2016 2:27 pm

    Of course they’ll approve it, they’re Liberals aren’t they and as such believe any and all drivel the warmist put out.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      May 15, 2016 11:00 pm


      But as Liberals they believe in spending OTHER people’s money.

  9. 4TimesAYear permalink
    May 16, 2016 4:44 am

    Reblogged this on 4timesayear's Blog.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: