Skip to content

Isle de Jean Charles & Sea Level Rise

April 20, 2019
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood



Jaime Jessop has written the first of what may be a series of posts on Attenborough’s documentary  the other day.

She has taken a close look at the Isle de Jean Charles, which you will recall is gradually being flooded:



Well, I sat through it, much to my disgust. It wasn’t easy. I don’t really know where to begin with the dissection of this truly awful climate change documentary from the BBC, so I guess I’ll just fire off this initial post picking up on one of the more obvious and egregious attempts to misinform the public.

The Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. It’s been largely submerged beneath the sea over the last 6 decades. The program gives the definite impression that the main reason for this inundation is sea level rise due to melting ice and thermal expansion of the oceans – driven by man-made climate change. Attenborough does mention oil extraction as a cause but his narrative is lost to the general tone of the messaging that this is a “climate catastrophe” and that the families driven from their homes in this part of Louisiana are some of the world’s first “climate refugees”. This is palpable bullshit.

Read the full post here.


I would two factoids:


Sea levels in the Mississippi delta have been rising at 9.08mm per annum, with no sign of acceleration.



Global sea levels are, of course, rising at about 2mm a year, so only about a fifth of the rise at Grande Isle (one of the barrier islands) is due to absolute sea level rise.

Most of the rise is due to the land sinking. This can be clearly seen on the map below:



Whereas most global sites are seeing relative sea level rise of between 0 and 3mm pa, the east coast of the US is slightly higher, between 3 and 6mm. This is because the east coast has been tilting downwards since the end of the ice age, as the NW rises as a result of ice melting.

However, you will note those two red arrows off the Louisiana coast, denoting a rise of above 9mm pa. They represent Grande Isle and Eugene Island, which I gather is actually an oilfield on top of a submerged mountain!

Clearly whatever local factors are at play, they have nothing to do with climate change.

The Isle de Jean Charles is also badly affected by coastal erosion and the dredging of canals, which prevents sedimentation from rebuilding the Isle. A double whammy, in other words.

  1. April 20, 2019 7:22 pm

    Here’s a recent very good read on this item:

    There’s SLR (smallest factor), subsidence (accelerated because of flood control efforts), oil extraction, and other man-made items.

    “The island is disappearing for all the usual reasons. It’s part of an ancient delta lobe whose soil is compacting. Sea levels are rising. In the early part of the twentieth century, it lost its main sources of fresh sediment to flood-control measures. Then came the oil industry, which dug canals through the wetlands. The canals pulled in salt water, and, as the salinity rose, the reeds and marsh grasses died. The die-off widened the channels, allowing in more salt water, causing more die-off and more widening.”

    In the New Yorker. Louisiana’s Disappearing Coast – The state loses a football field’s worth of land every hour and a half. Now engineers are in a race to prevent it from sinking into oblivion.


  2. April 20, 2019 7:29 pm

    Jaime (not Jamie) and it’s “she.” (We’re old-fashioned like that at Cliscep.) There’s a lot of interest in the complaint you’ll be doing with the GWPF to the BBC, and the question has been raised whether one big complaint is better, or lots of individual ones. Any thoughts?

    • April 20, 2019 7:41 pm


      Sorry, Jaime (Now corrected)

      I don’t see any reason why we should not sumbit several. The GWPF one may just concentrate on the major errors, so others may want to concentrate on the others

      • Dodgy Geezer permalink
        April 20, 2019 8:11 pm

        And the BBC will say that this is just one journalist’s opinion, so it doesn’t need to be balanced….

    • Bill Berry permalink
      April 21, 2019 9:48 am

      Poor old Attenborough has others hiding behind him. Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content; Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual; Sacha Baveystock; Serena Davies; Chris Rapley: should these perps also be the subject of complaint?

  3. Chris martin permalink
    April 20, 2019 7:48 pm

    I remember reading years ago that the system of man-made flood banks, levees and cutting of new channels on the Mississippi had drastically reduced the sediment load in many areas of the delta and that this meant that the balance had been shifted towards greater coastal erosion – no connection with climate change. Not to mention that deltas are naturally very dynamic and shifting zones and over thousands of years the Mississippi delta has formed in various different locations as the main channels have naturally shifted their course.

  4. Dodgy Geezer permalink
    April 20, 2019 8:09 pm

    What’s the point of telling us? We know. And there’s no point telling the BBC, who will ignore you.

    So there really isn’t much point in writing the above, is there?

    • HotScot permalink
      April 20, 2019 10:00 pm


    • Gerry, England permalink
      April 21, 2019 11:28 am

      If a programme receives a certain number of complaints they are required to investigate and respond. Other TV channels do it for all but the BBC considers itself above them so sets itself a threshold.

      Do we know who actually scripted the programme?

  5. quaesoveritas permalink
    April 20, 2019 8:16 pm

    Another recent BBC programme is the regular series “Weather World”, which although it purports to be about the weather, is increasingly “climate change” propaganda.
    And they don’t hide the fact.
    “Weather World looks at how our changing climate impacts life around us, from plants and trees to bird migration patterns.”

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 20, 2019 8:24 pm

    I pointed this out already on the DA thread, latest research says it is subsiding 9(av) to 12(max)mm pa. Fossil fuel co. engineering activities may be partly responsible, but fossil fuel use/climate change has next to nothing to do with the situation.

    It’s a swampy delta, how stable is anything there going to be naturally – only an idiot would build there and not expect problems in the medium/long term.

    BBC at it again:

    Fires/soaring temperatures/records nonsense.

    The fire bugs have been out all around the country – the sooner the existence of pyro-terrorism is admitted the better – but they won’t.

    A rasher of bacon thrown at a Mosque gets wall to wall outrage and yet the MSM ignores the constant torching/desecration of churches all over the world including Europe.

    • April 20, 2019 9:56 pm

      “A rasher of bacon thrown at a Mosque gets wall to wall outrage ” (by the MSM)

      Presumably the MSM want to raise copycat behaviour so they can report ‘society breaking down’; (no doubt because of CO2) .

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        April 21, 2019 11:37 am

        Jeremy Hunt has an article in several papers today about the persecution of Christians globally, and of course the Sri Lanka bombings could not be ignored by the BBC.

        But this still doesn’t cover the obvious campaign in Europe to burn and desecrate churches. And the MSM won’t cover it, because it raises the issue of immigration. So it will be buried – just like the doubt/debate on climate change.

        It’s all counter to allowed debate/opinion.

  7. April 20, 2019 10:06 pm

    What’s worrying is that people are taken in by this nonsense. Even if the complaints against the BBC are upheld – though I’m sure they will try to wriggle out of many of them – the damage is already done. Sceptics won’t be granted a prime time national TV slot to forensically expose and deconstruct the lies and half-truths, the misinformation and unashamed propaganda masquerading as ‘fact’ throughout this truly dreadful program. The complaints which are dismissed by the BBC should be followed up with OFCOM really, but few people can be bothered with that and still, the most that will happen is the BBC will be hit with a fine and a few inches of column space will be devoted to reporting on this well away from the headlines in the papers. This is why it’s so frustrating trying to counter the constant stream of alarmist hype pushed out by the legacy MSM in support of climate action. This is why it’s so important to keep the pressure on via widely read sceptic blogs like this one. The fear-mongers selling the “climate crisis” in order to promote the rapid decarbonisation agenda must not be allowed to have it all their own way.

    • mikewaite permalink
      April 20, 2019 10:33 pm

      Perhaps we are going about it in the wrong , ie gentlemany and British, way of using the allowed critical channels.
      Instead, think who at the BBC is really behind this promotion of poor and uncritical science and what might be their motives.
      It must be individuals high enough in the organisation to arrange the large amounts of money involved (licence payers money of course) and ferret out their backgrounds, links, political and financial associations. Then find an honest journalist (if there are any left) who could make the results( after careful checks of course for validity) open to the public. The results could be very revealing. IMO, and of course I could be wrong, Attenborough is just the monkey. Who actually is the organ grinder?

      • Bill Berry permalink
        April 21, 2019 9:51 am

        Spot on

    • ThinkingScientist permalink
      April 23, 2019 1:35 pm

      I would lay money this was primarily organised by Richard Black. Do you think the BC should have mentioned that the Director of the Environmental intelligence Unit was none other than their former Environmental Correspondent?

      What are Richard Blacks qualifications to spout Facts about Climate Change?

  8. April 20, 2019 10:18 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  9. April 20, 2019 11:18 pm

    I found this Twitter poll about the prog
    I’d guess there are more

  10. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    April 20, 2019 11:29 pm

    The Roman port of Alexandria is five metres below sea level.
    The Roman port of Ephesus is five metres above sea level.
    Therefore CO2 caused the Mediterranean to slope upwards.

  11. Duker permalink
    April 21, 2019 12:22 am

    Just looking at Google maps for Isle de jean charles shows that( whats left) is criss- crossed by access canals cut by the oil industry. This cuts allow storm surges to reach further inland and accentuate the coastal erosion. And of course being soft sediments in a major river delta means ( an old mouth of the Mississippi) its sinking any way with out any human activity.

  12. Broadlands permalink
    April 21, 2019 12:58 am

    Can someone, anyone, point to and geographically locate any human-inhabited location, an atoll, an island, a beach that has suffered permanent sea-level inundation (unrelated to subsidence)? That should be an “acid-test” for these climate alarmists. Where is it?

    • Duker permalink
      April 21, 2019 4:36 am

      if there was one , the Climate alarmists would have found it – but they havent so rely on
      estuary and deltas ‘sand bars’ in various forms.
      When the US explosed atomic bombs on atolls in the pacific first they drilled to understand the geology, for Eniwetok they went down 4500ft or so before finding basalt rock. This means that the reef material has built up over eons as corals dont grow deeper than 150ft.
      For obvious reasons the current atolls are always a few ft above sea level.
      There is one atoll Taiaro, in the area to the east of Tahiti which is fully enclosed, with no reef passages. If the fringing reef couldnt keep up with sea level rise than this enclosure wouldnt last . It was first discovered in 1835

  13. April 21, 2019 6:43 am

    The BBC is frequently criticised for its poor reporting on Climate change and this is an opportunity for it to do a ‘fact check’ on the claims of Extinction Rebellion. The BBC has reported, “They’re demanding the declaration of a climate emergency, net zero emissions by 2025 and a UK citizens’ assembly to supervise it all”. The general public are concerned as to whether the views expressed are justified by scientific knowledge and if so, then is the target of zero emissions achievable in the time frame proposed? The state broadcaster reports on the disruption and, “Bill McKibben is an environmentalist who has been at the forefront of climate activism for much of the last 30 years. His new book, Falter, paints a rather bleak picture of the effects that humans have had on our natural environment”. If this is to be taken as some sort of endorsement, then has the BBC fulfilled the requirements of its Charter?

  14. M E permalink
    April 21, 2019 10:23 am

    Might I enquire where there is a beach on the sea or lake or even river bank which has NOT been altered by the action of water? Isn’t there a branch of earthscience called Limnology which studies such changes. As far as I can work out flowing water and tidal changes erode or build up land all the time. How many cities are built on buried deltas of rivers?

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      April 21, 2019 2:16 pm

      Someone should have told Tony Robinson and TimeTeam to stop digging that settlement underwater, or that dockside miles inland. They must have been faked by aliens.

      Of course historically river mouths wandered about all over the place, less so these days where they are maintained with dredging and hard engineering at the banks etc.

  15. April 21, 2019 1:26 pm

    Paul, your statement literally caused me to clap at the computer screen: “This is because the east coast has been tilting downwards since the end of the ice age, as the NW rises as a result of ice melting.” It is due to the isostatic rebound of the earth’s crust following the melting of vast quantities of glacial ice which covered the northern reaches.

    As also pointed out, delta areas are extremely unstable and subject to many factors which have little to do with climate.

  16. April 21, 2019 6:26 pm

    February 12, 2019 ITV 9:54pm Martin Clunes used the same ploy
    ” Out here in the waters of Louisiana it hard to believe that anyone would doubt the REALITY of climate change”
    old timer “yeh all that out there used to be water”

    Clunes premise was that if you look at this one area of the world and see the land loss and don’t believe this is proof of GLOBAL Catastrophic climate change, then you are stupid.
    Now sea level rise is just about the same all around the world, so if there is some place where land is being lost so much faster, that suggests that is not so much the sea rising but something to do with the land. It should have raised the question in Clunes mind ..”hey could something local be causing the land loss ?”
    ..and sure enough land subsidence comes up in the science reports.

    Now I wouldn’t rule out mankind’s interference in local ecology as some part in that subsidence eg dams restricting the natural silt build up at the coast etc. ..among other things.

    see our February discussion

  17. John vitollo permalink
    April 25, 2019 2:03 am

    I’ve lived on the Atlantic ocean for 50 yrs. the ocean is in the same spot it has always been. “sea level rise” that alarmists speak of amounts to (according to alarmist scientists) .14 inches per year. by that standard the ocean has risen 2.8 ft in 20 yrs. oh please. get a life please. as you can see by the preceding comments, there’s plenty of explanation for louisianna

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: