The Sunday New York Time’s story, Rising Seas, Vanishing Coastlines, has been repeated across mainstream media today. “Even the most conservative estimates for for rising sea levels (five feet at a minimum) would almost completely submerge New Orleans, Miami Beach and sizable portions of other American cities without engineered protection,” predicted Benjamin Strauss and Robert Kopp. “However, present trends seem to indicate a more dire scenario,” they said.
Not to be outdone, Los Angeles Times brought the California angle to the doomsday scenario. Anticipating “climate change intensified storms,” the state is apparently moving forward with “common sense adaptations.”
With 3.5 million Californians living within three feet of sea level, and the best available science projecting a 3- to 5-foot rise in sea level for the state by 2100, doing nothing would be irresponsible….
In fact, for the next few decades it will be extreme storms, with their accompanying waves and king tides, not sea-level rise per se that will have the most impact in the state, according to U.S. Geological Survey testimony last year to the California Ocean Protection Council, the state’s umbrella agency for coordinating its response to rising seas.
For starters, California is ahead of most states in its attempts to address the problem at its source by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Over half of U.S. venture capital investment in clean technology is now taking place in California… About half the towns along California’s coast have begun developing climate adaptation policies. “It’s not uncertainty about the science keeping them from acting,” says Amber Mace, former California Ocean Protection Council executive director.
That “success” of California’s investments into climate change policies might have something to do with businesses exiting the state in-mass. Californian, Jeffers Dodge, posted a list of businesses leaving Sacramento, writing:
The list will grow as Sacramento considers more measures that will increase corporate taxes, increase workers’ comp costs, increase regulatory reporting requirements (along with higher fines for minor infractions), increase gasoline and diesel-fuel taxes, increase water rates, increase electric-power rates, and increase assorted fees that will cause services to become more expensive.
Even the latest U-Haul Index reveals that Californians are renting one-way trucks out of California. The New American reported on Friday:
They have lots of reasons to leave. According to the Tax Foundation, “Tax Freedom Day” arrives earlier in Texas than it does in California, due to its zero individual and corporate income tax and a lower sales tax. Put together, Texas’ state and local tax burden is less than eight percent of income, well below the national average of nearly 10 percent, while California’s is almost 12 percent. This enormous disparity puts California the 48th out of the 50 states in the foundation’s overall business tax climate index, while Texas ranks ninth.
It isn’t all about taxes, however. Its regulatory environment and yawning fiscal deficits are chasing companies away to more favorable locales. Part is the state’s determined efforts to increase still further its tax burden on high income earners — now an astounding 13 percent — along with its implementation of policies favored by the Obama administration in Washington.
As Joel Kotkin of NewGeography.com put it, “California will serve as the prime testing ground for President Obama’s form of post economic liberalism. Every dream program that the Administration embraces — cap and trade, massive taxes on the rich, high speed rail — is either in place or on the drawing boards”
Despite the state’s efforts to redistribute the wealth from those who earned it to those who didn’t, “the ranks of the poor have swollen to the point that the state, with 12% of the nation’s population, accounts for one-third of its welfare cases,” notes Kotkin.