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Let Them Drown

The Pensacola News Journal ran this story on a local bit of insanity that has made it to the US Supreme Court: Destin homeowners take cases to court

WASHINGTON — Oceanfront landowners in Florida are pressing the Supreme Court to rule that beach replenishment projects unconstitutionally separate them from the sea.

The issue, to be argued before the court on Wednesday, began in 2003 when Stop the Beach Renourishment Inc., a group of five beachfront homeowners in Destin, protested what a replenishment project was doing to their property lines.

Officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection establish unchanging property lines for such projects — at the point where high tide peaked prior to the project — rather than allowing them to shift with the tides.

When sand was added to the beach in Destin, the high-water mark moved farther from the homes, essentially adding 75 more feet of sand between the homes and the water. The angry homeowners demanded compensation for what they said were lower property values.

If the beach isn’t replenished, their houses will cease to exist in a few years as the storm surge from hurricanes erode the beach and the tides come higher and higher.  The financial meltdown affected their property values a good deal more than sand.

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December 5, 2009   3 Comments

I Thought So

In the brouhaha over the e-mails, I caught an indication that some of the problems surrounding the discussion of the data archive, specifically regarding Freedom of Information requests, seem to be complaints that East Anglia held the archives, but didn’t own the data, so fulfilling the requests was a huge headache for all involved.

This BBC story confirms my assumption:

Meanwhile, the Met Office said it would publish all the data from weather stations worldwide, which it said proved climate change was caused by humans.

Its database is a main source of analysis for the IPCC.

It has written to 188 countries for permission to publish the material, dating back 160 years from more than 1,000 weather stations.

John Mitchell, head of climate science at the Met Office, said the evidence for man-made global warming was overwhelming – and the data would show that.

The various countries that collected the data own it, not East Anglia or the UK Met Office, and you would have to process individual copyright requests with each of them to give a copy to anyone. This isn’t just a matter of copying it to some CDs and shipping it out. The US policy of making such records openly available is not all that common in the world, just ask anyone who needed records from other countries for their thesis, or those doing family genealogies – other countries expect to be paid for their data if they agree to release it to you.

December 5, 2009   4 Comments