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We need ocean dikes, not twin tunnels

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POSTED July 10, 2014 12:53 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

The other day the Bulletin printed a story about how the City of San Francisco was incorporating rising sea levels into its future infrastructure planning, and it made me wonder why the subject of unprecedented and accelerating global sea level rise is never mentioned as a part of the Twin Tunnels debate.

The U.S National Research Council projects sea level rise of 2.5 feet to 6.5 feet by 2100, and some researchers suggest that a complete meltdown of the Greenland Ice Sheet could push sea level rise another 23 feet, enough to submerge London. The meltdown of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could contribute another 13-20 feet to global sea level rise. It’s projected that one vertical foot of sea level rise could cause flooding 1,000 feet inland in a relatively flat state like Florida, and the Central Valley is probably just as flat in many areas.

I hope that it’s occurred to someone in Sacramento that the Stockton Channel shares the same sea level as the shoreline of the City of San Francisco, and that it wouldn’t take much in the way of sea level rise to devastate the Delta, and with it much of the Central Valley. The California State Land Commission is certainly looking at the problem. They have quite a lot of information available at www.slc.ca.gov/Sea_Level_Rise/.

It seems to me that the projections that the ‘experts’ on global climate change made ten years ago, concerning the consequences of global warming and what we could expect to see in 100 years are instead happening right now, way ahead of the original estimates. The same may apply to their current predictions concerning sea levels in the year 2100. So I, for one, would suggest that we forget about the Twin Tunnels and put those billions of dollars into the construction of ocean and river dikes like the country of the Netherlands is doing, before Manteca becomes the ‘Heart of the New Delta’. 

Stephen Breacain

Manteca 

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