Let the next generations surf, too
After reading the letters from Dave Chrisman and Brian E. Powers, I couldn’t believe it. I had to respond.
I, too, am an old-time surfer. I lived in Haleiwa from 1968 to 1971. I surfed all over the north shore and bodysurfed Ehukai, Pipeline, and the Waimea shore break. I was there during the giant swell in the winter of 1969 that nearly took out my friend’s house across the street from “three tables” at Waimea Bay and was fortunate enough to watch Greg Noll and two other guys surf third reef pipeline. Young Eddie Aikau couldn’t even make it out to the lineup that day. After moving here in 1972, I still, to this day, continue to surf.
Sometimes I will go back to Oahu and bodysurf the north and west shores and I have to admit you both are right. I can see no notable change in the sea levels. I don’t even see any changes in the sea levels on the Big Island since 1972, either. But to make the argument that just because there is no notable rise in sea levels means that global warming doesn’t exist is both simplistic and ignorant. And to hear two surfers from my generation make this argument is mind-boggling to me. Surfers are supposed to be protectors of the oceans we use. Look up the Surfrider Foundation.
Global warming is the melting of the polar ice caps, the destruction of our rain forests, the spewing of industrial pollutants into our atmosphere and the bleaching of our fragile coral reefs, the same reefs that helps create some of the most majestic waves we will ever ride.
Our planet is fragile and we don’t have anywhere else to move. I want my grandchildren and their grandchildren to enjoy the waves the same way I have for the last 67 years. And if you think President Trump was right in pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord and the rest of the world’s leaders are wrong, you have some serious soul searching to do.
No denying climate change
Dave Chrisman is obviously a climate change denier. It seems that along with not being able to surf any longer, his memory has faded. While it may seem that the ocean level has not changed over 50 years in his view, the reality is that it has measurably changed. A few inches, less than a foot, yet that in itself is significant and is amplified during storms and King Tides. His method of comparison is casual observation over years with no permanent measuring points, hardly a confirmation.
As far as the extreme weather, yes, we have had extreme weather over the years. However, when you look at the number of category 5 hurricanes per year, there has been a steady increase in the number and frequency. Plus, there are observations by forest rangers of animals seeking higher elevations due to the warming occurring in lower elevations.
In California last year, the fire season literally lasted the entire year. The numbers and severity of fires has increased along with the number and severity of droughts affecting the state. I’m not one of the younger generation, I’m a scientist.
There is no religion of weather or climate warming, only hard scientific evidence. Indications of climate change are evident over the entire globe. Last year there was open water at the North Pole the entire year. As far as predictions go, Al Gore made some possible predictions of worst case scenarios, which fortunately, have not occurred yet. I must caution the climate deniers that it does not mean that it will not happen. It is just a matter of time and we are approaching a tipping point, possibly passed it, at which point no matter what we, do the climate will continue to warm.
Living in Hawaii, we will also be impacted. We are fortunate that due to the buffering effects of the Pacific Ocean, we will feel the effects less that the rest of the world. That is why withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord was a huge mistake, a fiasco, as there were no requirements for monetary investment. Only a commitment to try to reduce our effect on global warming by reducing carbon emissions. As is the case with many climate change deniers, ignoring the facts does not mean you are right.