Bacon Bits: Hydroponics, Seawalls, and Emotional Support Critters

The future of Virginia agriculture?

Shenandoah Growers, an indoor agriculture company, is undertaking a $100 million expansion of its three locations in Virginia over the next year. The facilities not only grow vegetables and spices in greenhouses, they package and ship the produce, reports the Daily News-RecordLocating the greenhouses next door to the packaging facilities speeds the movement of produce from farm to market, preserving freshness. The website of the Rockingham County-based company describes its grand ambitions: “We are leveraging our indoor bioponic growing technology, national customer network, and distribution channels to be the world’s leading consumer brand of affordable, organic fresh produce.” 

Thirty-one billion bucks for seawalls? Protecting Virginia coastal communities from sea-level rise by building sea walls would cost $31.2 billion to build 4,063 miles of hardened infrastructure, according to a study by the Center for Climate Integrity. That price tag is exceeded only by the cost for Florida, Louisiana and North Carolina. Don’t take it too seriously. This is more environmental doom mongering, which the Virginian-Pilot of course accepts uncritically. The calculations are based on the unrealistic assumption that adaptation to rising sea levels takes the form of building sea walls. For example, the study tabulates the cost of building 645 miles of seawall in Accomack County, 299 miles in Gloucester, 231 miles in Mathews, and 218 miles in Northumberland — an economically idiotic approach to dealing with rising tides and flooding in sparsely populated areas. For the seven densely populated cities of Hampton Roads the cost would run $4.6 billion — a large number but doable, if spread over many years.

Tide turning against “emotional support animal” scam. Virginia landlords have long been frustrated by tenants who skirt lease restrictions by faking disability certifications to qualify their pets as emotional support animals. They finally won a legal victory, reports the Virginia Mercury, when state regulators fined a licensed professional counselor $1,000 after determining he issued a disability certification based solely on a brief form submitted online. The Virginia Apartment Management Association calls the fine an important milestone in its fight against online companies that charge a fee to connect people with licensed counselors willing to issue disability certifications.

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8 responses to “Bacon Bits: Hydroponics, Seawalls, and Emotional Support Critters”

  1. Sea level rise in Va. is happening because:
    (1) Virginia is already sinking due glacier subsidence
    (2) Virginia is taking out the ground water, which causes further sinking
    (3) In geologic history, we are in a transition period between Ice Ages where the glaciers are melting regardless of CO2
    (4) Higher CO2 level in the atmosphere (and particulates and other pollutants, and cutting down all the trees) could be hastening the glacier melting

    So yes we face that problem, and costs of adaptation. There could be a huge cost, but the processes above are so far slow. We are not going to spend billions over-nite, but we will use many techniques, engineering controls, but in some cases, we may let the land go back to the sea.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    not exactly clear who the Center for Climate Integrity is or how they are funded – that’s important information to me for any such “study” these days as it seems that just about any Tom, Dick and Harry can generate them – politically left, right and all other points.

    But in terms of seawalls – doesn’t the Netherlands essentially do something similar?

    Beyond that – do we really know how fast and how much sea level rise is predicted? Who predicts that? Do we believe them? After all, we’re talking billions of dollars – and we don’t want to be spooked into doing all that if it is a ruse or conspiracy, etc – right?

    but the essentially thing about seawalls is that they don’t stop the sea from rising – if you build a wall but the water level is higher than the land behind it the water is going to find a way in and pumps will also be part of the infrastructure.

    Also the way that shorelines “work” – they’re not straight lines like you see at your favorite ocean resort. They look more like this in many shorelines in Va:

    Where do you put the seawall?

  3. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    “Don’t take it too seriously. This is more environmental doom mongering, which the Virginian-Pilot of course accepts uncritically.”

    Including tidal portions of Bay’s tributaries, the estuary is said to cover some 4,480 sq. miles within some 11,684 miles of shoreline whose interactive protection is a highly complicated art and science, a task with endless variations, unknowns and opportunities, all within evolving natural forces and technologies, natural and otherwise. I suspect the study is nonsense. So is term seawall. Carol Buva likely has great insights here.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    Well – when you have sea level rise – who do you trust to show it?

    that’s the first problem.

    Who should produce these maps?

  5. I’ll be back to comment after I’ve read the paper. The title of this Center for Climate Integrity (CCI) report is “HIGH TIDE TAX¬–The Price to Protect Coastal Communities from Rising Seas.”

    The paper describes the CCI as “a project of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. The Center for Climate Integrity supports litigation and advocacy to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for their fair share of the escalating costs of adapting to climate change. Through community engagement, communications, and strategic legal support, CCI works to elevate the idea that taxpayers should not shoulder the burden of climate costs alone. Instead, those who contributed to the climate crisis — and who downplayed the monumental risks they knew their products would create — should help communities with those growing bills.”

    The lead author, Sverre LeRoy, is a self-employed consultant on climate science and sea-level rise with a Ph.d in 2018 from Stanford University in the Earth Science System Department who “reconstructed changes in the last 10,000 years of climate in Southern Patagonia by analyzing lake and fjord sediments.”

  6. IMO, more climate alarmism based on cherry picked facts combined to make their points.
    For example, the paper cites “the NOAA tide station in Chesapeake Bay indicates that local sea level is increasing at a rate of 5.92 mm per year, faster than nearly anywhere else in the United States.”

    Except they don’t mention that reading is for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, ignoring NOAA tide gauges at Kiptopeke 3.69 mm, Wachapregue 5.37, Gloucester Point 3.81, Lewisetta 5.38, Portsmouth 3.76 and Sewalls Point 4.66. They also don’t mention the stations in Texas at 6.62mm and Louisiana with 9.08 and 9.65 mm. Relative sea level depends on local conditions!

    Although this paper says they used low to mid-range estimates (RCP2.6 and RCP4.5), the “published sea level rise projections” Clmate Central used for this paper have a footnote referencing Kopp, R., et al., “Evolving understanding of Antarctic ice‐sheet physics and ambiguity in probabilistic sea‐level projections.” Earth’s Future 5, no. 12 (2017): 1217-1233.

    That paper looks at “a small ensemble of Antarctic ice-sheet simulations” to see how they influence global and relative sea level rise. They use a high greenhouse gas emissions (RCP 8.5) with a median projected global mean slr of 79-146 cm. (31–57 in). In their view, relative sea level rise would submerge land without protective measures for 153 million people.

  7. Pieces like this detract from real world possibilities for places like Mathews. We have a breach in a barrier beach that could be restored, that won’t cost a billion dollars, and would protect about a third of our county from anything less than a 7-foot storm surge and greatly reduce the impact of anything higher, but the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is too worried about the tiger beetles that may be there. They don’t seem to realize that restoring the beach would provide more potential habitat and protect what’s already there. The more the bay moves landward through the breach, the more barrier beach will be lost.

  8. djrippert Avatar

    T’aint payin’ fer no RoVa seawalls.

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