On Sea-Level Rise

The situation is dire

   Another week, another storm. That’s how it has seemed since at least Hurricane Sandy rolled through on Oct. 29. Early morning light last Thursday once again revealed severe dune loss in several places here, notably at Montauk and Lazy Point. And, with perhaps three more months of potential northeasters, the situation is dire.
    The fact is that the number of coastal storms has not been all that out of line with historic averages. What does set the recent period apart is that the waves ride ever-higher, thanks to sea-level rise.
    The Town of East Hampton, of all coastal communities in the United States, should be at the forefront of calls to reverse global warming and the rising of the seas. Instead, property owners and officials alike cling to the archaic notion that they can hold back the tides — and fate.
    If 2013 is to stand for anything positive, perhaps it will be the year when local officials face the reality of a changing climate and begin to respond in a meaningful way. The evidence that things must change is no farther away than our very own beaches.