Ecology, Climate Change and Related News

Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Sea level rise urgently requires new forms of decision making- social choice model

Leave a Comment

March 6, 2018 Lund University read full ScienceDaily article here

US cities facing sea level rise need to look beyond traditional strategies for managing issues such as critical erosion and coastal squeeze, according to new research. Civil society initiatives must now play a crucial role in adapting society to climate change, the study argues.

The three options that have been considered in Flagler Beach are: constructing a sea wall, beach re-nourishment, or relocation of coastal infrastructure…

….The study instead proposes, that from a scientific, environmental and societal perspective, it is the option of relocating coastal infrastructure that would likely provide the most benefit to the city in the long-run, as it would protect both the beach and vulnerable infrastructure. Relocation has been promoted as the only viable long-term sustainable approach to beach management by coastal scientists; since it would provide for the beach to naturally adapt to sea level rise. Implementing this solution, however, is not likely to be an easy task.

…The study argues that a new decision-making model — a social choice model — could be one way forward. By taking primarily economic criteria into account, a wide variety of other concerns citizens have, including those of far-away tax payers and future generations, are left out. Therefore additional criteria, whether environmental, cultural, or recreational, should be identified through reasonable public discussion.

This would require not only more effective collaboration between federal, state and local governments, but also the ceding of more decision-making power to citizens and civil society organizations.

“By using a social choice model, the city would have a richer source of options and ideas to work with. Something that puts all available options on the table and requires that they be evaluated with a more comprehensive and long-term perspective.”…

View all articles

Comments are closed