James Bevan’s Ludicrous Sea Level Claims

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By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler

I see that Alarmist in Chief, James Bevan, has been up to his tricks again:

Residents in the small coastal village of Fairbourne, North Wales, could become “climate refugees”

Some British coastal communities will “inevitably” be forced from their homes as climate change eats away at their shores, the head of England’s Environment Agency (EA) has warned.

Sir James Bevan, the EA’s chief executive, said that climate change means “some of our communities cannot stay where they are”.

He told the Flood and Coast Conference in Telford on Tuesday: “While we can come back safely and build back better after most river flooding, there is no coming back for land that coastal erosion has taken away or which a rising sea level has put permanently or frequently under water.”

Sir James said that this means the “right answer… will have to be to move communities away from danger rather than try to protect them from the inevitable impacts of a rising sea level”.

Although he said it is “far too early to say which communities are likely to move in due course”, the Welsh village Fairbourne has already been told it will have to relocate as Gywnedd Council cannot maintain flood defences indefinitely.

Meanwhile the low-lying Fens in eastern England, which account for 7% of England’s agricultural production, already lies partly below sea level due to drainage.


In reality, there are very few communities which face Bevan’s threat that “they cannot stay where they are”, because of sea level rise, certainly not in our lifetime.

Even Fairbourne, which has been the subject of regular scare stories in recent years, is under no immediate threat. According to Wikipedia:

Fairbourne is part of the historic county of Meirionnydd. The area was originally salt marshes and slightly higher grazing lands. Before development began in the mid-19th century, there were three farms on the land.[2] The coastal area was originally known as Morfa Henddol, while the promontory outcrop now occupied by the Fairbourne Hotel was called Ynysfaig.

Circa 1865, Solomon Andrews, a Welsh entrepreneur, purchased the promontory. Over the next few years, he built a seawall for tidal protection and several houses.

Note that Fairbourne was originally built on a salt marsh, and protected by a sea wall; certainly not the sort of site where you would dream of building houses now. The definition of a salt marsh is:

Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that are flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides

Sea levels across the estuary at Barmouth have not risen at all since 2000, and as we know sea levels around Britain are typically rising at a long term rate of 2mm a year.

Plot of monthly mean sea level data at BARMOUTH.

Monthly Mean Sea Levels at Barmouth


What is more significant when it comes to sea flooding are the peak tides, usually the coincidence of storms and high tides. The last such peak was in the winter of 2013/14.

Ironically Sky themselves covered this story a few years ago, before they caught the global warming bug. They interviewed some of the villagers, who rubbished the alarmists claims, for instance:

Alan Jones finds the council’s decision on the village’s future ludicrous.

The 2014 storm, whose overspill preceded the decision, left, he says “one conservatory flooded”.

“How can they predict what’ll happen in 40 or 50 years‘ time? They can’t get the weather right for next week,” he adds.


Freelance angling journalist Mike Thrussell has been associated with the area for 61 years and says he can’t understand what the panic is about.

“People born and bred in the village have never seen the sea over the top,” he says.

“There’s no denial about rising sea levels, but some of the statements about how quickly it’s rising don’t add up”

“Over last 100 yrs global sea levels have risen 20cm, yet we’re being told over the next 80-100 years we could see a metre to two metres. It’s not logical, is it?”


Former insurance broker Alan Wilde, 72, moved to Fairbourne “to get out of the rat-race” and describes it as “one of the most beautiful places in the world”.

The village, he insists, is not at risk and has suffered only minor flooding since a major breach in the 1940s.

Again according to Wikipedia:

The best estimate at present is that the area will be abandoned between 2052 and 2062, though the range of uncertainty is between 2042 and 2072. This is based on a rise in critical sea level of 0.5 metres .

But at the current rate of rise, it will take 250 years to reach 0.5 metres.

As the villagers sensibly point out, why all the alarm now, which is hugely damaging to their property values. If the sea overwhelms the seas wall in a hundred years’ time, so what? That has no relevance to anybody living there today.


JUNE 12, 2022