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4.18.2018 - Free Investing Newsletter Bookmark

Sea Levels

 

Sarasota Florida has meetings over “dangerous” Sea level rise. Let’s chat:

 

If any of you have ever been to SouthWest Florida, you know that there’s many places on our coast to try and find fossilized shark teeth. In fact, while “Venice” is usually known as ground zero for finding these little treasures, the fact is that right at the southern end of Venice, there’s a beach called Casperson.

 

 

Because my wife and I have had a habit of biking the Venetian trail,  we get an almost perfect “2 fer” so to speak. We bike about 5 miles, and the trail ends right at Casperson beach. So, we lock up the bikes and stroll the beach for a mile and a half or so, set out our blankets, and get some sun and surf.

 

It makes for a great Sunday afternoon for us, as we get more than just the biking experience, we also get the beach. Well, here’s a hint. Forget Venice beach right up at town near sharkey’s pier. The real tooth hunting is Casperson, and the further you’re willing to walk south, the more you’ll find.

 

I have a bag out on my garage bench. In that bag are probably 250 to 300 shark teeth of various sizes that I’ve plucked out of the surf line over the past several years. If I were to employ the actual tools of the trade, such as using a sand sieve, which many people do, I’d probably have 1000’s of them. I don’t, because they’re a pain to strap to the bike, and frankly, I really don’t “need” any more shark teeth. I simply get tired of laying on the blanket, walk down to the water, and look for “triangles”.

 

They’re usually black or brown in color, and once you’ve been doing it for a while, you can spot them quite easily, even when mixed into a big pile of shells. Granted most of them are small, say 1/3 of an inch to a half inch, but sometimes you get lucky and score a really nice one.

 

Two years ago, the wife was laying out on her beach towel, and I was mooching along the surf line. It was a good day, I had maybe 8 or 9 of the common teeth in my swimsuit pocket, when “bang” I got hit in the ankle with something hard. Figuring it was a hunk of coral, or what have you, I didn’t pay it too much attention. But as the water from that wave started to recede back to the Gulf, “there it was”.

 

I was staring at a Megalodon tooth.  I had seen them in museums and dive shops, but in all the years of plucking shark teeth out of the water, I had never found one. I fell down on my knees and grabbed that puppy as fast as I could, worried that the wave action might suck it right away from me. But no, I had it firmly in hand.

 

It certainly wasn’t the biggest one I’d ever seen, but to me it was a real treasure. It’s 2.5 inches wide at the top ( where it would have been in the creatures jaw) and just shy of 3 inches long from top to bottom. Scientists suggest that megalodon looked like a stockier version of the great white shark, though it may have looked similar to the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) or the sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus). Regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators to have ever lived, fossil remains of megalodon suggest that this giant shark reached a length of 18 meters (59 ft). Their large jaws could exert a bite force of up to 108,500 to 182,200 newtons (24,390 to 40,960 lbf). Their teeth were thick and robust, built for grabbing prey and breaking bone. Impressive beasts.

 

 I was so excited I was the proverbial kid in a candy store. I ran back to my wife, and showed her, and then ran another 20 yards over to some friends of ours to show them my new treasure.  It sits on my desk to this day.

 

But this isn’t about shark teeth. I just figured I’d toss in an interesting story for all you beach combers. What this is about however is  man made “sea level rise” that we keep hearing is going to flood us all into oblivion. 

 

Last month, just about another mile or so south of where we spend our days on the beach, a diver was working off the shoreline, looking for the same treasure I’d found,  Megalodon teeth. ( Don’t ask me why those creatures decided to take up residence in this area, but I’m glad they don’t exist any more, they went extinct 2.3 million years ago ) While looking for teeth, he found an interesting piece of “something” resembling bone and took it home.

 

After looking at it for a week, he thought “hey, this looks almost like a human jaw bone” and The diver sent a picture to Florida’s Bureau of Archaeological Research, where it landed in front of Ryan Duggins, the bureau’s underwater archaeology supervisor. A single molar was still attached to the jawbone, and the tooth’s cusps were worn smooth, likely from a diet of tough foods. “That’s something we don’t see in modern populations, so that was a quick indicator we were dealing with a prehistoric individual,” Duggins explained.

 

Well the long and the short of all this, is that what the diver had found, was an ancient Native American Indian burial ground. After finding the bone, the archeologists sent out dive teams and found many bones, pottery, etc. They believe that this burial site was utilized about 7,000 years ago. Instantly they got in touch with Native American tribes to make sure they weren’t desecrating any one’s ancestors, and they’ve been very respectful as to how they proceeded.

 

Now, here’s what all this is getting to. I know exactly where this site is, and it’s about 400 yards out in the gulf under about 22 feet of water. They believe that during its day, that area was part of the Florida main land, and could have been as much as 8 – 10 feet above sea level.

 

That tells me that in just 7000 years, water rose approximately 8 – 10 feet, flooded the burial area, and continued to rise to the point where that same site is 22 feet down. Call it a total of maybe 30 feet of sea level rise in 7,000 years.   But here’s the kick. There was no internal combustion engines. There were no airplanes, no jets, no coal factories, no manufacturing plants, no ‘nothing” to induce man made sea level rise. But rise it did, and frankly,  a LOT.

 

This is the very reason that I cringe at all the people that believe in man made global warming, and how it’s going to bake us, and flood us to death. Could  mankind be a contributing factor to warming? Yeah, sure it could. Maybe a ten thousandth of a degree. But mother nature, and the sun are responsible for the bulk of it.

 

Discoveries such as this, couldn’t be any more “in your face” when it comes to something like sea level rise.  Let’s take what they’re telling us.  If the gulf has risen about 30 feet in the last 7,000 years, and 30 feet is 360 inches.  (30X12=360)  So if we have 360 inches of rise in 7,000 years and we divide that what do we get?  360 Divided by 7000 and that equals 0.0514 inches per year. Not much right? But how about if we multiply that by 100 years?  Well that’s 5.142 inches.

 

Why is that number important to me? Because of this: In the last 100 years Southwest Florida has seen a 0.93 foot Sea Level Rise(NOAA) That’s about 11 inches.

 

In 100 years, Southwest florida hasn’t even seen a foot of rise, but if the scientists are right about the burial ground, we’ve seen an average of 5 inches for 7K years. Surely some of those 7000 years there was none, or even a decline, and other years it was more than 5, maybe 15.

 

My point being that some of the horror stories we’re being told down here, simply don’t add up. Sure if the sun goes rogue and light energy increases, then yes, more ice will melt and the seas will rise. The seas have been rising and falling for all of Earth’s history. Back in New Jersey where I grew up, they tell me my hometown was covered in a sheet of ice over a mile thick “back in the day”. Well, man didn’t melt a mile of that ice. Nature did.

 

I don’t much like alarmists. They told me in the 70’s that an ice age was upon us, it didn’t pan out. Then in the 80’s into the 90’s it was “peak oil”. That didn’t pan out. Now it’s man made global warming and sea level rise. Call me the skeptic.  Follow the money, and you’ll find the reason for the alarmists. Just sayin…

 

The Market:

 

Yesterday, they did it. They got all their ducks in a row, popped the S&P and the DOW over their respective 50 day moving averages, and held them into the close. That was a fairly significant development. Granted 50 day’s aren’t as meaningful as they were a decade or so ago, but it was still significant.

 

Today, I thought that maybe the algo-bots would latch onto that move and hurl us considerably higher. Well, it didn’t happen. We went green, we went slightly red, we hovered. We went nowhere, ending the day in split fashion with the DOW red by a bit and the S&P green by a bit.

 

That leaves us in a bit of a pickle. Why? Well if you draw a line from the high back in January of the “highs” the DOW has made, you see that it actually broke out of that descending line.

 

But, if we do the same with the S&P, you see it still has a way to go before busting through that line:

 

 

So, maybe what we’re looking at here is that the S&P, which is a much bulkier and frankly more important index than the DOW, is struggling here to bust through that line.

 

It’s my guess that if it does it, there’s going to be a powerful move up. I thought they’d really pour it on today and use exceeding the 50 days as the fuel. But no, they simply held their ground.

 

We’re carrying 4 open long side positions. All of them are doing well for us. If we get the S&P up and over 2720 or so, I’ll have to guess we’ll spike higher and I’ll add more positions.  Until then however, I’m happy holding what we have.

 

Good luck folks, it’s an interesting time to be alive. Lots is happening and the market is only one piece of it. I’ll see you all on Sunday.

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