Ocean barriers

Letter | Ocean barrier naysayers willing to give up without trying

March 11, 2014 

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The great news published March 2 in The Sun News that a new type of ocean barrier, developed in South Carolina, might both protect public and private property, was warmly received by most people and our state legislators, but as always, those who want no solutions raised their voices without the need to do any studies.

First, DHEC Commissioner, Catherine Templeton, expressed concern about “locking in a particular technology.” Lucky for the world she was not in a position of power when Edison invented the light bulb. There is an 88-foot barrier erected, which appears to be working, and DHEC is worried about a monopoly. Let the competitors step forward; hopefully the Commissioner can identify them.

Then, of course, the “no” groups spoke up; their philosophy seems to be that for every problem there is no possible solution, so don't try. The comment that “we don't know all the potential effects” of the new barriers, would perhaps would have been a good reason to stop the launch of the Internet or ban the Wright Brothers from flying.

Then a Duke professor staked his reputation on the fact that the new barriers would not work, but although he makes that statement confidently, he makes no mention of any research or a study validating his opinion.The professor goes on to state that if the barrier could protect seaside buildings without hurting the beach, it would be “fantastic,” but that “...it is absolutely not possible.” Perhaps the professor should examine all the things that were once thought impossible -- flying, going to the moon, preventing polio, and the Red Sox winning a World Series are just a few.

The new barrier may or may not work, it is too soon to tell; what is sad is that the “no” groups appear to hope it doesn't work, and also that there is no solution to the problem, so we should just surrender.

The writer lives in Georgetown

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