Opinion: "Is Rebuilding in Hurricane Zones Wise?"

"Washington -- Denise Tortorello, a real estate agent at Riviera Realty in Point Pleasant, N.J., said she can't tell yet where property values are headed since Hurricane Sandy demolished a string of beach towns built on a slender strip of barrier islands in the Atlantic."

"'I'm sitting in my office, and I'm looking at the National Guard right outside out my window,' she said. On a December day, the temperature outside was 65 degrees.

Just south in Mantoloking, second homes sell for up to $10 million. Many were destroyed, along with roads, sewer lines, gas lines, power lines. 'They're replacing everything,' Tortorello said. 'The general consensus is, 'It's not going to happen again. It was the 100-year flood.' '

But Sandy is the future, climate scientists said. As carbon dioxide emissions blast past worst-case scenarios, rising sea levels and storm surges will reshape every U.S. coastline, from San Francisco to Houston to New York. It is only beginning to dawn on Americans, half of whom live on the coasts, that their future is a battle against the sea."

Carolyn Lochhead reports for the San Francisco Chronicle January 18, 2013.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle, 01/21/2013