Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

North Carolina State Legislature makes it illegal for sea level to rise more than 12" by 2100 (!?)

In this installment of the Colbert Report "The WØRD" is "Sink or Swim", as Colbert's biting and engaging commentary turns to the pesky topic of global warming and sea level rise, specifically as viewed through the red-tinted glasses of the Republican-dominated state legislature of the state of North Carolina.

While hilariously funny in many ways, Colbert's comments expose a situation so pathetic that you have only two choices: laugh or cry.  Listen up...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, one of my favorite quotes is this: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan (Politician and Diplomat).

It's obvious that the North Carolina state legislature is using its own facts AND its own opinion in passing this silly legislation.  I mean, how can you do this!?  

Passing this kind of legislation is the same as legislating whether you will allow the sun to come up tomorrow or whether you will allow a full moon next month.  I guess, on the other hand, I suppose you can pass legislation on anything you want, including legislating the extent of sea level rise  - in this case no more than 8" of sea level rise by 2100.

My question to the NC state legislature is this, "When sea level rise does exceed 8", which it almost certainly will, who are you going to arrest or fine or take other legal action against?"

There's a real brain-scratcher!  You can't cite Nature.  You can't cite the Ocean.  You can't cite the Atmosphere.  But the way things are going right now it's easy to guess what the response will be.  They'll probably try to pin the blame on "that other" political party...

Like I said, it's enough to make you laugh or cry.

"THE WØRD"?  If NC takes only this action, they will eventually have only two options, Sink or Swim!

But seriously, is there such a bill?  And what does it say?

There is such a bill, and here's an excerpt from it:
Lines 11-14 state that the Division of Coastal Management is allowed to use only historical data from 1900 and apply only a linear rate of sea level rise in planning.  Huh!?

The reason this is incredibly wacky is because all climate change and sea level rise models (and these models are based on historical data and current observable trends) show that sea levels almost certainly will not increase at a linear rate, but sea level will rise at progressively increasing rates.

So much for science, I guess...who needs science when you can pass a law?

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