Monday, June 4, 2012

I Love North Carolina, But....

Head, meet sand (from Scientific American, via the Earth Bound Misfit):

...the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow.

Here’s a link to the circulated Replacement House Bill 819. The key language is in section 2, paragraph e, talking about rates of sea level rise: “These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of seas-level rise may be extrapolated linearly. …”

It goes on, but there’s the core: North Carolina legislators have decided that the way to make exponential increases in sea level rise – caused by those inconvenient feedback loops we keep hearing about from scientists – go away is to make it against the law to extrapolate exponential; we can only extrapolate along a line predicted by previous sea level rises.

We vacation there on the Outer Banks every year, and have done so for decades.  Whew, I am sure glad that the sea level is only going to rise 8" as stipulated by the legislators, rather than the 39"+ predicted by, you know, actual climate scientists.  Because you see how that would be inconvenient for tourists and the hospitality industry there.


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