Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Legislating the Ostrich Position!

All I want is to live another 90 years...really. Is that too much to ask? It's not that life is so wonderful or that I want to see what happens to Facebook; it's just that I want to see what happens to the North Carolina coastline. Sadly, I will not be allowed to see it, but then, neither will the legislators of North Carolina who have chosen not only to ignore scientific projections but actually to legislate AGAINST them!
Here's the deal:
A study was conducted by the Science Panel on Coastal Hazards in North Carolina. The panel was comprised of marine scientists, geologists and engineers who used tide gauges, satellite altimetry, storm records and geologic data to determine that the effects of global warming and melting ice shelves will increase the height of the ocean on the North Carolina coastline between 15 and 55 inches by the year 2100. Obviously, that's a wide range, and as a result, the scientists decided to use the mean height of 39 inches for their projection.
Needless to say, the developers in North Carolina, led by Tom Thompson who represents the Coastal Business Group, had a hissy and whined to the legislators...not because of the somewhat impending doom, but because such projections would kill economic development along the coastline and drop property values! (Apparently, they don't care about the possibility of those businesses and housing developments dropping into the ocean...oh, that's right...THEY will be dead, too, by then.) Fortunately for them, the state legislature is made up of individuals who are easily swayed...the result was House Bill 819.
Instead of preparing for a rise in the ocean, the House of Representatives proposed a bill that would "outlaw scenarios of accelerated rates of sea level rise unless it is consistent with historic trends." This means that any scientific projections must be based on past events...not project into the future. Thompson  indicated that any belief in the current projections would be "dishonest statistically" based on "phobia of the environmentalists."
The ensuing brouhaha (mostly ha ha) has made North Carolina the "laughing stock of the country," according to a scientist from Duke University. Steven Colbert pilloried the result, and the blogosphere has erupted in one, continuous guffaw, one pundit noting that "North Carolina considers making sea rise illegal."
If only I could be there in 2100.


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