N.C. Lawmakers Want to Legislate Global Warming Ignorance [UPDATED]
The subject of climate change sure seems to bring out the tin foil hat in some people. To wit: North Carolina's general assembly is considering a bill that would prohibit coastal planners from accurately predicting sea level rise when considering new developments.
When the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission — a state-appointed science panel — reported that sea levels would likely rise a meter by the end of this century, business groups focused on increasing coastal development went on the attack: They dismissed the report and convinced state lawmakers to introduce a bill that would prevent government scientists from using updated sea level predictions in favor of using historical trends.
What this means is the sea level predictions will show a steady, linear increase based only on historical data, and the predictions will not account for new models based on updated climate change science. While this way of predicting sea level rise will seem less scary and allow for more development, it will be wrong and likely lead to disaster for people living along the coast.
The Tar Heel state's coast is in danger of rising sea levels because the coast is low, flat land and has a tiny stretch of barrier islands. But if progress is to march on, North Carolinians apparently can't let a few facts stand in their way.
Economics over-riding scientific analysis is nothing new to the climate change debate. Corporations that stand to lose money from regulations that would reduce fossil fuel emissions related to global warming have been funding propaganda campaigns and political efforts to discredit climate chance science.
Government action to reduce climate change means that major energy producers and polluters will be required to spend money to reduce their harmful impacts on the planet. Like the North Carolina proposal, this might make good economic sense in the short term, but in the long run ignoring global warming — or seeking to pretend it is not happening — is bad for everyone.
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