Year 3, Month 8, Day 16: Oh, The Water — O-oh The Water…

The Winston-Salem Journal (NC) discusses the state’s ongoing parade of idiocy:

In North Carolina, a state-sponsored science panel warned sea levels could rise by more than 3 feet by 2100. Lawmakers supported by development interests responded with a bill to ban those figures.

During their summer session, legislators moved to mandate that future trends be based solely upon historical data, which doesn’t account for the accelerated sea-level rise expected by many scientists. They said the move prevented the economic burdens of building farther from the coast or higher off the ground.

The North Carolina bill called for preparing for a much smaller 8-inch rise during the same period. The smaller projected rise means less regulation on coastal developments. But after international ridicule and a spot on the satirical television show “The Colbert Report,” lawmakers in the state’s majority-Republican legislature backed off the move — instead opting for a scientific moratorium on any figures until 2016 while more studies are conducted. Gov. Bev Perdue on Wednesday decided to let the bill become law without her signature.


North Carolina is out front of the issue to regulate against what is generally accepted as scientific consensus. But other states have tested the waters, and even more could follow suit.

The vast majority of coastal states do not legislate on “climate change,” which has become a politically charged term after being used as a substitute for the more politicized term “global warming.”

Many states have laws that allow for coastal planning, but rarely do states mandate practices specifically on the rising seas.

In Virginia, legislators removed language about “sea-level rise” from a study bill. They replaced it with the phrase many lawmakers were more comfortable with — “recurrent flooding.”

Politicians felt the previous language was left-leaning.

How about the phrase, “y’all a buncha knuckle-draggin’ morons.” Is that a “left-leaning” term? Sent August 5:

To characterize the phrase “climate change” as “politically charged” is truer even than anti-science conservatives acknowledge. The term was first proposed during the Bush administration by Republican strategist Frank Luntz — as a less-frightening synonym for “global warming.” That Luntz’ coinage is equally accurate and even more frightening has nothing to do with its political implications, but with the nature of climatic reality, which is changing faster and more wildly than all but the most extreme predictions.

When North Carolina legislators respond to problematic facts and analyses by attempting to regulate the terms of discussion, they replace scientific consensus (the result of a planet-wide effort to understand the world we live in) with unscientific cowardice. Future generations of Americans living on a continent with a completely transformed coastline will rightly mock these politicians for their ignorance and cupidity.

As Stephen Colbert once said, reality has a liberal bias.

Warren Senders

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