Sea level rise not a problem in North Carolina, where lawmakers wanted TO say, “No science, no worries”
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Sea levels are rising steadily around the world, and many low-lying countries and regions are taking the threat very seriously, recognizing the potential threats to coastal resources.
But in North Carolina, home to a spectacular stretch of Atlantic coastline, Republican lawmakers wanted magically solved the problem with legislation by simply making it illegal to use the best available science when planning coastal development.
Ultimately, the state adopted a bill that basically says do nothing about rising sea levels until at least 2016, according to Rob Lamme, a lobbyist for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, who described the legislative process in detail in this blog post.
According to Lamme, the final version of the bill “prohibits state agencies from doing much of anything regarding sea level rise until 2016. The final bill does mandate a study but there are no prohibitions or restrictions on the data or science used in that study,” Lamme wrote.
The see-no-evil approach favored by real estate speculators eager to sell a few more parcels of beachfront property before the next major hurricane washes it away, but it’s a step in the wrong direction for a state that once had a reputation for being a leader in coastal ecosystem research. (more…)