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Climate (theater of the absurd, part 2)

Sea level rise not a problem in North Carolina, where lawmakers wanted TO say, “No science, no worries”

Rising sea levels are already taking a bite, as erosion increases.

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. Continue reading

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California wildfire closes popular Buttermilks climbing area

An aerial view of the smoke from the Moose Mountain Fire in Alaska. PHOTO COURTESY ALASKA FIRE SERVICE.

Nationally, wildfires have burned nearly 3 million acres for the year-to-date, the most in the past 10 years and double the average

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A grass and brush fire in the eastern Sierra Nevada near Bishop has closed a popular bouldering area.

The Buttermilk fire started May 25 and the cause is under investigation. As of May 26, the fire had burned about 250 acres and is 50 percent contained. Campgrounds in the area have been evacuated. Strong and erratic winds pushed the fire quickly through the dry brush, but firefighters don’t expect the fire to grow much larger.

Nationally, wildfires so far this year have burned across almost 3 million acres, double the average acreage for this time of year and the most in the past 10 years. By comparison, the total acreage affected at this date last year was 420,000 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Continue reading

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