Unfazed by a heavy barrage of worldwide criticism and outright ridicule by sources ranging from Scientific American to the “Colbert Report,” the N.C. Senate’s Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee yesterday approved a new version of a bill that restricts the use of scientific modeling in state and local public policy and regulations to predict future sea-level rise.
Although the new version dials back some of the language from a previous version aimed at how sea-level rise is to be determined, the bill would still prohibit any “rule, ordinance, policy, or planning guideline that defines sea level or a rate of sea-level rise within a coastal-area county” which falls outside of an official state rate of rise.
Under the legislation, determining that rate falls to the Coastal Resources Commission, which is restricted in the bill from using accelerated sea-level rise models if they are not “consistent with historical trends.”
Geologists Rob Young and Steve Benton at Western Carolina University and David Mallinson and Stan Riggs at East Carolina University said the bill contradicts the overwhelming scientific consensus that sea-level rise will happen faster in the next 100 years than it has in the past and ties the hands of localities that would like to plan pro-actively for these changes.
Tip: @Sheril_ (Sheril Kirschenbaum)
WHAT? This is idiocy. There is no excuse for intelligent lawmakers to ignore the scientific consensus and advice of experts and rule that they know better. That’s disgraceful and it’s a disservice to coastal citizens and all of North Carolina.
Meanwhile, thermal expansion of oceans, melting of glaciers and loss of the ice masses in Greenland and Antarctica are commonly considered as the largest contributors, but these contributions do not entirely explain the observed sea-level rise. Our use of groundwater acounts for about 42% of the observed sea-level rise. The unsustainable use of groundwater represents the largest contribution. Nature: Geoscience