Bad news and good news. First, the bad: Sea levels along the coast of North Carolina are expected to rise by about a meter by the end of the century, according to a report issued by a state-appointed science panel. Sadly, the study could make it difficult for developers to build along the shore, thanks to increased flood insurance premiums and a reluctance on the part of Americans to live underwater.
Now, the good news: North Carolina politicians are ON IT. Republican lawmakers are introducing legislation that would require estimates of sea level rise to be based only on historical data, rather than newer data and models that suggest the change in sea levels is accelerating. The measure reads in part…
The Division of Coastal Management shall be the only State agency authorized to develop rates of sea-level rise and shall do so only at the request of the Commission. These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated linearly to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise.
Politicians at other levels of government should take heed. Yes, the jobs numbers in the latest Labor Department report are dismal, but the unemployment rate in 1966 was a mere 3.8%. Why doesn't our president exercise some leadership and tell the Bureau of Labor Statistics to give him some historical numbers that can be "extrapolated linearly." If the decline in unemployment from 1961 to 1969 is any indication (and it isn't), the current unemployment rate is actually negative 70%.
Everyone can join the fun. Are you a big city mayor experiencing an unpleasant uptick in the homicide rate? Looking at you, Rahm Emanuel! No worries, if we just ignore the real-time data and focus on the historical decline in the murder rate from the '90s to the last few years and extrapolate accordingly, the numbers will show that people are actually coming back to life in the Windy City. Thanks, North Carolina!
Tags: Climate Change, North Carolina, Republicans, Science & Technology