According to government measurements, sea levels have risen 14.5 inches in the past 100 years in some regions of coastal Virginia, and an additional 2 to 3 foot rise is projected to occur over the next hundred years.
But while rising waters are a problem for residents of Norfolk, the chief problem for Virginia lawmakers is the rising level of idiocy among their Tea Party-affiliated constituents, who view studies of sea levels as liberal conspiracies to "separate us from our money and control all land and water use." In essence, they're worried big government regulators will use science to steal the sand into which they've burrowed their heads.
Stuck between a Tea Party rock and a rising ocean, some lawmakers have come upon an ingenuous solution. Rather than follow North Carolina in suggesting a law that would make sea level rise illegal, they will simply not speak its name. Climate change is truly the Republican Voldemort…
Now it appears that "climate change" and "sea level rise" are being phased out, in Virginia at least, amid political pressure from the far right. Emerging labels include "increased flooding risk," "coastal resiliency" and, of course, "recurrent flooding."
State Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who insisted on changing the "sea level rise" study in the General Assembly to one on "recurrent flooding," said he wants to get political speech out of the mix altogether.
He said "sea level rise" is a "left-wing term" that conjures up animosities on the right. So why bring it into the equation?
Indeed, many seemingly neutral terms are actually straight of a Marxist grad school seminar. At least someone's read the haunting opening lines of the Communist Manifesto, "A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of climate change," and recognized the left-wing refrain, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his sea level rise."
However, while Virginia Republicans are to be applauded for ridding the language of "liberal code words" from "sea level rise" to "science," it's not clear how much further we can take this. The issue of "adrenal gland" health is an important one, but I'm not sure legislatures should be limited to writing laws that are anagrams of Ronald Reagan's name.
Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Climate Change, Republicans, Science & Technology, Virginia