If we ignore something, it will go away, right? When it comes to climate change, politicians have demonstrated great skill at ignoring scientific research and credible warnings of disaster. It’s scary to think that the people in Congress, those guys representing you and me, poke fun at “science.”
But what’s better than inaction? Actual censorship of information!
Recently North Carolina GOP legislators have circulated a bill to outlaw use of science-based projections in planning for future sea level rise. Of recent, more and more research has concluded that conditions contributing to climate change are worsening, reinforcing the potential that worst-case projections for our planet become a reality. Climatologists have found that CO2 levels in the air surrounding many parts of the globe have surpassed 400 parts per million, the highest in 800,000 years, long considered a dangerous threshold.
As a result of melting polar ice, international scientists have predicted that sea levels will rise at least one meter in the next century, with great geographical variation. The 2011 report by the National Academy of Science for the Navy predicted that, in the next century, water levels in the U.S. might rise up to 2 meters, and even higher in some local areas.
(All Images from ThinkProgress)
This week the United Nations Environment Program released its current report on the health of the planet, with a dire warning that we were nearing the tipping point of irreversibility. The growing amount of credible information which validates the serious danger of climate change seems unarguable.
Yet, instead of taking the necessary precautions to prevent extreme flooding and destruction of land like the states of Maine, Delaware, and Louisiana, North Carolina Republicans prefer to censor the information. Instead, business interests have pushed legislators to refute the data.
"We're skeptical of the rising sea level science," says Tom Thompson, chairman of NC-20, an economic development group representing the state's 20 coastal counties. "Our concern is that the economy could be tremendously impacted by a hypothetical number with nothing but computers and speculation." Right, because those crazy computers are always wrong. And it’s just a coincidence that the majority of scientists throughout the world consider these “hypothetical number(s)” credible.
The bill prohibits any agency from conducting studies of sea level rising except for the Division of Coastal management, at the request of the Commission. Also, all data used in these studies must be limited to the time period following the year 1900. I mean, why would we compare conditions on earth since after the industrial revolution to its natural conditions extending back into history? That would just be frightening!
In North Carolina, we’ll continue building resorts and beach houses on the coast, because, according to our studies, the sea isn’t going to rise more than 15.6 inches. And, if the North Carolina GOP has its way, if anyone in government would like to challenge that, or cite information to the contrary, it will be illegal!