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Dr Masters Is Annoyed

Dr Jeff Masters is offended: North Carolina ignores science in sea level planning

An interesting political battle is underway in North Carolina on how to plan for 21st century sea level rise, newsobserver.com reports.Sea level rise scientists commonly cite one meter (3.3 feet) as the expected global sea level rise by 2100, and more than a dozen science panels from coastal states, including a state-appointed science panel in North Carolina, agree. However, a coastal economic development group called NC-20, named for the 20 coastal counties in North Carolina, attacked the report, saying the science was flawed. NC-20 says the state should rely only on historical trends of sea level rise, and not plan for a future where sea level rise might accelerate. North Carolina should plan for only 8 inches of rise by 2100, based on the historical trend in Wilmington, NC, the group says. Republican state legislators introduced a bill that follows this logic, requiring the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission to make development plans assuming sea level rise will not accelerate. On Thursday, a state senate committee signed off on the bill, sending it to the full Senate. NC-20 also successfully made an “intense push” to get the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management, which is using a $5 million federal grant to analyze the impact of rising water, to lower its worst-case sea level rise scenario from 1 meter (39 inches) to 15 inches by 2100.

The man puts up all of the requisite graphs to show why what the legislature is doing is brain-dead, but doesn’t grasp that none of that will change the minds of people whose political survival is dependent on being ignorant.

The best hope for avoiding total disaster is that the people who buy in these developments raise hell after they discover that they can’t get flood insurance. The flood insurance program is for people who “might” be flooded, not for those who will certainly be under water.


1 jamsodonnell { 06.13.12 at 1:33 pm }

The sheer pig headed stupidity. But never let it be said that science stands in the way of avarice!

2 Badtux { 06.13.12 at 9:37 pm }

I’m not sure how people could get a mortgage to buy into those developments in the first place if they can’t get flood insurance… mortgage vendors can read FEMA flood maps just as well as we can, duh. Or is there some wellspring of fraud that I’m not seeing here where people can trick mortgage vendors into lending into underwater developments?

– Badtux the Dry Land Penguin

3 Bryan { 06.13.12 at 10:53 pm }

It’s not like any of this is tied to reality. The reality is all of the trees dying from saltwater infiltration as the sea level rises. You can see it before the water actually covers the land.

Sounds like someone is planning to start flipping waterfront property before people figure out that the land will be under water in a couple of decades. The whole thing will blow up with one solid hurricane landing on the North Carolina coast. because the vegetation that was reinforcing the land and reducing erosion is dying.