memeengine asked: I think I heard a snippet on the radio about an American state passing legislation stating that water-level estimates could only use historical data extrapolated linearly. Have you heard of this? Can scientific prediction models be legislated? Thanks for the time (and the blog in general)
Hey meme engine,
Thanks for following me! Your heard right. North Carolina banned city planners on the coast from using climate science to plan for sea-level rise.
The bill forces planners to use “historic trends” from 100 years ago. This trend shows levels rising only 8 inches over the next 50 or so years. Already, the NC coast erodes on average 2 to 8 feet every year(!), and American taxpayers pay to restore those beaches to the tune of millions. All to protect shoddily built beach homes.
Why did they ban climate change science? A recent report showed that sea-levels will rise by about 30 or so inches over the next 50 or so years, and city planners ought to take measures to protect people’s property, public sewer systems, roads, and wildlife. Here’s a bitchy article from one of the scientists who wrote the report.
Republican politicians disagreed with the report, so they banned planners from using any climate science.
Again, why? Because the public did not show up to the hearings… Frankly, Americans don’t participate in government. We barely get get off the couch to vote (voting ranges an embarrassing 20-55%). We’re fantastic at whining and signing the latest vogue petition, but get us into city hall or read drafts of a bill? Pshaw. Ain’t gonna happen.
I digress. I wrote a few posts about the law from several different angles to show what the bill does, how tax payers pay for their bad planning, and how NC restores it’s beaches. Check them out. Also, if you can find it in your country, try to find the Stephen Colbert piece called “Sink or Swim.”