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Saturday, November 18, 2017

5 Worst Ideas From North Carolina’s Tea Party Legislature

Making It Illegal To Predict Rising Sea-Levels

north carolina flood

Republicans in North Carolina introduced legislation last year that would prohibit any institution from making scientific predictions concerning a rise in sea levels that would affect the state’s entire eastern coast.

“The proposed bill would limit forecasts for future sea-level rise to what the ocean along the NC coast did last century,” according to an article by the North Carolina Coastal Federation. “Using that standard, the state would plan for rise of about 12 inches by 2100.” Scientists make these predictions based on data from computer generated models –Tea Party Republicans in the state take issue with this, suggesting that they ought to rely on historical data instead.

Text from the bill reads, “[Rates of sea level rise] 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.”

The apparent reasoning for this legislation is that by distinguishing areas of land that could be underwater in the future would deter individuals from building homes and businesses in those areas. Tom Thompson, chairman of the group NC-20, which supports this legislation, told the News & Observer of Raleigh, “If you’re wrong and you start planning today at 39 inches, you could lose millions of dollars in development and 2,000 square miles would be condemned as a flood zone. Is it really a risk to wait five years and see?”

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