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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Climate change is not up for discussion in the Tar Heel State.

The first example of this informal ban on science in North Carolina came last May, when lawmakers debated a bill that would essentially make it illegal to predict a sea-level rise along the coast. As The National Memo reported in May of last year, a state-appointed board of scientists concluded that a one-meter rise in sea level was likely by the year 2100. This conclusion, however, did not please developers such as the group NC-20, who stood to lose lucrative contracts if “flood zones” along the coast popped up.

“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,” Tom Thompson, the chairman of NC-20, told News & Observer of Raleigh at the time.

Thus, rather than accept scientific estimations, North Carolina Republicans drafted the bill outlawing predictions of a sea-level rise.

Now state legislators are taking further steps to ensure the general public doesn’t get its hands on any pesky scientific facts. As reports, information about climate change is no longer available on the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s (DAQ) website. Information about climate change, which mysteriously disappeared from the DAQ website two months ago, was also scrubbed from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ website in 2013.

At least one Democratic lawmaker in North Carolina believes the missing content is politically motivated. Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro said last summer that legislative debate on climate change all but vanished after Republicans secured the majority in North Carolina in 2010.

Prior to the Republican victory in 2010, action on climate change was labeled a “fierce urgency” by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. According to The News Record of Greensboro, in the most recent “Strategic Plan” by the department, it is not even listed under the “Important Issues” header.

Drew Elliot, spokesman for the department, summed it up best last summer when he said climate change was no a longer a “specific focus” of the agency.

Siding with business interests instead of climate scientists is not an uncommon practice for North Carolina’s Republican politicians. One recent example is Governor Pat McCrory’s handling of the Duke energy coal ash spill, which affected North Carolina’s Dan River and was first reported on February 3 of this year. Duke estimated that 82,000 tons of coal ash mixed with the river, making it the third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history. McCrory, who previously claimed climate change is “in God’s hands,” has been accused of working with Duke to fight off lawsuits from environmental groups. Instead of allowing federal lawsuits against Duke to move forward, state agencies intervened and took over environmental enforcement of Duke’s coal ash ponds.

McCrory previously worked for Duke, which is a top donor to many of the state’s Republican politicians.

Photo: taberandrew via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Independent1

    Being as how the State of NC is deliberately ignoring predictions of sea level rise – thereby knowingly putting any new shoreline development at risk for damage when the seas actually rise, people who are allowed to build in areas along the NC shore, should be allowed to sue the state for deliberate negligence, when global warming does in fact result in a sea level rise that damages their property or makes it unlivable.

    It’s mind boggling to realize that there are actually elected officials so corrupted by money, that they would deliberately ignore good faith warnings from scientists of sea level rise that is coming; and despite the warning, go ahead and pass legislation that makes it illegal to take the potential rise of the seas into account in granting shoreline building permits.

    • roguerunners

      Trying to understand the behavior of Republicans these days is like trying to smell the color 9! Yes, it does boggle the mind.

      • Jim Myers

        I agree. Smelling the color 7 is so much easier!

        • roguerunners


          • Jim Myers


    • sigrid28

      These short-sighted misers better stock up on Wellies, because they may find themselves wading about in their palatial estates along the shore. They remind me of the meat and poultry corporate ag owners who have tried to legislate against video being taken inside their “plants”–now replacing “plants” as we knew and loved them for over 10,000 years, I guess. They had their bought-and-paid for legislators set up this system to discourage animal rights activists like PETA. They might, however, find themselves sickened by the inferior product they intend to sell no matter what.

      On a related subject, I may be old-fashioned, but I would not look on a government website to find accurate information on ANY scientific subject, when the Internet and the reference librarian at any local library can put me in touch with competing research at varying levels of complexity. What makes state legislators in North Carolina assume that entrepreneurs would take data from a state agency as the final word on a topic as vital to their success as accurate information about sea levels at building sites and the likelihood flooding? It’s astonishing to me that these state legislators assume that their government agencies offer any kind of gold standard reference whatsoever.

      Yet they do, don’t they. Years ago, I worked on the translation of an anthropological study of the xxxxx civilization if Ugarite. The author of the only extent literary masterpiece of this once great and now vanished culture concluded that the most pressing problem of the time was that people were so ignorant.

      • idamag

        This happened in my state. I am so ashamed of my legislators. An animal rights group did film torture to dairy cows. Since law enforcement failed to act, they made the tapes public. It was so horrid that I could not finish watching them. In less than a month legislation was passed to make it illegal to film this stuff. Don’t use any dairy products from Idaho. The second stupid act was guns on campus. The college heads were asking that they not pass that legislation and they did anyway. The professors might have to pass everybody to keep from getting shot in the face for a failing grade.

        • sigrid28

          Thanks for your response, thought I’m sorry about conditions in Idaho, a state all Americans associate with the splendor of the West. Of course, good people like you would want to live there. Let’s hope you can find each other soon and drive soulless legislators out of your legislature.

  • Joseph

    This is a good thing. Now the folks of NC, who don’t like to think about the climate will have no data for discussion. Life can move back to the critical stuff like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, basket ball brackets and NASCAR.

    • sharon1026

      I live in NC and can vouch for everything you listed Joseph. Fortunately, there are some of us with critical thinking ability and we are still pushing for climate change accountability from this Art Pope puppet.

      • Joseph

        Bless you Sharon1026. I know far to many folks in SC that are still trying to come to grips with the mechanical pencil much less climate change, What I find most confusing is the confusion over the definition of theory, hypothesis and how science works. But the sameis true for Alabama.

        • Dominick Vila

          Unfortunately, there are many among us who don’t understand what global warming means, and who form opinions based on whether or not we had a bad winter season. Issues such as the melting of polar caps, the rapid melting of glaciers worldwide, and unprecedented storms in part of the planet where placid weather was the norm, are of little concern to those who prefer to focus on the opinion of those who thought the Earth was flat and attributed celestial properties to anything they did not understand.
          We are likely to pay a heavy price for our indifference to this issue. Instead of investing in protecting our coastal areas, preparing for potable water shortages, and building effective irrigation systems to ensure our agricultural capabilities continue to allow us to be self sufficient, we prefer to spend the time watching Dancing with the Stars, texting, and visit the magical world of Disney. Make no mistake, when the effects of climate change become obvious, the same people who ignore what is happening today are the same ones who will blame someone else for the calamities that lie ahead.

          • Joseph

            Unfortunately, natural changes take place on time scales to which humans cannot connect. There are fundamentally two groups in the deniers; the first are the middle aged who are marginally educated and cannot imagine a time line that is dramatically different than the one they lived thorough – not to mention the threat to their American Dream which is dead center in the target area. then there are the geezers who just will not tolerate change or even imagine change. If they choose like Buckley to stand and the road of progress and cahnge with an arm raised yelling “STOP”! tey will be hit by the train or buried by the road building equipment.

          • plc97477

            You forgot the religious nuts who feel this is Gods plan and they should just sit back and wait for the second coming.

          • Joseph

            Yes. I forgot them. I never think about the people folks that actively pray for someone to jam a handgrenade up thier butt.

          • Russell Byrd

            You mean they just sit back and wait for multiple orgasms? Oh my! How long does it take?

      • blinnglad321

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        • Duckbudder

          No way man. Your uncle earnd that money on his knees, behind the 7-11.

          • Russell Byrd


      • idamag

        My above remarks do not pertain to you. You are in the same boat that I am in a state that has backwoods pockets and send darrell issa wannabes to congress.

      • Duckbudder

        You should move.

    • Keeler

      I too live in NC and, like Sharon, am fighting hard to stop the insanity that has been going on in this state since the 2010 elections. It’s an uphill battle though. But people are coming out to the Moral Monday marches and the last one, a month ago or so, there were 80,000 to 100,000 people. Of course, the media failed to report it.

      • Joseph

        I wish you both good luck – it is for the good of the state and children. the problem from my point of view – seven decades of living with Homo erectus and occasionally Homo sapiens is thatt your project requires a change in fundamental belief structures and that requires cutting their heads off burying the skull at the foot of Druid Oak. Admittedly, this has not been empirically tested but it sounds about right. It certainly could not do any more damage to society than Dancing with the Stars or NASCAR.

        • idamag

          NASCAR: “They’re making a left turn. They’re making a left turn. “They’re making a left turn.”

          • Duckbudder

            Non Athletic Sport Centered Around Rednecks.

          • Russell Byrd

            That, needs to be shared!

          • Russell Byrd

            We used to call them “roundy-rounds.”

          • idamag


          • Russell Byrd

            Yeah, we ran Figure 8’s [forty years ago]. We weren’t always too kind to the “left turners.” I am going to have to remember Duckbudder’s line. It pretty much describes NASCAR. All car racing tends to attract that lot.

            I guy I worked with in a repair shop back then ran what they call “hobby stock.” That is a regular car with the all the glass out, except the windshield. You had to have the interior out, and I think you had to have the self-sealing gas tank installed. This was to attract the young novice drivers that had little money. I think it was as much as anything just a cheap way to get another couple of races on the card.

            Here’s what I thought was funny about your “left turn” bit. When we helped prep this guy’s car, to give it that “left turn” suspension, about six of us lifted up the right side of the car. Then Steve, the driver and owner, took a torch and heated the springs until they stretched out. Then we all sat on the right side of the hood, while he heated that spring to compress it. Instant suspension tuning. Precision engineering!

    • G26

      There’s plenty of data about voter fraud perpetrated by democrats in North Carolina.

      • Joseph

        And that data has been carefully hidden too.

  • mikeln

    These people seem to ignore the fact that many societies before us have vanished from the face of the earth because of climate change in the past. What a bunch of ignorant toads these people are.

    • Joseph

      Good point and it is also cheerful to remember that since recorded history probably a dozen, educated, sophisticated societies have vanished. For people taht do not beleive taht I simply ask them to explain where all the ruins covering 10,00 years came from. It si also helpful to ask evolution deniers whey they get new flu shot every year.

  • Barbara Morgan

    Everytime I think Republican Politician can’t get any dumber they show they can. McCrory and his puppet master Art Pope seems to think if people don’t see anything on the state site about climate change they will forget about it which isn’t going to happen. If you live in any of the red states start thinking about how much damage our Republican governor and Republican legislature has done to our states in the last four years and vote them out before they completely destroy our states and Country, Tennessee, both the Carolinas, Georgia, and the rest all have governors that will do anything they can to keep people from making a living wage, affordable medical care and to help rich people and corporations get richer no matter how much damage is done to the water, air and land of the states they govern. They damage our states financially, environmentally and reputation every day they stay in office, vote them out.

    • Jim Myers

      One of the biggest problems is that the Republicans managed to Gerrymander the voting districts in such a manner that there is little chance of a Democrat getting elected.

      They have also enacted some of the most dramatic voter restrictions in the Nation.

      Since the Republicans can’t present a winning argument for being in power, they created a means of staying in power regardless of the percentage of votes against their candidates.

      Democracy is finished. Now, it is only a matter of how much money you can throw at an election.

      However, there are areas where the Republicans in North Carolina have left themselves vulnerable.

      They are Education, the Environment, Obamacare and Medicaid.

      Nearly all the citizens realize the Teachers are leaving in droves because of the shackles placed on them by the Republicans.

      Nearly everyone also knows the Republicans have massively weakened environmental safeguards in order to placate the Big Business polluters.

      The Democrats of the past were fairly weak in both of these areas, but the Republicans declared outright war on both of them in order to cut costs and suck up to Big Business.

      As for Obamacare, only the self righteous and the uninformed are falling for the tales of woe being spread by the Koch inspired ads on TV.

      Nearly everyone understands that the Republican stance on Medicaid is stopping over Half a Million citizens of North Carolina from receiving medicaid coverage.

      The argument about Death Panels should include this abomination.

      After all, the citizens of North Carolina already pay for Medicaid, but do not receive the benefits of having it available.

      If the Democrats do not use these arguments in the 2014 elections, they do not deserve to garner support from the voters.

      • Keeler

        And don’t forget cutting the amount and length of time one can receive unemployment, making the federal extension impossible for anyone in NC. If you can get unemployment, that is. It comes out of every paycheck, but if you try to collect you are a taker and a moocher! And, they eliminated earned income tax credit for people in NC, which reducing taxes on the weathly and increasing taxes on the poor and middle class. And people still vote for these scumbags! I feel like I live in Bizzaroland.

        • Duckbudder

          Now, now, Jebus will make it all better.

      • Joseph

        I remain sanguine that this is a self correcting problem. Man is the only animal – I think – that is willing to soil his nest. Unfortunately, we’ll all just have to wait to see how much soil they will tolerate. IN MN (where I live) a mining company wants to dig up some minerals that will leave behind one hundred quintillion tons of poisons that the mining company guarantees will never get into the ground water or the top soil. Barnum was right.

        • Jim Myers

          So true.

    • idamag

      Same here. We try to vote them out, but often they run unopposed. If they do have a contender, he or she doesn’t even bother to campaign. We need some dynamic people out there..

  • Jim Myers


    Hypocrisy is alive and well in North Carolina.

    And, every week, (or less), I receive emails from the High and Mighty in power, praising themselves for the spectacular job they are doing to our State and its citizens.

    And a constant barrage of ads and emails about how they are “cleaning up the mess” created by all those “vile” liberals of years gone by.

    They even went so far as having a Fiddler playing near the conclusion of the last House of Representatives session, while a couple danced in celebration of all their accomplishments.

    Talk about thumbing your nose at those who don’t toe the Party line.

  • howa4x

    The GOP more or less always sides with business interests over people interests. This is why republicans in congress blocked an attempt, by 4 agencies to get a bill that would mandate food markets to raise the sugary cereals to eye level of the parents instead of the kids, because of sugar industry protests. This was done because we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic of kids.
    There hasn’t been a republican to take up environmental issues since Nixon, who created the EPA. The GOP will sacrifice the future for profits of today.

  • raginyank

    Least we not Forget Duke Energy and all there great environmental contributions and concerns for the NC citizens.

    • JSquercia

      The only good thing seems to be there is a Federal investigation of the cozy relationship between the governor and Duke Energy

      • raginyank

        Duke, Koch Industries and several other large players are all tying there best to discredit, underfund, and or deregulate the entire EPA. I guess the clean air, water and and health of future generations to come just gets in the way of profits. Remember the favorite GOP mantra extolled is “if we could just get government out of the way” we could make millions. Caribou Barbie uses that one all the time. Which is weird because if she was the naturalist she portrays or exploits via TV series, she would have a genuine respect for the environment that we have all been blessed with.

      • Joseph

        The Governor will say he’s sorry and the Government will say Duke is to big to fail. Next years rubber gargdenming boots will be six inches taller.

    • sigrid28

      Let’s not forget Art Pope either, ersatz Budget Director of the state, who bought Governor McCrory his post and his matching legislature.

  • Dominick Vila

    Why are Republicans afraid to talk about global warming and climate change? Because after a decade of ridicule, the results would expose the extent of their radicalism and imbecility.

  • Sand_Cat

    Just think: some people are so frightened and delusional they think one has to pass a LAW to make people stupid. Obviously, there’s no need in North Carolina.

  • RobertCHastings

    North Carolina has traditionally been way behind the curve on science. A decade ago, the large hog farms in the state stored hog waste in ponds, refusing to recognize the ecological damage this toxic wast could produce. Along came tropical storm Floyd, causing extreme flooding in our coastal plain, and consequent overflowing of the storage ponds. It took a while for scientists from a state university to make the link, but a listeria red tide caused quite a scare along our coast and sickened thousands of vacationers and residents. Just his year, another toxic waste issue, involving similar storage ponds, was exposed, involving the largest energy company in the country and coal ash sludge flowing into the Dan River.

  • G26

    The story of man-made global warming is a story of science fiction conjured up to scare the gullible and the ignorant.

    • Sand_Cat

      Such as you, for instance?
      You’re obviously terrified of the facts, being as ignorant and gullible as they come.

      • idamag

        What about facts? The acid levels in the ocean have risen so badly they are destroying the shell fish.

    • Independent1

      It’s the gullible and ignorant such as yourself who will allow climate change deniers to cloud their minds such as you apparently have been, until it’s too late to fix global warming.

      What are you going to say when that happens? I’m sorry I was stupid??? That’s not going to fix much as countless cities along our coasts become flooded.

      Let me paint you a picture:

      Forgetting about carbon dioxide causing heat retention, just envision the earth as it was around 1900 before cars became a fad which required billions of miles of road to be built; and before steal beams were invented to replace stone for buildings and which allowed skyscrapers to be built in thousands of cities. Here was a world devoid of many of the things the world has today which retain the sun’s heat and slow the cooling of the atmosphere when the sun goes down.

      Now picture the world of today, with billions of miles of concrete and asphalt roads that hold the sun’s heat late into the night crisscrossing almost every country on the planet; and thousands of cities with huge skyscraperes and parking lots all of which hold the sun’s heat till late at night; and then add onto that all the factories and powerplants that use fossil fuels spewing heated gases into the air during the day and even at night; and then use a little common sense as to how all of what Man has created over the past 110 plus years would gradually affect our atmosphere.

      All those heat-holding objects I just described, along with the heat being spewed into the atmosphere from factories, plants and even homes, has had to be at least gradually increasing the earth’s climate when compared to an earth 110 years ago that had none of these manmade heat holding constructions on the planet; constructions which slow down the earth’s cooling off overnight, and even increase the atmosphere’s heat during the day. Certainly you can’t not see that the industrial revolution of the past 110 years with the building of millions of miles of roads and thousands of huge cities has exponentionally changed earth!!

      • G26

        Dr. Hal Lewis has noted that the global warming scam is the greatest pseudo-scientific fraud he has seen in his life as a physicist.

        • Independent1

          So out of thousands of scientists who agree that humans, by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere are causing climate change, we’re supposed to believe one renegade among a handful that may disagree- many of them for political purposes??

          Sorry that I’m not falling for that ploy.

          And here’s a response to “Dr” Lewis’ resignation from the APS for he claims is promoting a fraud:

          On Tuesday, the American Physical Society (APS) responded to the Lewis resignation letter.

          According to the APS……….

          1. No truth to Dr. Lewis’ assertion that APS policy statements are driven by financial gain.

          2. The APS is open to review of its statements if members petition the APS council.

          3. Lewis’ charge that the APS is benefiting financially from climate change funding is equally false.

          4. APS notes that virtually all reputable scientists agree with the following……

          —-Carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere due to human activity.

          —-Carbon dioxide is an excellent infrared absorber, and therefore, its increasing presence in the atmosphere contributes to global warming.

          —-The dwell time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is hundreds of years.

    • idamag

      And the Jews said of course, hitler was not going to round them up and kill them – it was against the law.

  • herchato

    Way down south in the land of cotton, old times their are not forgotten, look away look away. Can’t seem to let go of the past but some of us have.

    • Sand_Cat

      Yes, conservatives everywhere have mastered the “look away” part especially.

  • idamag

    My impression of North Carolina: Was driving through there one time and it was time to find a place to eat. We left the freeway and found a well-known fast food place that was easy off-easy-on. It was one of those where you pick out your food off a painted menu behind the counter and pay for it up front. The people, behind the counter, had no teeth. I couldn’t see their feet so I don’t know whether they had shoes on or not. The place smelled like rancid grease and dirt. We did order a sandwich and hoped for the best as it was late.

  • G26

    I’m not aware of a single man-made global-warming prophecy that the climate fortune-tellers have gotten correct.