Scientific American Hyperventilates Over NC “Making Sea Rise Illegal”

I’d forgotten about this story, I think I caught it the other day through Fark, till I perused Real Science this morning. The story starts out with a bunch of idiocy, followed by a few paragraphs discusses Amendment 1 (which banned gay marriage in NC) which has literally nothing to do with the issue, but identifies the writer as a hard core progressive

(Scientific American) In a story first discussed by the NC Coastal Federation and given more play May 29 by the News & Observer of Raleigh and its sister paper the Charlotte Observer, a group of legislators from 20 coastal NC counties whose economies will be most affected by rising seas have legislated the words “Nuh-unh!” into the NC Constitution.

Okay, cheap shot alert. Actually all they did was say science is crazy. There is virtually universal agreement among scientists that the sea will probably rise a good meter or more before the end of the century, wreaking havoc in low-lying coastal counties. So the members of the developers’  lobbying group NC-20 say the sea will rise only 8 inches, because … because … well, SHUT UP, that’s because why.

That is, the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow.

What’s Scott Huler hyperventilating about?

…“These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of seas-level rise may be extrapolated linearly. …” It goes on, but there’s the core: North Carolina legislators have decided that the way to make exponential increases in sea level rise – caused by those inconvenient feedback loops we keep hearing about from scientists – go away is to make it against the law to extrapolate exponential; we can only extrapolate along a line predicted by previous sea level rises.

So, the law would stop “climate scientists agitators” from gazing into crystal balls to predict sea rise, and instead use actual fricking real world data. *GASP*

Oh, and as Steven Goddard points out at the Real Science link, there’s been no sea rise this century

Double oh. Here’s how scientific Scientific American is

Which, yes, is exactly like saying, do not predict tomorrow’s weather based on radar images of a hurricane swirling offshore, moving west towards us with 60-mph winds and ten inches of rain.

Cluebat: the winds have to top 74mph for a storm to be considered a hurricane. And I love comment #25

I wonder if any university or climate research institute would be willing to pay in 2050 the cost of any wrong property transaction, insurance or similar business transaction based on taking in good faith its predictions of sea level rise?

Good point.

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One Response to “Scientific American Hyperventilates Over NC “Making Sea Rise Illegal””

  1. Gumball_Brains says:

    we can only extrapolate along a line predicted by previous sea level rises.

    It’s a sad state of affairs when people need laws to tell scientists to use real data.

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