Opinion

An undeniable threat to N.C.’s coastline

America’s coastal communities are experiencing increasing tidal flooding.
America’s coastal communities are experiencing increasing tidal flooding. (Raleigh) News & Observer

From an editorial Sunday in the (Raleigh) News & Observer:

The New York Times, citing a couple of recent global scientific studies, reports that America’s coastal communities are experiencing increasing tidal flooding and that the problem is largely related to greenhouse gases, or pollutants.

Here we go again, will say the “deniers,” the name given to, and proudly worn by, conservative politicians and coastal developers who simply want to deny the well-documented evidence that human beings’ disregard for conservation of the environment and fondness for fossil fuels are causing our climate to change.

So to these reports they’d say, so what? That’s not good.

The scientists say that the ocean is rising at the fastest rate in 2,800 years. And there are more tidal floods than ever. If this seems like a minor problem so far, scientists say, it will certainly get worse.

The solution of North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers and coastal developers? They got a law passed that banned the state from basing policy on scientific predictions about sea level. In other words, the sand here is nice and soft so let’s all stick our heads in it.

So the fact that earth scientists are once again showing clear evidence that sea levels are rising and humans are the cause of it isn’t in danger of waking up North Carolina lawmakers. If there’s money to be made, developers are willing to buy themselves a little scientific goodwill from lawmakers.

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