Damn the Torpedoes: NC Lawmakers Attempt to Legislate Away Ocean Projections

June 1, 2012 • Climate Change & Mitigation, United States, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Leta Finch for sending this article PMC’s way. In a nut-shell, it is reporting on developments in North Carolina, where draft legislation is being floated that would prohibit the use of long-range sea-level projections in land-use planning decisions. Business interests seem to want to limit sea-level rise projections only to extrapolations of historic data, fearing that reliance on what are likely the more non-linear scientific projections will cost an arm and a leg to deal with. See: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120524/ARTICLES/120529835/0/news300?p=1&tc=pg

Legislation would limit sea-level plans to past patterns

A controversy is churning over projections for sea-level rise through the end of this century and whether they should be used in drafting development policies along the coast today.

Draft legislation circulating among state lawmakers, lobbyists and advocacy groups would prohibit state and local government agencies from using projections of accelerated sea rise – due mainly to global warming and the melting of polar ice caps – when forming coasting development policies and regulations.

If enacted as written, the measure would require rates of sea-level rise to be determined using historical data “limited to the time period following the year 1900,” but not “scenarios of accelerated rates of sea level rise.”

It is a response to a controversial 2010 report by the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel on Coastal Hazards, which recommended that a sea-level rise of 39 inches, or 1 meter, be adopted as the amount of anticipated rise by the year 2100 for policy development and planning purposes. The report noted that there is consensus among scientists that the rate of rise will increase this century and beyond.

The legislation, in effect, would ensure the findings of the report aren’t reflected in coastal management policies.

Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, who is pushing the proposal, said she wants to ensure that historical data, not projections, are used when estimating sea-level rise. She said she doesn’t believe the estimates from the science panel’s report.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120524/ARTICLES/120529835/0/news300?p=1&tc=pg

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