Legislators vs. science

Reminiscent of apocryphal reports that lawmakers have attempted to round off π, North Carolina state lawmakers are considering a measure that would limit how North Carolina prepares for sea-level rise, according to a report in the Charlotte Observer. That's despite the fact, the Observer reports, that “federal authorities say the North Carolina coast is vulnerable because of its low, flat land and thin fringe of barrier islands. A state-appointed science panel has reported that a 1-meter rise is likely by 2100.”

The Observer adds that republican legislators have circulated a bill that authorizes a coastal commission to calculate how fast the sea is rising “based only on historic trends, leaving out the accelerated rise that climate scientists widely expect this century if warming increases and glaciers melt.”

The move has prompted Comedy Central fake news anchor Stephen Colbert to post a video subtitled “Scientists predict an economy-destroying, 39-inch sea level rise, but North Carolina drafts a law to make it eight inches.”

The article quotes East Carolina University geologist Stan Riggs as saying the 1-m estimate is squarely within the mainstream of research. With the proposed legislation, he says, “We’re throwing this science out completely, and what’s proposed is just crazy for a state that used to be a leader in marine science. You can’t legislate the ocean, and you can’t legislate storms.”

Scientific American blogger Scott Huler has a scathing take on the proposed legislation:

“According to North Carolina law, I am a billionaire. I have a full-time nanny for my children, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and I get to spend the entire year taking guitar lessons from Mark Knopfler. Oh, my avatar? I haven’t got around to changing it, but by law, I now look like George Clooney. There’s also a supermodel clause, but discussing the details would be boasting.

“You think I’m kidding, but listen to me: I’m from North Carolina, and that’s how we roll. We take what we want to be reality, and we just make it law. So I’m having my state senator introduce legislation writing into law all the stuff I mentioned above. This is North Carolina, state motto: 'Because that’s how I WANT it to be.'”

Sponsored Recommendations

Near- and Far-Field Measurements

April 16, 2024
In this comprehensive application note, we delve into the methods of measuring the transmission (or reception) pattern, a key determinant of antenna gain, using a vector network...

DigiKey Factory Tomorrow Season 3: Sustainable Manufacturing

April 16, 2024
Industry 4.0 is helping manufacturers develop and integrate technologies such as AI, edge computing and connectivity for the factories of tomorrow. Learn more at DigiKey today...

Connectivity – The Backbone of Sustainable Automation

April 16, 2024
Advanced interfaces for signals, data, and electrical power are essential. They help save resources and costs when networking production equipment.

Empowered by Cutting-Edge Automation Technology: The Sustainable Journey

April 16, 2024
Advanced automation is key to efficient production and is a powerful tool for optimizing infrastructure and processes in terms of sustainability.

Comments

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!