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Republican North Carolina lawmakers pass law rejecting sea level rise

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No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999


North Carolina lawmakers reject sea level rise predictions

Lawmakers in North Carolina, which has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline and vast areas of low-lying land, voted on Tuesday to ignore studies predicting a rapid rise in sea level due to climate change and postpone planning for the consequences.

Backed by real estate developers, the Republican-led General Assembly passed a law requiring that projected rates of sea level rise be calculated on historical trends and not include accelerated rates of increase.

North Carolina is among the state's most vulnerable to sea level rise with its long coastline and thousands of square miles of low-lying land. A 2012 study by the U.S. Geological Survey says sea levels along the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts are rising three to four times faster than the global average. Global sea level rise has been projected to rise two to three feet by the end of the 21st century, but in hot spots, the increase may be greater.

During floor debate Tuesday, Rep. Pat McElraft, a Republican who sponsored the bill, questioned the scientific accuracy of climate change and said that sea level rise along North Carolina's coast in the last century had averaged 8 inches.

Democratic lawmakers, who are in the minority in both chambers, argued against the legislation, noting it had made the state a butt of jokes. Television comedian Stephen Colbert joked recently that North Carolina was considering making sea level rise illegal.

"This bill is basically like saying to your doctor, ‘Don't do any tests on me, and if you do any tests and find something wrong, don't tell me for four years,'" state Representative Deborah Ross, a Democrat, said. "By putting our heads in the sand literally, we are not helping property owners. We are hurting them. We are not giving them information they might need to protect their property. Ignorance is not bliss. It's dangerous."

The legislation goes now to Governor Beverly Perdue, who has not indicated her position on the bill. The governor has 10 days to sign the bill, veto it, or let it become law without her signature.

If Perdue vetoes it, state law requires the governor to call the General Assembly back into session to consider an override of the veto.

Perdue has issued 19 vetoes during the 2011-12 sessions, the most of any North Carolina governor.

The Republican-led legislature has overridden 11 vetoes.


Aug 5, 2000
Science: An evil plot by liberals to scare conservatives into doing the "wrong" thing.

Profits first and foremost. All else is a commie scheme to destroy America.

Off topic: When are the Repubs going to learn that what they're really looking for in a leader is an billionaire TV evangelist that looks like Ronnie Reagan and talks like Rush Limbaugh.


Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2001
NC's Stand your Ground laws permit homeowners to shoot the ocean if it threatens their property. Problem solved.


Diamond Member
Jun 22, 2003
So, I wonder how long it will take for the GOP to introduce similar bills in states whose legislature they control... :hmm:
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