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Earth United States Science

NC Planners May Be Barred From Using Speculative Sea Level Rise Predictions 419

Posted by timothy
from the individual-frames-can-imply-motion dept.
ideonexus writes "Republicans in North Carolina are floating a bill that would force planners to only consider historical data in predicting the sea-level rise (SLR) for the state as opposed to considering projections that take Global Warming into account. NC-20, the pro-development lobbying group representing twenty counties along the NC coast, is behind the effort and asserts that the one-meter prediction would prohibit development on too much land as opposed to SLR predictions of 3.9 to 15.6 inches." Scientific American has an acerbic take on the bill.
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NC Planners May Be Barred From Using Speculative Sea Level Rise Predictions

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  • Hard to insure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by utoddl (263055) <Todd_Lewis@unc.edu> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:07PM (#40169845) Homepage

    That's public sector planners. Insurance companies will use whatever sources they think are reasonable, so some of this to-be-planned development may be hard to insure.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      not really. they'll just jack up the insurance prices couple of years before the water rises enough.

      anyhow, by that reasoning nobody would be able to buy storm insurance in florida anyways..

      and if storm flooding is usual in the areas, they'd be wise to build the buildings to withstand that anyways.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by berashith (222128)

        well, insurance on the coast in Florida generally costs as much as the house. There is a very good reason for this.

      • What's happened in Fla is that there is now a high risk pool paid for by you guessed it the taxpayers.

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      Insurance-wise, I expect this:
      I suspect that the law is currently that the insurance companies are only ALLOWED to consider historical flood data when formulating their rates.

      Therefore, few (if any) insurance companies will (maybe already do) refuse to write flood insurance policies in NC. The only way people would be able to get flood insurance is through a public pool (huh-huh) backed by FEMA.

      • by jdgeorge (18767)

        Yikes; said that last part backward. Should have been:

        "Therefore, most insurance companies will (maybe already do) refuse to write flood insurance policies in NC. The only way people would be able to get flood insurance is through a public pool (huh-huh) backed by FEMA."

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No public insurance companies sell flood insurance anywhere. The only flood insurance provider in the US is the US Government. It's not a model that works for a for-profit insurance company, since only people who live in flood-prone areas will ever buy the insurance.


        Whether this is good or bad will depend on your personal political viewpoint; I make no statement either way.

      • by turbidostato (878842) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:26PM (#40171139)

        "I suspect that the law is currently that the insurance companies are only ALLOWED to consider historical flood data when formulating their rates."

        Which demonstrates (again) how stupid politicians can be. They should just pass a law forbidding the sea level to rise above 5 inches and done with it!

    • by jythie (914043)
      Many insurance companies already have accepted global warming predictions. Though in this case it will depend on how they are regulated in NC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Spazmania (174582)

      Insurance companies will use whatever sources they think are reasonable, so some of this to-be-planned development may be hard to insure.

      Nice theory but private insurers don't offer flood insurance in coastal areas. That's all done through the Federal National Flood Insurance Program.

      http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/ [floodsmart.gov]

  • Insurance? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lester67 (218549) <ratels72082.mypacks@net> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:07PM (#40169857)

    How about passing a law that also states that insurance companies are forbidden to use that data as well. I can totally see them raking folks over the coals on insurance premiums for building in the "One meter zone".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by i kan reed (749298)

      No, using poorly thought out limitations on what governments can do is rule of law. Using poorly thought out laws to limit what corporations can do is destroying freedom.

      I honestly could not formulate that statement in a way that I feel no republicans would agree with.

      • Re:Insurance? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:34PM (#40170303)
        It was so long ago that the Republicans had this philosophy of less government--wait that's still their current stance but only on certain things like business, oil, the environment. For things like science and gay rights, it's their purview to interfere as much as possible.
      • by diodeus (96408) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:47PM (#40170513) Journal

        PI = 3

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>Using poorly thought out laws to limit what corporations can do is destroying freedom.
        >>>I honestly could not formulate that statement in a way that I feel no republicans would agree with.

        I'm Republican and disagree with that part. You sir are guilty of stereotyping (groups all people into a single group as if all individuals think alike). As a matter of fact I hate corporations.

      • Re:Insurance? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by anwaya (574190) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:19PM (#40171025)

        Using poorly thought out laws to limit what corporations can do is destroying freedom.

        Do you think that corporations should be free to aggregate as much power over individuals as they possibly can, as they will if unregulated? Because that's an excellent way to maximise shareholder return on investment. Or is it possible that the problems of corporate tyranny would be just as bad as the problems of tyranny by the state?

      • by polar red (215081)

        so ... disallowing corporations to kill is the same as destroying freedom ?

    • by residieu (577863)
      In that case, insurance companies will add a clause revoking flood coverage if water levels exceed that expected by the historical-based predictions. The developers will then cry to the government for a handout to save their investments.
    • Re:Insurance? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:52PM (#40171567) Homepage Journal
      Insurance is going to drive some of the development, but some of the development and policies will be driven knowing that the federal government will subsidize bad decisions. Take for example the Texas wildfires. Rick Perry encouraged the budget to be cut for firefighters and fire prevention, loose regulations allowed structures to be built where they presumable should not have been built, and a further presumption can be made that some of those structures did not have proper insurance because it was either too expensive or not required. I can say this because I know that, for instance, not everyone in the flood plane on the Gulf Coast of texas has flood insurance. They just expect the feds to pay the rebuilding costs.

      Just like Rick Perry expected the feds to pay all the costs of the fire even though just a few months before he was saying that the state should secede. The taxes to the feds are not the problem, Texas gets most of those back, it is the Perry slush fund that allows him to reward donors. Simple fiscal incompetence. That is what tends to characterize those that don't want to invest in rational infrastructure and development, instead pushing projects based on ideology.

      Just imagine if Texas had passed a law saying in 1900 saying that only long term historical data could be used to make plans. That the hurricane could not be used and it would be illegal to based future plans on the fact that Galveston had just been destroyed. It was a one time thing. Not going to happen again. That people are just liberal fanatics who want to destroy the island economy and waste billions of dollars to build an unnecessary ship channel. Texas would not be in the good shape it is now. Fortunately people in Texas are not as crazy as most other states in the south.

  • Insurance? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kenja (541830) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:08PM (#40169863)
    Wouldn't this force such developments to require flood insurance that would be backed by FEMA, thus pushing the cost onto the federal government and tax payers in the rest of country?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nah, a government bailout in the event of a disaster? Them North Carolingians are way too robust and reliable for that.

      They'd never take money, especially not from the Feds.

    • Re:Insurance? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alomex (148003) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:38PM (#40170345) Homepage

      Remember, it isn't socialism if the money is taken to the poor and given to the rich.

      It's only "bad" when it happens the other way around. I mean, surely the poor don't need the money, since they are used to having none. The rich in contrast have amply proven their unbounded need for more money, so it is only logical that the government should strive to give them as much moolah as possible (e.g. bailouts, income tax cuts, state tax cuts, capital gains tax cuts, oil exploration subsidies, free land for mining within federal parks, etc.)

  • by AB3A (192265) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:08PM (#40169869) Homepage Journal

    This bill seeks to do for the state what should be done through Engineering guidelines.

    A sea-level rise estimate would have to take in to consideration all sorts of issues, not the least of which is potential for Tsunamis, Storm surges, and the like.

    This is what happens when lawyers write technical documents...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      this is what happens when you have retards working for the senate.

    • by tinkerghost (944862) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:32PM (#40170247) Homepage
      They already have the engineering report. They don't like the results. It's inconvenient for the developers to have the water rise 1M, so they are trying to prohibit people from planning for it.

      This way, developers can make piles of cash today and soak the public for FEMA flood insurance payouts later. Oh it won't hurt that they might get to build the replacement houses too.

      • They already have the engineering report. They don't like the results. It's inconvenient for the developers to have the water rise 1M

        Obviously whoever decided they should plan for the sea level to rise a meter is not an engineer.

        Even the IPCC is estimating now, a maximum of around 2 feet.

        But of course, no predicted massive sea level rises have taken place yet. They keep predicting doom but the sea level simply continues to creep up along the same historical trend line it has been on for decades. If foreca

    • What will happen is the insurance companies won't be constrained by this legislation, and thus will slap extremely high premiums on the developments.

      So it won't matter.

    • by mevets (322601)

      More likely crooked politicians and shady real estate developers. Scoobie Doo, we need you!

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:09PM (#40169887)
    An actual law to prevent looking forward. For North Carolina Republicans, the entire world is in the rear view mirror.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ArcherB (796902)

      An actual law to prevent looking forward. For North Carolina Republicans, the entire world is in the rear view mirror.

      The law doesn't prevent looking forward. The law prevents the prohibition of building in areas that may be in danger based on the wildest of predictions that may have been exagerated [slashdot.org] or simply wrong.

      Believe it or not, sometimes, the models are wrong. You will notice, however, that the scientists always say, "we were wrong in our last model, but this time, we are correct!" For example: [europa.eu]

      We conclude that most climate models mix heat too efficiently into the deep ocean and as a result underestimate the negative forcing by human-made aerosols. Aerosol climate forcing today is inferred to be 1.6 ± 0.3 W m2, implying substantial aerosol indirect climate forcing via cloud changes. Continued failure to quantify the specific origins of this large forcing is untenable, as knowledge of changing aerosol effects is needed to understand future climate change. We conclude that recent slowdown of ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols and a deep prolonged solar minimum. Observed sea level rise during the Argo float era is readily accounted for by ice melt and ocean thermal expansion, but the ascendency of ice melt leads us to anticipate acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade..

      -- J. Hansen, M. Sato, P. Kharecha, and K. von Schuckmann

      In other words, we can't accurately predict heat distributio

      • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:36PM (#40170327)

        I find it kinda funny that you think James Hansen (who do you think the J Hansen is, there?) is an authority to be believed when he finds negative forcings, but a total eugenic crackpot who is paid off by the EcoMafia when he finds positive forcings.

        All models are wrong. Some are more useful than others. Which ones are useful, and why? Show your work.

    • by residieu (577863)
      Reminds me of laws that forbid school districts from building for future growth.You can only build enough schools to match your current population.
    • by jvillain (546827)
      More like a bill to stop looking at BS.

      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.

      Who is actually telling people to shut up here? When you wheel out the old "The science is settled" argument and tell people tha

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Pretty much.

      Ron Paul in debate: "Perhaps we should apply the Golden Rule to foreign policy, and not harm other human beings."
      NC Repubs: "booooooo!"
      So much for their Christian faith.

  • Any state senator who votes for the bill must purchase and move into a house on the beach, one which would be flooded if global warming were true. Let them put their money where their mouths are.

    • Everyone who votes for this bill will be dead by the time it's a problem. What do they care?
      • by tmosley (996283)
        If that is how long it will be before there is an effect, why does ANYONE care? Our situation, economically and technologically, will be TOTALLY different by then, so making plans for eventualities that are not set in stone and that far off are pretty worthless.

        If it was something that was clear and predictable, like aquifer depletion, then fine, but sea level rise from global warming? Come on. They didn't even take into effect the extraction of water from aquifers into their calculations. It is much
        • by Jeng (926980)

          Ok, so how exactly is it better to use statistics from a period of time that doesn't have the same variables than this period of time?

          You put a good example of that, the water that is extracted from fossil water wells, ie water wells that were filled millions of years ago, that is now unlocked and adding to sea levels rising.

    • by berashith (222128)

      I would gladly vote for something that forced me to live on the beach !

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We did this a lot in AD&D. DISBELIEVE!

    Works for illusions. Not so good for actual dragons...

  • I can't imagine how it could possibly to live as someone with such a braindead retarded lump of ignorant useless flesh atop my shoulders. And how somone hasn't such people from civilized society yet.
  • if i was that close to sea level i would design and build stuff to account for it getting wet (and maybe even staying wet for extended periods of time). Also they are saying that in 80 some years the water could maybe if we twist the numbers right be at THIS LEVEL what happens if its at THAT LEVEL (which happens to be 2X as high)?

  • Using the estimate that sea level will rise by 1 meter (about 1 yard or 3.3 feet) means most of eastern NC could not be developed. Plus it's doubtful it will actually rise that much in one century.

    • by sycodon (149926)

      Then there's the problem of which estimates should be used?

      Some people [yale.edu] are saying over six meters.

      How can you make public policy based on theories and projections that even those making them can't agree on?

      Plus, it is easily imagined that zealous planners with political agendas could pick and choose data to shape development according to their agenda.

    • by berashith (222128)

      they were most likely just confused by the metric system. Especially when it forced 1 yard to equal 3.3 feet.

    • by spike hay (534165)

      Nah. 1 meter is around the consensus projection. It may be lower, but there is also a small chance of a much larger rise (through, e.g. collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet).

      Planning for sea level rise is an example of decision making under uncertainty. If you want to prepare rationally, you don't just look at the most likely scenario or, in the case of Republicans, the scenario you want to beleive. Instead, you take the expected damages and payoffs for various mitigation strategies across all scenarios

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:08PM (#40170829)

        Nah. 1 meter is around the consensus projection.

        IPCC is saying "around" 59cm now. Which is a HUGE difference.

        It may be lower


        You'd have to show evidence that sea level increases were actually accelerating, which they are not - despite predictions over the past several years they would be. Since those projections were wrong then, what suddenly makes them so trustworthy now?

        in the case of Republicans, the scenario you want to believe.

        Why do the Democrats get a pass? They are picking 1M out of THIER ass simply to prevent development in some areas.

        The Republicans are at least saying, look, here is a clear trend line, it has been roughly on this path for decades, why not look at that as a baseline for predictions until a theory comes along that starts DEMONSTRATING otherwise? The Republicans seem to be the only ones presenting a way to come up with a reasonable estimate devoid of guesswork and hyperbole.

        The most annoying thing about the global warming cultists such as yourself is that you continue to ignore what happens in reality, and dismiss all attempts at reasonable and rational estimates for future change in favor of your own scare-mongering huge numbers. All while draping yourself in the false flag of "science" which you refuse to listen to or practice.

  • Rewards typically always require risks. If I were an NC legislator, I'd seriously consider reaping rewards of millions or billions of dollars for my state with the understanding that if the worst fears of AGW alarmism pan out, all of that could literally go underwater in the next 100 years. But it's arguably not actually even that risky, because building and further data collection will happen at the same time, at a gradual pace. If the AGW alarmists' predictions come true (which would be a first), we sh

    • In this particular case it's very convenient as well, since, if the prediction is correct, by the time the water will rise by 1m the politicians who enacted this bill will be long dead.

      The news, however, is about politicians seeking to override scientists again. (yes, AGW "alarmism" is scientific consensus today; go cry to Jesus in a corner)

      • (yes, AGW "alarmism" is scientific consensus today; go cry to Jesus in a corner)

        Is the belief that AGW will increase the frequency and intensity of hurricanes also scientific consensus? Oh, I forgot, that turned out to be a testable prediction which effectively embarrassed the alarmists after they got smacked down by Mother Nature herself, who refused to follow those complex empirically derived models in which Al Gore and others placed so much faith. As a result, scientific consensus leans _against_ that particular alarmist position. Quite ironic, too, since it was basically the bas

    • by couchslug (175151)

      If it goes underwater in a century, that's plenty of time to replace it. That's long enough to replace a city, as MANY cities destroyed in war demonstrate.

      Most buildings don't NEED to last more than say 50 years. They are cheap to build and cheap to demolish and REPLACE with better technology.

      Coastal housing is particularly expendable. You KNOW it's got high odds of getting smashed (consider repeated Gulf Coast hurricanes) so smart people evacuate when required while idiots stay and drown.
      (There is no excus

  • That decree should obviously came toghether with another one forbiding the sea to rise faster than the hystorical average. By not passing that second decree, the legislators are letting people endanger their buildings.

  • If we can let the morons in New Orleans rebuild (which is already -8ft, save for the French Quarter) then we can surely let those who are still positive to build.

    On top of that NASA estimates "Sea-Level rise within the next 87 years projects within a range of 0.2 meters to 2 meters, " That's an error margin of 1,000% which in anyone's book is a WAG (wild-assed guess). I think the historical record is much less alarmist and is based on facts not guesses .

    The governement has a duty to the people to operate

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:42PM (#40170415)

      A range of 0.2 - 2.0 is 1.1 +/- 90% or so. Not 1000%.

      • by scorp1us (235526)

        It's a 10-fold margin of error. Every margin is 100%, times 10=1000%
        Even if you do factor out the .2, you's at best be 900%, but after 2std dev, it doesn't really matter. NASA requires 5-sigmas of agreement to "prove" a theory in physics. This is -4, not even close.

      • You might want to try that again [wolframalpha.com]

        As in, the real answer is 900%...

        Whenever you are doing estimates like that you should always use some kind of quick common sense check of your result. For example, a 100% increase from 0.2 is 0.4 - so obviously your 90% calculation was way too low.

    • On top of that NASA estimates "Sea-Level rise within the next 87 years projects within a range of 0.2 meters to 2 meters, " That's an error margin of 1,000%

      0.2m - 2m is 1.1m +/- 0.9m.

      Its not an "error margin of 1,000%", which doesn't even make sense.

      which in anyone's book is a WAG (wild-assed guess).

      A wide margin of uncertainty from a model doesn't make the output a WAG.

      I think the historical record is much less alarmist and is based on facts not guesses.

      The historical record is a fact, but using it to pred

  • Barrier Islands (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:24PM (#40170129)

    There have been people that have wanted to ban development on barrier islands for many years.

    It sounds like the R's are passing this bill to prevent the Ds from back dooring this policy.

    Personally I think if someone lives somewhere that the house is destroyed every 30 years or so their insurance payment is equal to their 30 year mortgage payment. This should be true on barrier islands and in Santa Barbara canyons. Then it's just an informed decision.

  • This dang PI with a stupid value like 3.141592654 is making calculations difficult. I wish they would also create a law and define PI to be something simple like 3 so that math would be a breeze.
  • Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skyraker (1977528) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:42PM (#40170419)
    Remember Fukishima? Their problem was that they didn't go back far enough with their historical data when they designed their tsunami wall. Now, in what amounts to the same thinking, people do not want to overstate any possibility of water levels going too high for the sake of the almighty dollar. So when the ocean levels rise, or a 'once-in-a-lifetime' hurricane swells the sea up high enough, will those who support these lower levels be responsible for the cost?
  • Republicans in North Carolina are floating a bill that. . .

    The question is, at which sea level will that bill be floating -- the developers' sea level or the scientists' sea level?

    Or will it have been sunk?

  • If people can push the pause button on their hissy-fit tape loops for a few minutes and think:

    State governments regulate insurance companies so there is no good reason they shouldn't prefer a requirement that builders take out insurance policies over central planning of what should or should not be allowed. Let the insurance companies pay for relocating the buildings if they charge premiums that are too low, or suffer the loss of business if the premiums they charge are too high. The only thing of inter

  • The problem with politics and science is that one is supposed to cope with reality, the other is supposed to describe reality as it exists now.

    The prediction of 1m rise is not going to happen. It isn't. Either politicians are going to look at that number and do something about it, and keep it from getting that bad. Or they're going to ignore it, and 1m is going to a significant under prediction. And that's far bigger than any state government.

    Politicians have to guess what *is* going to happen, that's

  • It is well known in North Carolina scientific circles that words can hold back the ocean. The proof is right there in the Bible when Moses held back the red sea with just a few words to God. Obviously the population will be able to merely say a prayer hold back sea. Global warming is a problem created by man but it can quickly and easily be cured by God, all you have to do is ask. NC alchemists have already succeeded in turning slave labor into gold, sea level will be a snap!
  • by MacTO (1161105) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:53PM (#40170591)

    I always consider the geography when looking for a house. River valley, probably a flood plain. Dense bush nearby, forest fire risk. Steep slopes, too prone to landslides. Silt bed in an earthquake zone, well, let's just say that I want a chance of survival. The thing is, after taking out the crazy risks, there are still plenty of places to live.

    Problem is, homeowners want something scenic. Developers want something cheap to build upon. City planners are more concerned about tax revenues. If they want to accept the risks, fine. It's their homes and their lives.

    Just don't make the wiser folks pay for it when the disasters ultimately strike.

    • by guises (2423402) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @10:31PM (#40175805)

      Just don't make the wiser folks pay for it when the disasters ultimately strike.

      This is a useless thing to say. It's nice in principle, but it will never happen. Disasters can never just be ignored, the only way to keep "the wiser folks" from paying for them is to prevent the disasters.

      If you need examples, look at the bailouts for Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, the auto industry, and everyone else four years ago. Or look at the Mississippi floods last year for something almost exactly the same as what's happening here - the Army said, "Don't build in these areas, we may need to flood them in case of heavy rains at the wrong time." People built in those areas anyway because they were on the water and scenic and could sell for high prices. Heavy rains at the wrong time happened, result: endless whining, people blaming environmentalists and everyone else they could point their fingers at except themselves. And bailouts from FEMA.

      (Caveat: I realize that not everyone harmed by the flooding were in places where they shouldn't have been, and some of those that were had been deceived or misinformed about the possibility of floods. I'm not trying to blame the victims, just the whiners.)

  • About King Canute (Not sure where he was King of, probably some Scandinavian country.)
    Anyway he passed a royal decree forbidding the tide to rise. It didn't work out so well.

  • Don't invest in North Carolina.

  • They don't have any coastline so therefore they cannot use retarded politics when making future planning decisions.

  • ...knuckle dragging, to-hell-with-them-college-boys-and-their-durned-science, North Carolinian Republican dipshit waste of time. Noooo...., not because the science isn't accurate, but because it doesn't matter yet. A one-meter rise isn't going to happen in our lifetime, so why waste time legislating against planning for it now, other than to score political points with other dipshit Republicans?
  • So republicans are now opposed to *all* global warming, not just man-made global warming?

    This is starting to feel like a Looney Toons sketch where Bugs Bunny walks over a cliff and declares that he never did believe in gravity.
    http://www.brainfuel.tv/bugs-bunny-on-gravity [brainfuel.tv]

  • by Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:22PM (#40171063)

    That gives me an idea. The North Carolina legislature can easily create a space exploration industry in the state (boosting economic development and creating plenty of jobs.) All they need to do is to pass legislation outlawing gravity for all vehicles designated as "space vessels" inside a region designated by lines extending from the center of the Earth through the borders of the state out into space. Want to launch something to the ISS? Just put it in a trash bag and formally state "I dub this trash bag to be a space vessel." Zip, up into space it goes. Simple as that.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday May 31, 2012 @07:21PM (#40174169) Homepage

    Instead, they should simply pass legislation that forbids the sea from rising. On penalty of fines or whipping [wikipedia.org]. Problem solved.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you're being miserable. -- C.B. Luce