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Earth United States Science

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

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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  • Insurance? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lester67 ( 218549 ) < minus city> 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".

  • 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?
  • 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...

  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:17PM (#40170035)

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

  • by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:20PM (#40170069)

    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 should see it happening and be able to react and at least limit losses.

    And there's nothing insidious and evil about trusting historical data more than the most complex empirically derived computer models, which are typically just about as valid to extrapolate as a stock market trend.

  • Re:Hard to insure (Score:3, Insightful)

    by berashith ( 222128 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:30PM (#40170223)

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

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.)

  • Re:Hard to insure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:41PM (#40170409)

    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 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%.

  • 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?
  • by busyqth ( 2566075 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @02:52PM (#40170581)
    If only these annoying science-based predictions could be reined in, we won't have to worry about the North Carolina outer banks washing away...
  • 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.

  • 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 LanMan04 ( 790429 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:35PM (#40171295)

    Republicans wanted this looking forward to base projections on reality, not on fantasy.

    I have a grease-fire on my stove. Based on the fact that my house has historically not been on fire, I will do nothing about said grease-fire, and will legislate that everyone ignore experts' "wild fantasy predictions" that the house may indeed burn down.

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

    by jkauzlar ( 596349 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @03:37PM (#40171325) Homepage
    When he says 'interfere', he means 'stop it from happening.' Please stop thinking in absolutes. Funding science as a security to our country's future has often been a good thing. Problem is, it doesn't pay off right away.
  • Re:Insurance? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @04:09PM (#40171841)
    It has little to do with beliefs at this point, tea partiers today are simply rooting for one side in a wrestling match. It's not that they think Triple-H has a better philosophy than The Rock Obama, they just have decided they really hate The Rock Obama.

    Unfortunately, some interested parties have used that effectively to cut their own taxes to the point that conservatives who care about the future of the country are saying they're taking it too far.
  • Re:Insurance? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dr2chase ( 653338 ) on Thursday May 31, 2012 @09:29PM (#40175403) Homepage

    "Health Care which even the moderate Republicans won't touch"

    So what does that make Romney, who actually mostly pushed for the universal health care that we have here in Massachusetts? Obamacare used to be the Republican counterproposal to Democratic single-payer (i.e., Medicare for all, or what they have in Canada) proposals.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"