Posted by Brother Bob on 13 June, 2012 at 6:00 am. 11 comments already!


Note: At the time that this post was originally written my attempts at getting both sides of this story had been unseccessful. New information came to light after my original posting at my own blog. Rather than rewrite I'm just adding dates for when each section was written. The original piece, written on 6/7, still shows exactly as it was posted on that date. The addendum with updates written on 6/12 appears at the end. – BB ***

June 7, 2012

A few nights ago I caught on a friend's Facebook page a link regarding legislation passed in North Carolina regarding how they are dealing with Global Warming Climate Change. Apparently NC just passed a law stating that it will not accept any scientific studies that state that sea level will be rising by one meter by the year 2100.

I started googling to get more information, and almost all of the postings I found on the subject were leftists either giggling or angry at those knuckle-dragging red staters for passing yet another backward law. This whole thing had my BS detectors going off, so I kept searching and found the actual law that was passed.

To make a long story short NC is questioning the methodology used to generate that number. The one meter estimate came from IPCC studies that suggest that the last few decades point to an accelerated rate of seas levels rising. The methodology NC wants is to use all measurable years prior to 1900 as well. The stake is pretty obvious – this will direct huge dollar amounts of infrastructure spending and economic development, and obviously restrict the same in areas near the coast line.

Both sides have fair arguments. Personally I have a lot of trouble taking the IPCC seriously given it's recent declaration regarding its socialistsic rather than scientific mission. And if you live your life only use more recent trends to skew your data you would have probably also bought heavily into internet stocks in 1999 or real estate in 2006. That said, it doesn't seem like a good idea to ignore trends, either. The warm mongers basic argument is that if circumstances are changing they may be a trend of things to come and have to be taken into account.

Stupid laws usually come about as a result of some stupid action. My assumption was that somebody was threatening to kill some large construction projects near the coast based on some exaggerated predictions, and this law got passed as a pre-emptive strike against whoever was ready to file a suit with the EPA or some other environmental bureaucracy to stop it. So I searched online, and I searched. And I couldn't find the smoking gun anywhere. The deepest explanation I could get was the two sides feuding over the methodology being used and that is why this law passed.

Oddly enough, I find myself coming down marginally on the side of the warm mongers. While I've seen too many falsified and exaggerated claims used by their side to back some drastic claims that can only be miraculously saved by expanding bureaucratic control over our lives and punishing the poor with higher energy prices, I can't recall the last time I agreed with the greens on any kind of climate assertions.

But this is different. In this case, the North Carolina Legislature passed a law to in essence, fight preemptively against stupidity in their eyes. At the end of the day this is a battle that should be fought in a public forum – let the sides present their data and methodologies and find out what forecasts to make based on that. But passing policy that restricts your access to data that goes into the decision process does not help make a persuasive case. Silencing your critics only makes you look insecure and lacking confidence in your own supporting data. And while some conservatives might like the idea of muzzling the warm mongers, as I pointed to the leftists during the Catholic Church's contraception debate – you only like it because it's being done to someone you don't like. What makes you think the same won't eventually be done to you?

Again, I'm not supporting the one foot projection nor the methodology that produced it. Their data, along with the methods that NC decided to use can and should be questioned. Questioning data is a good thing – suppressing data is not. I'd really like to hear from anyone in the Carolina coastal region who might have more insight into this, because from where I'm sitting this law makes no sense.

June 12, 2012

Prior to publishing this piece I reached out to two contacts I have in NC to see if either had heard anything. Yesterday I received a response, and this time I found my smoking gun. The long and short of it is that new standards were trying to be hastily pushed through by the greens, and the opposition needed to move quickly to prevent new rules being imposed on them. And it looks like the greens' methodologies were as equally flawed as the ones I criticized in my initial write-up. My personal favorite is ignoring sea level increases for Wilmington while only using those for Duck, an area whose sea level “rise” is just as likely caused by the fact that Duck is sinking into the ocean. I still don't like the original form of the law restricting data use (a compromise bill was finally passed), but now my biggest problem with NC-20 is the messaging. They should have anticipated how the press would misrepresent this issue and worked toward getting their message out. The fact that my extensive sifting through search engines found only the leftist talking points until I had help to point me in the right direction speaks volumes. This is a problem that Republicans everywhere better resolve between now and November.

Cross posted from Brother Bob's Blog

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