North Carolina didn’t like the science on sea levels, so they passed a law against it.

The science. Not the rising sea levels.

When North Carolina got bad news about what its coast could look like thanks to climate change, it chose to ignore it.

In 2012, the state, now in the path of Hurricane Florence, reacted to a prediction by its Coastal Resources Commission sea levels could rise by 39″ over the next century by passing a law that banned policies based on such forecasts.

The legislation drew ridicule, including a mocking segment by comedian Stephen Colbert, who said: “If your science gives you a result you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved.”


North Carolina has a long, low-lying coastline and is considered one of the US areas most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

But dire predictions alarmed coastal developers and their allies, who said they did not believe the rise in sea level would be as bad as the worst models predicted and said such forecasts could unnecessarily hurt property values and drive up insurance costs.

As a result, the state’s official policy, rather than adapting to the worst potential effects of climate change, has been to assume it simply won’t be that bad. Instead of forecasts, it has mandated predictions based on historical data on sea level rise.

“The science panel used one model, the most extreme in the world,” Pat McElraft, the sponsor of the 2012 bill, said at the time. “They need to use some science we trust when we start making laws in North Carolina that affect property values on the coast.”


Donald Trump acknowledges climate change — at his golf course

The billionaire, who called global warming a hoax, warns of its dire effects in his company’s application to build a sea wall.

“It’s diabolical,” said South Carolina Republican Rep. Bob Inglis, an advocate of solutions to climate change. “Donald Trump is working to ensure his at-risk properties and his company is trying to figure out how to deal with sea level rise.

Meanwhile, he’s saying things to audiences he must know are not true. You may have a soft place in your heart for people who are honestly ignorant, but people who are intentionally deceitful, that’s a different thing.”

Willful ignorance: is a state and practice of ignoring any sensory input that appears to contradict one’s inner model of reality. At heart, it is almost certainly driven by confirmation bias.

In practice, the word “ignorance” has often come to imply “willful ignorance.” Yet, “willful ignorance” differs from ordinary “ignorance“ — when someone is simply unaware of something — in that willfully ignorant people are fully aware of facts, resources, and sources, but refuse to acknowledge them. Therefore, “ignorance” shouldn’t really be a pejorative, but intentional willful ignorance is an entirely different matter.

Willful ignorance is sometimes referred to as tactical stupidity.

Depending on the nature and strength of an individual’s pre-existing beliefs, willful ignorance can manifest itself in different ways. The practice can entail completely disregarding established facts, evidence, and/or reasonable opinions if these fail to meet one’s expectations.

Often the willfully ignorant will make excuses, claiming a source is unreliable, suggesting an experiment was flawed, or asserting an opinion is biased. More often than not, this is circular reasoning:

I cannot agree with that source because it is untrustworthy because it disagrees with me.

Willful ignorance can involve outright refusal to read, hear or study, in any way, anything that does not conform to the willfully ignorant person’s worldview, including outright censorship of the material from others.


The legislation was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature and allowed to become law by the then governor Bev Perdue, a Democrat who neither signed nor vetoed the bill. The law required the coastal resources commission to put out another study in 2015, looking at expected sea level rise.

That report looked only 30 years ahead, rather than a century. It found the rise in sea level during that time was likely to be roughly 6-8″with higher increases possible in parts of the Outer Banks.

Outside studies offer more dire warnings. A report last year by the Union of Concerned Scientists states 13 North Carolina communities are likely to be “chronically inundated” with seawater by 2035.

Orrin Pilkey, a retired Duke University coastal geologist, wrote in a recent op-ed in the News & Observer the state failed to take the steps communities in Virginia and New Jersey have taken to prepare for rising sea levels.

“Instead, coastal development flourishes as more beachfront buildings, highways, and bridges are built to ease access to our beautiful beaches,” he wrote. “Currently, the unspoken plan is to wait until the situation is catastrophic and then respond.”

How power profits from disaster: After a crisis, private contractors move in and suck up funding for work done badly, if at all – then those billions get cut from government budgets.

3 thoughts on “North Carolina didn’t like the science on sea levels, so they passed a law against it.

  1. RGHE theory requires 396 W/m^2 of LWIR energy upwelling from the surface.

    This 396 W/m^2 is a theoretical “what If” S-B BB ideal 1.0 emissivity calculation for any surface at 289 K with no physical reality. (TFK_bams09)

    If this 396 W/m^2 does not exist neither do the 333 W/m^2 GHG LWIR energy loop, CO2 warming or man-caused climate change.

    A science based rebuttal must prove the origin, physics and existence of that 396 W/m^2 upwelling LWIR.

    Current sea level rise is 3 mm/y, less than a foot over a century.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In your equation… RGHE = Runaway Green House Effect… or Radiative GHE? Not certain of the meaning of these acronyms.

    I’m not a meteorologist either, though I do take a meteor shower from time to time. OK? Ha ha ha!

    My guesstimate is we are going to run into some theoretical vs. observed discrepancies. This may be the pea under the mattress keeping the princess awake at her dreamy slumber party.

    Does the ideal gas law work in a football? I dunno if any given football is an “ideal” closed system, but the kid leaves the ball outside on the porch.

    Temperature comes to equilibrium. PSI in ball has dropped as temperature dropped.

    Kid wins science fair.

    PV= nRT says pressure (P) is proportional to temperature (T), so P (measured in Pounds per Squared Inch) goes down when T (measured in Fahrenheit because that’s what scientifically illiterate Americans use) goes down.

    The question here is whether or not the data predicted by an ideal situation are EXACTLY equal to our observed situation of Tom “Marcia” Brady and a ball being inside/ outside during an NFL game.

    Did the ball’s PSI get lower as it came to equilibrium in the colder outside temperature, just as the Ideal Gas Law predicts? Why yes. Yes it did.

    Hence, some variation between what refs report and ideal sports lab measurements and Ben’s backyard measurements and Bill Nye’s refrigerator means there’s wiggle room to argue.

    Did Marcia Brady cheat? I am quite sure he cheats at all sorts of things. In games, on his wife, he may fudge his taxes too. But I wasn’t at this game observing anything, so what do I know? Not much.

    Either way, the *Patriots have been observably cheating the system since the Fuck… ah, I mean Tuck Rule snow job, and everyone hates Marcia Brady because now NFL QBs wear skirts to keep Marcia in a safe space without Lawrence Taylor using his legs to make a wish on Joe Theismann.


  3. In the case of Scooby Doo and the Greenhouse gases, instead of looking at the Ideal Gas Law, we’re using the Stefan–Boltzmann Law. The nerds who walk among us can it find here.

    Is this Earth/Universe thing a closed system or an open one? Thermodynamics wants to know.
    Is the Earth’s temperature at equilibrium? Are black bodies ideal representations of the Earth? Radiation or convection? You know, turkey in the microwave or in the oven? Who knows? Ask mom.

    So on an so on… did meteors really kill the dinosaurs? Meteorologists want to know.

    Regardless of the answers to these questions, what happens when we leave the earth out on Ben’s back porch?

    Well, the thermometer is all we need. We go out on the back porch. Measure every day. Get a baseline. See if the trend of the line is upward, down, or flat. We see that it is trending upward. Slope is positive. Earth is getting warmer on Ben’s back porch.

    This is what we observe in the real world. Here’s an example of data which have been collected since the 1800s.
    These data say the Earth is getting hotter lately. Significantly so. The rate of increase is more troubling than the absolute values.

    The same is true for sea levels. Doesn’t sound like much. A millimeter here. A millimeter there. Here are some data. Sea levels rise at different rates in different locations, and overall the trend is the rate of increase – the acceleration if you will – is itself, increasing. And that’s bad.

    Therefore, the questions are what is doing this? If not fossil fuel emissions, what is it? We need to know now. Are we going out like the dinosaurs? WTF do we do?

    We need to do something. Being baked is not a reversible process. You can’t bake the turkey at Thanksgiving, then ever have any hope of the bird running around your yard gobbling after dinner.

    Once North Carolina’s Outer Banks is submerged, Blackbeard ain’t rising from the grave to chase anybody in Ocracoke with his cutlass. Correct? Aye, Captain.

    Therefore – ipso facto, a priori, and presto magic! – the very fact the North Carolina government is attempting to censor information and pretend it is not information – there’s that willful ignorance again – should tip us all off that Marcia Brady is stealing the Super model… er, Super Bowl out from under our sandals.

    And the politicians are getting paid to look the other way.

    And the the feebleminded among us are swayed by agnotology propaganda, just like they got us with those cigarettes and cancer. Made some actuary bean counters and tobacco salesmen brazillions of dollars before the jig was up and the game of musical chairs stopped.

    Oh yes it is.

    The massively overwhelmingly inundating problem of our time is once you pickle a cucumber, it can never go back to being a cucumber. You got Pregnant Lady Chow.

    In other words, when the Great Flood comes, Noah… er, Donald J Trump’s golf course and his resort in Florida and who knows what else will be under the waves. But Donald will be dead by then. So he doesn’t give a shit. Money is now. Global warming is his kids’ problem because Donnie Boy don’t love anybody but himself.

    We’re all FUBARed.

    As Walter Cronkite says, “And that’s the way it is, September 13th, 2018.”

    Of course, Paul Ryan may always have a PowerPoint presentation up his dastardly little Pinky and the Brain T-shirt, so we may hear more robbing the old ladies of their Social Security scam discourse from reality TV’s Nick.

    Go ahead, Nick. Enlighten us…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s