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Hullabaloo


Monday, March 17, 2014

 
Heads in the sand

by digby

This seems to be an excellent illustration of how our current system is likely to kill us. It's a story about the sea levels rising in North Carolina and how the various people in charge are dealing with it:
There’s not much dispute these days, up and down the coast, about whether the ocean is rising. The question is: How high will it go here, and how fast?

North Carolinians must wait until 2016 for an official answer. That’s the law.

After promoters of coastal development attacked a science panel’s prediction that the sea would rise 39 inches higher in North Carolina by the end of this century, the General Assembly passed a law in 2012 to put a four-year moratorium on any state rules, plans or policies based on expected changes in the sea level. The law sets guidelines under which the Coastal Resources Commission, a development policy board for the 20 coastal counties, will formulate a new sea-level prediction to serve as the official basis for state planners and regulators.

The backlash fomented by a conservative coastal group called NC-20 prompted commission members in 2011, most of them Democratic appointees, to reject the 39-inch prediction from the panel of engineers and geologists, including Riggs, that has counseled the commission since the 1990s. A new documentary film, “ Shored Up,” shows anguished commission members imploring their science advisers to somehow “soften” the high-water warning.
Everything about that, from the greedheads, to the GOP ideologues to the impotent Democrats is a microcosm of the problems we face in dealing with ... well, everything. But climate change is the Big Kahuna, where the consequences will be truly catastrophic.

If we thought that we had gone beyond the time of irrationality and superstition, that humans had evolved to the point at which we could at least deal with the facts as we know them, we are quickly proving that this is just not so. I always thought the big mistake would be a nuclear disaster or war. (And that remains a possibility, obviously.) But I can see now that our technological capability has outstripped our reason in many other ways. We may just kill ourselves in slow motion instead.

h/t to TS









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