09 August 2012 Governor Perdue Chickens Out: Fails to Veto Dumb Climate Bill Posted by: Haley McKey | 3 comments | Share: Stop the presses! That little problem of global warming you’ve been hearing so much about? Well, worry no more. The state legislature in North Carolina has made climate change illegal. State lawmakers passed a four-year moratorium on using forecasts that take into account the effect that warming oceans and melting ice are having on sea level. Governor Beverly Perdue had the chance to take a stand for science and veto the bill. Instead, she chickened out, and decided to “let the bill become law without her signature.” How did this happen? Well, it all started in 2010, when a panel of climate scientists examined the potential sea level rise on North Carolina’s coast. Their report predicted that the combined effects of melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland and higher ocean temperatures would raise sea levels by over three feet by the year 2100. Apparently, this wasn’t what state legislators wanted to hear. They created a bill this spring that forbids planners from using any sea level rise projections higher than the rate the state has experienced in the past, completely ignoring the science panel’s findings. Unsurprisingly, North Carolina was mocked by everyone from scientists to late-night comedians. But the state legislature didn’t give up: they quietly revised the proposal to reduce the moratorium to four years, and that bill passed the State House 68-46 and the Senate 40-1. When the Governor allowed the veto deadline to pass, one of the dumbest climate bills in history became state law. It’s easy to make fun of the state’s ridiculous actions, but the matter is quite serious. Ironically, the bill was intended to boost the economy by encouraging development on the coast, but ignoring sea level rise is going to cost far more down the line. Building in locations vulnerable to rising sea levels heightens risks for flooding and erosion and creates a whole host of other problems and dangers. And it’s not just developers’ investments that are at risk when waters rise. Soil dissolving into estuaries can harm fish that use them as nurseries. Broken septic systems make the environment toxic to both animals and people. Road flooding after a severe storm can make it difficult for emergency vehicles to reach people in need. In 2011, damage from Hurricane Irene in North Carolina caused an estimated $400 billion in insurance costs. Flooding was reported in Pamlico, Hyde, and Beaufort counties, all of which border the Pamlico sound. And with this new measure in place, North Carolina is sure to experience even more damage, expense and habitat loss, leaving its taxpayers and native species to suffer the consequences. 3 Responses to “Governor Perdue Chickens Out: Fails to Veto Dumb Climate Bill” Jay Casey August 10th, 2012 This is what we get for not pushing back on the anti-science Luddites – especially the ones we have been so stupid as to elect to public office. Frankly, it starts in the ultra-conservative, ultra-fundamentalist anti-evolution corner and it encroaches on mainstream civil society if we fail to speak up and put a stop to it. It is coming from the same people who say we have a God-given right to do whatever we please with non-humans. We must push back before we are the stupidest developed country on Earth. Mary Tierney August 10th, 2012 I wonder what the thought processes were. Were arms being twisted? Or is it just denial? Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover? What Montana Isn’t Saying: Why Wild Bison Aren’t Welcome in the State Montana is rounding up wild bison as they leave Yellowstone National Park and shipping them to slaughter. But why?