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 It’s Time to Act for Right Whales Years after they agreed to expand critical habitat for endangered North Atlantic right whales, we’re still waiting on NMFS to follow through. So we took to the courts to get this much-needed protection in place. How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. But today, we are experiencing another period of crisis in America’s commitment to conservation. When did conservation become a polarizing political issue, when it has been, for the past century, a defining characteristic of American values and the American spirit? Ecological Insults and Injuries Revealed Four Years after Deepwater Horizon Four years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’re beginning to see the full scope of how this ecological disaster is impacting our wildlife on land, air and sea.