Some 10 geologists and engineers advise the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission on sea levels, against the political tide, one might say, of Republicans on the state and national level disputing the effects of or even the existence of climate change due to greenhouse gases.
But the speculation as to pretty significant rises in the sea levels on the North Carolina coast is based in science, pure and simple, and it isn’t political commentary.
Those scientists, in a CRC report, predict at Duck, on the northernmost coast, that sea level will rise as much as 10.6 inches over the next 30 years. The increase will be less farther south.
Nothing to worry about? Far in the future? Well, consider that 30 years ago, it was 1985. Which seems like ... yes, yesterday.
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The significant increases should prompt concern about those greenhouse gases, the products of a culture with a high disregard for responsible environmental regulation. Instead, Republicans around the country meet the news with: Oh, ignore the news and don’t confuse us with numbers.
It may not be time to look for the next Noah and start marching the critters toward Duck in pairs, but these figures are significant, and responsible government leaders need to quit thinking of greenhouse gases and climate change as some kind of liberal conspiracy.
If it’s that, then here’s the question: What’s the ultimate goal of such a conspiracy? Clean air and water? A preservation of the coastline for future generations? Longer lives for children and grandchildren?
Good grief. No wonder those denying climate change are alarmed.
It’s long since time that Republicans and Democrats, tree-huggers and developers, sun bathers and umbrella people, joined forces on the climate change issue instead of turning it into something ideological and political.
With numbers such as those reported by The News & Observer’s Bruce Siceloff, it’s simply become fanciful, wishful thinking for anyone to deny the existence of climate change. Or, as one scientist says, it’s time for such people to quit putting their heads in the sand.
And it sounds like, if they’re in Duck, say 30 years from now, they’re going to have to move back farther from the ocean if they want to do that.
Those on different sides of the issue are welcome to debate causes. They’re also welcome to debate the method and pace of solutions to reduce harmful gases and other factors causing the sometimes strange climate occurrences we see even now.
But, please, no more writing off climate change as nothing more than ol’ Mother Nature just having a little fun, or the rising sea levels as just being part of some natural migration of the oceans. It’s time to get serious about the consequences of the way we live and waste and pollute for the planet we all share.