RALEIGH– Even the brightest student at one point has to ask his or her professor for an extension on a homework assignment in his or her academic career.
But can Mother Nature give an extension?
The state legislature in Raleigh is about to find out.
A coastal economic development group called NC-20, named for the 20 coastal counties, has started developing laws denying a state-appointed science panel report that a 1-meter rise in sea level is likely by 2100. The report prepared for the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, was intended to help the state plan for rising water that could threaten 2,000 square miles.
“2100 doesn’t fit our schedule to be frank with you. Maybe 2150 but 2100 is definitely way too early for us,” said Tom Thompson, an economic development director in Beaufort County and Chairman of NC-20.
“The logistics to prepare for an event like that takes time and that is not enough time.”
NC-20 is in the early stages of building an ark to survive the impending flood.
“Building an ark worked for Noah, why not us?” said Thompson.
“The real problem we have, however, is time. You know the government red tape we have to go through to get a permit for two lions. We are not having a roaring good time fighting Raleigh for animal permits. We have to scratch and claw for everything needed to build this ark.”
While NC-20 fights for their permits, NC-20 is also doing everything it can to delay the flood, even denying the flood will happen in the first place. The NC-20 commission persuaded the Coastal Resources Commission to delete references to planning benchmarks – such as the 1-meter prediction – and new development standards for areas likely to be inundated by the flood.
The commission also successfully pushed Republican legislators to introduce a bill that authorizes only the coastal commission to calculate how fast the sea is rising.
“Our strategy is pretty simple really. If you deny sea levels are rising then they won’t rise,” said Thompson.
“It is kind of like those cancer patients you hear about where they believe they don’t have cancer and then six months later they don’t. Psychology 101 my friend.”
The global floods are not the first catastrophe the NC-20 commission has denied away. The NC-20 commission introduced several Mayan apocalypse denial bills across the U.S.
“If 2100 was too soon for us, 2012 was definitely way too soon. I mean they didn’t release the movie 2012 until 2009. Three years was certainly not enough time to prepare for the end of the world,” said Thompson.
“The movie 2012 really started the plan to build an ark. Then we went back and read the Bible and Noah’s ark story popped up and we were like ‘that is definitely our way out.’ Speaking of the Bible, did you know that eating shellfish is a sin? Hard to believe we built our coastal economy around people eating shellfish, and now they’re all going to hell. You live and learn I guess.”