President Obama will issue an executive order Friday directing federal agencies -- as well as state and local governments drawing on federal funds -- to adopt stricter building and siting standards to reflect scientific projections that future flooding will be more frequent and intense due to climate change. The order, described by senior administration officials, represents a major shift for the federal government: while the Federal Emergency Management Administration published a memo three years ago saying it would take global warming into account when preparing for more severe storms, most agencies continue to rely on historic data rather than future projections for building projects.
To briefly recap, GOP lawmakers in North Carolina have a new solution to rising sea levels, caused by global warming: scrap the scientific evidence pointing to rising sea levels.A state-appointed science panel warned officials that sea levels will rise 39 inches over the next century and that North Carolina needs to prepare. Under a GOP plan, officials would be prohibited from relying on the scientific evidence, and would instead have to use a historical model to set expectations. North Carolina would prepare for only 8 inches of sea level increase, since that’s what happened over the last century.
Virginia’s legislature commissioned a $50,000 study to determine the impacts of climate change on the state’s shores. To greenlight the project, they omitted words like “climate change” and “sea level rise” from the study’s description itself. According to the House of Delegates sponsor of the study, these are “liberal code words,” even though they are noncontroversial in the climate science community.Instead of using climate change, sea level rise, and global warming, the study uses terms like “coastal resiliency” and “recurrent flooding.” Republican State Delegate Chris Stolle, who steered the legislation, cut “sea level rise” from the draft. Stolle has also said the “jury’s still out” on humans’ impact on global warming.