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After last night’s votes to slash unemployment benefits and deny Medicaid to people in need (and the follow-up votes that will take place today), you might have thought there would have already been enough wackiness for one week on Jones Street.

WRONG!

Actually, the fun is just beginning! Check out the following from the good people at the Sierra Club to see what’s on tap for tomorrow:

“John Droz, former real estate agent, fellow of the right-wing American Traditions Institute, and science advisor to NC-20 (the coastal group which backed notorious Sea Level Rise bill last year) will be addressing invited members of both chambers this Wednesday at 11:00 am in the auditorium at the General Assembly.   Read More

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There was a bit of a hubbub recently surrounding the announcement made by the new Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John Skvarla, that he was altering the Department’s mission statement. Especially in light of Skvarla’s statements in a WRAL interview in which he implied that climate change is an open question, many observers took particular note of language in the new mission statement that refers to “diversity of opinion” on matters of science.

So how much of a change is this? One of the interesting aspects of the whole mission statement story was that no one seems to remember much about what was in the old one.

Yesterday, I called over to DENR and a friendly staffer promptly emailed me the one that had been associated with the Department’s 2009-2013 strategic plan. Click here to look at the brochure that I received.

As you can see, the old “mission statement” was much shorter. It simply stated that DENR’s mission was: Read More

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Rob YoungWestern Carolina University geologist and coastal expert Rob Young is featured in a pair of new public radio stories at NPR and WNYC that highlight some problems with the Hurricane Sandy relief bill passed by the House in recent days.

Young’s main criticism: Spending billions to rebuild damaged beach communities just like they were before the storm is extremely shortsighted and wasteful. He isn’t saying the communities don’t deserve assistance or that they shouldn’t be rebuilt, but he does say that merely trucking in vast quantities of sand to put things back just like they were is absurd.

Young also argues convincingly Read More

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The Fayetteville Observer ran an interesting letter yesterday on its op-ed page.  It’s from a New Yorker named Jim Finlay who witnessed the fury of Hurricane Sandy up close and who wants to tell North Carolinians and their state legislature to think again about their nonsensical denial of science when it comes to rising ocean levels.

“You and I have much in common, even if we are separated by hundreds of miles. And this past month one of those points of congruence was highlighted dramatically: We both reside in states where the occasional hurricane is the norm.

I live along the coastline on Long Island in New York State. A few months back, I read about North Carolina’s attempt to legislate what was, and what was not, allowed in the process of planning for sea-level rise along its coast. You, of course, are well aware of the damage caused by Sandy nearly three weeks ago, but I thought I would share with you some of the things we Long Islanders are currently living through….”

Read the entire letter by clicking here.

 

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Nat Keohane of the Environmental Defense Fund has an op-ed in today’s edition of Bloomberg Businessweek that’s worth a read. Let’s hope Hurricane Sandy spurs people to take some of the actions he’s promoting.

“In the 2008 campaign, both presidential candidates called for comprehensive action on climate change through a declining cap on carbon. This time around, the economy has taken center stage; while Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have presented different visions on energy policy, climate change has largely been relegated to the sidelines. Nonetheless, the magnitude and urgency of the challenge have not diminished. If we needed any reminder of that fact, Hurricane Sandy should have provided it—especially coming on the heels of devastating drought, record-breaking temperatures through the spring and summer, and a record low in the extent of Arctic sea ice.”

Read the entire piece by clicking here.