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It's The New Mother Nature Taking Over
By Ernest Stewart

'Cause it's the new mother nature taking over
It's the new splendid lady come to call
It's the new mother nature taking over
She's gettin' us all
She's gettin' us all
No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature ~~~ Guess Who

Once upon a time, I'd planned to return to North Carolina when I retired; but, the state that now exists is far different than the state when I lived there. When I lived there, politically it was a blue state with a democratic lady governor; and, at least one US Senator that was democratic; hell, they were the only southern state that voted for Obama. Sure, anywhere east of the Blue Ridge tended to get rather Medieval; but, the area where I lived around Asheville was by far the hippest place in the South. Now adaze, the state on average is a little to the right of Darth Vader. Their new bathroom laws are a good example. While the backlash is now costing the state millions in lost revenue, as it should, there's another bright right wing idea that may end up costing millions of folks their savings or their lives. You may recall back in 2012 when North Carolina banned the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific facts of how much the sea level will rise, prompting environmentalists to accuse the state of disrespecting climate science.

The law has put the state in the spotlight for what critics have called nearsightedness and climate change denial.

The law was drafted in response to an estimate by the state's Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) that the sea level will rise by 39 inches (the current estimate has risen to 48 inches) in the next century, prompting fears of costlier home insurance and accusations of anti-development alarmism among residents and developers in the state's coastal Outer Banks region.

The bill's passage triggered nationwide scorn by those who argued that the state was deliberately blinding itself to the effects of global warming. In a segment on the "Colbert Report," comedian Stephen Colbert mocked North Carolina lawmakers' efforts as an attempt to outlaw science.

"If your science gives you a result you don't like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved," he joked.

That was funny then, but not so funny now!

The 5,000 North Carolinians who call Hyde County home live in a region several hundred miles long where coastal residents are coping with severe changes that few other Americans have yet to endure.

Geological changes along the East Coast are causing land to sink along the seaboard. That's exacerbating the flood-inducing effects of sea level rise, which has been occurring faster in the western Atlantic Ocean than elsewhere in recent years.

New research using GPS and prehistoric data has shown that nearly the entire coast is affected, from Maine to Florida.

The study, published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, outlines a hot spot from Delaware and Maryland into northern North Carolina where the effects of groundwater pumping are compounding the sinking effects of natural processes. Problems associated with sea level rise in that hot spot have been - in some places - three times as severe as elsewhere.

"The citizens of Hyde County have dealt with flooding issues since the incorporation of Hyde County in 1712," said Kris Noble, the county's planning and economic development director. "It's just one of the things we deal with."

On average, climate change is causing seas to rise globally by more than an inch per decade. That rate is increasing as rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap more heat, melting ice and expanding ocean waters. Seas are projected to rise by several feet this century - perhaps twice that much if the collapse of parts of the Antarctic ice sheet worsens.

Ocean circulation changes linked to global warming and other factors have been causing seas to rise much faster than that along the sinking mid-Atlantic coastline - more than 3.5 inches per decade from 2002 to 2012 north of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, a recent study showed. That's 3 1/2 times the normal rate; and, like everything else, it's rising faster year after year after year. Since 36% of the country's total population, some 112,642,503 people (according the 2010 census) live in the East Coast states, we can expect the ground water taken to support this population will only grow, and, hence, the land will continue to sink, while the oceans continue to rise; ergo, it doesn't look good. Just the monetary cost alone will bankrupt this country, and most every nation that has a major ocean coast line. Ask Bangladesh how global warming is working out for them! Meanwhile, America's future is being made worse by political puppets dancing to the 1%'s tune. As the Guess Who warned us back in 1970, for the first Earth Day, "It's the new mother nature taking over! She's gettin' us all -- She's gettin' us all!" To coin a phrase, "First they came for the East Coast; and I didn't speak out because I didn't live there..."


12-01-1934 ~ 04-24-2016
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(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 14 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 16 # 18 (c) 04/29/2016