This is a complicated and controversial story that is front page news here at home, and is making headlines all over. A committee of lawmakers in the North Carolina Senate approved a bill that will limit the data that planning agencies are allowed to use in preparing for sea level rise. Essentially, planners will only be able to base their forecasts on historical increases in sea level rise, which are relatively low compared to the predictions of a state appointed panel of scientists. The bill would allow only the NC Coastal Resources Commission to engage in sea level prediction, and would restrict the data and methodology that can be used.
Here is a link to the bill. The most controversial part is on the second page, part (e) and includes the following language:
"These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and
these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900.
Rates of seas-level rise may be extrapolated linearly…"
Read more about it here and here at the News and Observer (thanks Paul L.), here from UNCW's Spencer Rogers at NC Sea Grant, and for some comic relief, here is Stephen Colbert's take on the topic.