Friday, May 17, 2013

Unholy Alliance: South Carolina Politicians Suppress Report on the Environment

South Carolina's coastline is rapidly eroding, due to the rising sea level and other effects of global warming. The government of South Carolina should be planning for the changes and budgeting state money to counteract them.

The South Carolina state government, firmly under control of Tea Party climate change deniers, is not preparing for those changes. Instead, it decided not to release a three-year scientific study on what changes have already occurred and what changes are likely in the future.

The study had been compiled by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) under the leadership of its Director, John Frampton. Tea Party darling, Governor Nikki Haley, appointed Caroline Rhodes to chair the board regulating the DNR. Rhodes, in turn, forced Frampton out of his job and replaced him with Alvin Taylor, who explained the suppression of the report on global warming with the ominous words, “priorities have changed”.

Rhodes, a small business owner with no government experience, has been forced to step down as Chairman of the DNR for lying to the SC legislature about her part in Frampton's departure. The DNR has now agreed to release the report.

The global warming crisis has hit hard along the Atlantic coast. Suppression of a report like this in South Carolina is only a minor problem. The real problem is that the government of South Carolina won't be paying attention to the report anyway. They have no plans to combat global warming, but will only react to each event as it happens.

The global warming report contains a list of consequences of global warming for South Carolina's coast. Rising sea levels, salt water intrusion into ground water, disappearing islands, appearance of new exotic species: These are only a few of the items listed in the report. South Carolina needs to decide whether to preserve the sea turtle hatcheries along the coast. If the people want to save the turtles and other endangered species, they need to act now.

It would help them to act if they had a report outlining in detail what they must prepare for.

No comments: