The other day, I wrote in some bafflement about the North Carolina legislature trying to write sea-level rises out of existence — it was like trying to legislate the value of pi, and I had a hard time believing anyone would be so stupid.
But I should have known. There are no lower bounds to stupid. This plan to bury real-world problems in redefinitions and disguising the language? It’s a thing. Now Virginia is doing it, too.
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.
The sea level is rising. But you can’t say that in a Republican universe.