Opinion: The elephant in the room

Recent hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the damage to our coastal region, highlight two things: Sea level rise and unequal distribution of wealth. Unfortunately, both of these are political as well as scientific. The current hyper-partisan atmosphere for discussing solutions is toxic and divisive.

Let’s start with sea level rise. Several years ago I served on the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission when we began examining this subject. Although there are some differences of opinion, the majority, plus our expert science panel, thought coastal counties should at least consider anticipating sea level rise when in long range infrastructure planning.

Our recommendation — a suggestion not a requirement — got an immediate response. A group called “North Carolina Twenty” (for the 20 coastal counties) was quickly organized . . .

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