If you haven't yet written your representatives to the NC legislature regarding climate change, today is an excellent day to do so. Right now is an excellent time. Here are some instructions on how to do it in less than five minutes.
Need a reason? I think I can help. Below the fold is a disturbing image of the future of North Carolina's coastline. If you don't stand to lose your home because of sea-level change, you should expect to be ready to pitch in to help tens or even hundreds of thousands of coastal refugees.
To create this image, I began with a map created by the EPA from page eighteen of "Maps of Lands Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise: Modeled Elevations along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts." In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore suggested that a 20-foot rise in sea levels is a likely outcome in the not-too-distant future. The EPA's map shows only about 11.5 feet of increase, so you can call this a conservative estimate. I added the cities and towns in photoshop. Here's the result:
Everything in red and blue is underwater. Is your town on this map? Is your town ready to provide food and shelter for the displaced?
The Northern Outer Banks are gone, of course, including the site of Wilbur and Orville's historic first flight and the Roanoke Island Lost Colony, home to the very first white-folks baby born on these shores. From Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores and Hatteras alone will come more than 17,000 refugees. That's based on the off-season population; you can expect the summer tourism industry to take a hit as well.
Elizabeth City (population 17,188) and Morehead City (7,691) are also gone. The waterside portions of Greenville, Washington, Jacksonville, New Bern, and Wilmington will be destroyed. On the upside, Rocky Mount will be able to advertise that they're a short drive from North Carolina's new coastline.
Of course, that's with only a 11.5 foot rise in sea levels. I don't have the data necessary to predict what happens upon a 20 foot rise, but I think we can assume that it isn't good.
So write your representatives in the NC General Assembly right now. We can't wait for Congress or the President to do something about this.
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