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Will Lex Luthor save North Carolina from climate change?

The only sense I can make of the plan proposed last week by North Carolina legislators to join the climate change denialist bandwagon and alter the way the state projects rising sea levels is that they are taking their cues from Superman’s nemesis.

By Michael Yudell

"Bye-bye, California. Hello, new West Coast," Luthor tells Superman, just before exposing the Man of Steel to kryptonite and setting his evil plan in motion. "My West Coast," he says, pointing to a map that shows Costa Del Lex, Luthorville, and Marina del Lex.

Left unchecked, these outcomes are a potential public health disaster. It is precisely to avoid such outcomes that North Carolina needs accurate measurements of rising waters. People living along the current coastline would benefit from state policy designed to mitigate the impact of impending sea-level rise. Instead, this legislation seeks to minimize knowledge of rising sea levels, fearing the economic development restrictions and regulations that would likely accompany a realistic appraisal of what lies ahead for the Carolina coast.

Well, he's got that part right. Scientists do have a passion for sea-level rise – because the data supports it and they know that so much more than short-term economic development is at stake here. The people of North Carolina, and all of us, would benefit from paying closer attention to this vital issue.

Take that, Lex Luthor!

Read more about The Public's Health.