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An open letter to Pat McCrory


This is the first of many questions we'll be asking you in open letters. Thank you in advance for the favor of a reply.

Let's assume for a minute that you believe climate change has nothing to do with human behavior. Choose whatever cause you want: Sunspots. Natural cycles. Cow farts. King Neptune. Take your pick. They're all good.

Now imagine that you're the Governor of North Carolina, legally and morally responsible for public investments related to natural resources and infrastructure. Infrastructure planning is one of your big deals, right?

Like any good public servant, you expect robust scenario modeling with a long-term horizon. Except in this case, you're faced with a law prohibiting any public official from actually considering one of the most likely scenarios, the one associated with accelerating sea level risk.

Stand up that mountain

Worth reading.

Jay Leutze has written a book about a five-year battle in which the little guys go up against a mining company and state officals, and win. Leutze was living in Northwestern North Carolina, way out in the country. A non-practicing lawyer, he was working on a novel, when one day he received a phone call from an outraged fourteen year old neighbor, Ashley Cook. She told him that a mining company was intent on tearing down Bluevelt Mountain, which towers above their little town, and it was in direct violation of the Mining Act of 1971. She wanted Leutze, with his legal training, to join their cause. Leutze ascertained that she was right, and joined the fight. Stand Up That Mountain chronicles the journey this band of Appalachian Folk, Jay Leutze, and eventually lawyers for the Southern Environmental Law Center, against the mining company and state officials.

Open thread

Steve Harrison:

Our water supply is precarious and costly to maintain as it is. Permanently contaminating millions of gallons to frack each well is beyond reckless behavior.


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