State sea level panel. ANOTHER departure. STILL BIASED. STILL not filling vacancies.

monkeyWe’ve posted previously about this Charlie Foxtrot HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.    Here’s some background from a drive-by.  Basically, this panel submitted a report claiming that the sea levels on our coast will rise 39 inches by the end of the century.  Some scientists, and many legislators, balked at this report — claiming that it was radical environmentalist propaganda based on Al Gore-ian faux science.

Why is the sea level rise so important? Property owners along the coastal regions of our state should be very interested.  This study will have a huge impact on how — going forward — they can use their property and how their property will be valued.  Claiming a 39 inch sea rise will likely result in government regulators truly clamping down on property rights along the coast.

In 2011, the 39-inch rise claim got rejected.  Legislators ordered the commission to go back to the drawing board and come back with something more realistic and science-based by March 2015.  There were three vacancies on the sea level panel.  Three appointees — none of whom worship at Al Gore’s altar — are awaiting a seat on the committee.  Coastal Resources Commission director Frank Gorham — a big McCrory donor and McCrory appointee — is refusing to seat the four global warming skeptics on the panel.  He claimed there was already plenty of scientific expertise on the panel.

Well, one of the existing panel members has resigned — making that FOUR vacancies on this important panel facing a March 2015 deadline.  The Al Gore crowd appears to be getting their way.   North Carolina-based scientist and global warming skeptic John Droz called out Gorham in a recent email:


There were three (3) major revelations at last week’s CRC Science Panel meeting —

1 – Rob Young resigned his position on the Panel. It’s to his credit that he acknowledged that he does not have the time to attend once-a-month meetings, etc. (The Science Panel list of members has already been updated to remove his name.)

This means that there are now four (4) open positions on the Science Panel. We again respectfully ask that you act in the best interest of NC citizens, and immediately fill these openings with qualified personnel: Dr. Stan Young, Dr. Robert Brown, Dr. Nicola Scafetta, and Mr. Dave Burton. You have the CVs of each of these good people.state seal

2 – It was quite surprising to see that very significant parts of this meeting, were not planned or agreed to during the prior meeting! Per the minutes of the July Meeting, there was no discussion at all as to what would transpire in the August meeting — yet somehow two members showed up last week and gave prepared detailed presentations. How did that come about?

The inescapable impression given is that the real decisions about this Panel (and its 2015 Report) are being made behind-the-scenes, and not at the public meetings. So far, almost every indicator says that the content of the 2015 Report has been already predetermined, and that it will simply be a puffed-up version of the failed 2010 Report.

Since transparency is a fundamental Scientific ingredient, we appeal to you to direct the Science Panel to conduct ALL of its business, in public. For any rare exceptions that have to occur between meetings, there should be full disclosure about those developments at the beginning of the next meeting. Along with this, a web-posted detailed agenda should be published (along with a copy of any presentations) at least one week prior to the meeting.

[On the same topic, we commend the CRC for posting online the Science Panel meeting minutes, and public comments.]

3 – In the presentation of Beth Sciaudone (who apparently works for Margery Overton, the chairperson), she made it clear that the Science Panel’s 2015 Report would mimic the opinions of the IPCC and only other like-minded sources. During the subsequent discussion, not a single Science Panel member objected to this direction.

This is extremely disturbing, as genuine Science is not about deciding on a result — and then working backwards to find people who agree with you. Rather it is doing a comprehensive, objective, transparent and empirical investigation into the issue.

hysteriaShe attempted to justify the Science Panel’s unscientific approach to their assignment, by saying this was the “consensus” view of many scientists. Whether that is true or not, is irrelevant. Science is not based on popularity contests, but empirical facts.

Put another way, in Science (and accounting), we want the absolutely most honest answers we can get. Although this is anathema to those promoting pet projects, or themselves (think Bernie Madoff), such integrity greatly benefits humanity — and in this case, NC citizens.

As the great Nobel Laureate in Physics Richard Feynman said, scientists must adhere to:

“Utter honesty… Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given… The idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.”  

Scientific Work and Creativity: Advice from the Masters

Note that none of Dr. Feynman’s directives happened with the 2010 Science Panel SLR Reportand that is why the report was outlawed by the legislature. As was noted in an earlier email (in response to your commentary), H819 had absolutely nothing to do with “real estate developers,” and was not about a dispute concerning the amount of future NC sea level rise!

To many, Dr. Feynman’s words sound quaint and archaic by today’s self-serving standards, where renown academics justify Confirmation Bias (the polar opposite of genuine Science) as being acceptable, because “the end justifies the means.” That appears to be the mentality on the Science Panel.

The bottom line is that the Science Panel is completely abdicating its responsibility by going down this unscientific path. This will effectively replicate what happened in 2010 — which is no surprise, as the same unrepentant people are doing both SLR Reports.

So this has now officially morphed into a political science exercise — and no amount of good intentions, or hand waving , or secondary reviews, will change that fundamental failing.

We are asking you to immediately stop this pretense. Please redirect the Science Panel to get back on course, and this time: do a Genuine Scientific Assessment of the NC SLR situation over the next thirty years. That means doing a comprehensive, objective, transparent and empirical investigation into the NC SLR issue.

Any existing members who find that an unreasonable assignment, should hand in their resignation (which will be accepted).

Some grown-ups in Raleigh need to step in and referee this situation QUICK.