Worrisome South Carolina climate change report kept secret for over a year

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what's the big secret

One of the nation’s most conservative states failed to release a 102-page report by scientists on how climate change is a reality and how the public should be educated about it. Or as I like to call it, cutting off their lives nose to spite their face.

Honesty, common sense, facts, and self-preservation. How novel.

The report includes studies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For example, they say, South Carolina "should prepare for increases in wildlife disease, loss of prime duck hunting habitat and the potential invasion of non-native species such as piranha and Asian swamp eels. Many such exotic species have taken hold in Florida, but as temperatures rise, could move into South Carolina."

Among other disturbing consequences that the state faces, the findings say that “dead zones” in the ocean will increase, as will droughts, flooding due to a rise in sea levels, and of course, disease that would affect sea life and vegetation.

Via The State:

A team of state scientists has outlined serious concerns about the damage South Carolina will suffer from climate change – threats that include invading eels, dying salt marshes, flooded homes and increased diseases in the state’s wildlife.

But few people have seen the team’s study. The findings are outlined in a report on global warming that has been kept secret by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources for more than a year because agency officials say their “priorities have changed.” [...]

Authors of the November 2011 draft said global warming is a reality and the DNR should take a lead role in educating the public about climate change while also increasing scientific research. [...]

Team members left little doubt in the report that they believe rising global temperatures are linked to man-made pollution. That point is widely accepted in the scientific community. Data show sharp increases since the Industrial Revolution of pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, that cause global warming.

The Department of Natural Resources head, who had wanted the report released, retired after he and the then-board chairwoman Caroline Rhodes clashed. Guess which conservative politician promoted Rhodes to her position as board chair shortly after being elected governor? Hint: It rhymes with Schnikki Schnaley.

Here's an idea: Keep the public informed instead of failing to disclose pesky scientific facts that irk your fellow Republicans (Gov. Haley, I'm talking to you) and your corporate pals. Then again, nobody ever said Republicans had foresight, wisdom, ethics, or good judgment.

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