Staff photo by Emmy Errante
Rob Lamme, the N.C. Coastal Federation’s political watcher, prognosticator and lobbying director, uses a slideshow of photos and videos to tell his humorous and informative tales from the 2012 N.C. General Assembly at Hieronymus Seafood and Oyster Bar on Thursday, Sept. 13.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation presented a summary of the 2012 North Carolina General Assembly Thursday to its members and guests with a focus on the highly publicized sea-level rise bill.
Rob Lamme, lobbyist for the NCCF, showed several articles and video clips representing the Coastal Review Online story on House Bill 819 that went viral. The bill stated that only historical data — not scientific data — could be used to project future sea-level rise estimates for the next 100 years.
He said Stephen Colbert’s segment, mocking certain proponents of the bill and statements by state representatives, was representative of his thoughts.
“I literally could not have said it better myself,” Lamme said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t slow anything down in the Senate.”
The controversial bill passed after undergoing some changes. An updated scientific assessment will be presented in 2016 to the assembly.
In the meantime, organizations like NCCF said they continue to work on the issue without being discouraged by the decision.
“Essentially we’ve come full-circle from where we started,” Lamme said. “We’ve basically been kicking the sea-level rise can down the road for four years.”
The past 100 years showed 8 inches of SLR at its highest, but Joan Weld, vice chairwoman of the Coastal Resources Commission, said the future study projections by the science panel showed 39 inches of SLR by 2100. And those results were in the middle of the studies received by the CRC, she added.
“It could have been a whole lot worse than the way it evolved,” Weld said.
A handful of NCCF members came to the presentation last year and returned this year to hear an inside view from a lobbyist at the session.
Jane Heartley, a member of NCCF and Cape Fear River Watch who lives on the Brunswick River, said she thought the presentation highlighted the importance of organizations like NCCF.
“We don’t want this in our yard,” she said. “It’s important for people to become informed, and it’s important to have representation. You can’t do this for five minutes and think it’s going to be all over … I think we’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us.”
Mike Giles, Cape Fear coastal advocate, said he thought the evening went well, and that it served as an opportunity to both get the word out about the organization and to let people know what is going on.
“You can’t complain about something if you don’t get involved,” Giles said.
Following the presentation, Lamme said he is a big believer in how important it is for regular folks to know their government, and that it is also important to maintain a sense of humor throughout it all.
“This issue got a lot of attention,” he said. “I think it’s a really fascinating case study.”