We used to go here in the summer, to the Outer Banks. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent on the beach and in beach houses and at mini golf and getting ice cream and eating crabs and so many more things.
One year, maybe in the early 2000s, I remember hearing on the radio that an environmental study had found that the ocean would encroach on the Outer Banks. It was not a matter of if it would happen, but when and by how much. 20 years? 30 years? 2 inches? 2 feet? There were ranges in the report, and none of them good. But the radio piece focused not on the severity of the report, but on the fact that the state government declined to formally accept the report as facts upon which to guide their policy, instead considering it an ‘advisement’ or something. I wish I could still find that report.
It stuck with me then, that facts are to be ‘accepted’ by those in positions of power. Or, to put it another way, that those in positions of power have any sort of ability to decide on facts.
If I recall correctly, it was the real estate and tourism industries that lobbied to ignore the report, fearing it would scare people away and therefore drive down real estate prices and tourism opportunities. The irony of course is that they were correct to be fearful.
I wish things were different.