Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert spoofs North Carolina ‘sink or swim’ legislation on an issue ‘near and dear to my heart and, more importantly, near and dear to my beach house in South Carolina.’


New York Times technology correspondent and TV broadcaster David Pogue (see related story) isn’t the only on-air figure who can get some laughs commenting on climate change.

Take Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert. In a recent piece reporting on sea level rise impacts projected by “so-called scientists,” Colbert noted findings pointing to a one-meter rise.

“We have no idea how much devastation that could cause,” Colbert dead-panned, “because it’s metric. We don’t know, there’s literally no way of knowing.”

Pointing to a need to “take drastic action” on sea level rise, he noted that North Carolina’s state-appointed Coastal Resources Commission has expressed fears of a 39-inch rise by 2100. Colbert said he is concerned about real estate markets being lost to flooding. “Those habitats should be lost to developers’ bulldozers,” he said. He spoofed a proposal introduced in the state’s legislature to cap sea level rise at no more than eight inches, based on past history rather than on future projections.

“If your science gives you a result you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal,” Colbert enthused. “Problem solved.”

Colbert, saying he doesn’t want to die, said he wants to take the same approach to his own life — looking only to his past and not to his inevitable future. “I’ve been alive all my life,” he said. “Therefore, I always will be.”

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