Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Political ad had many untruths

The penultimate page of your Oct. 20 Election Guide is a full-page ad in support of seven Republican candidates. The page is indeed full—full of lies, falsehoods, untruths and misleading statements.

I have no problem with candidates expressing viewpoints with which I disagree. For example, these seven candidates are concerned with “excessive spending” and “bloated government.” I don’t agree that state spending is “excessive” or that our government is “bloated,” but I respect these candidates’ right to try to turn government in a different direction. Even Governor Scott, whom I respect for his integrity while disagreeing with many of his policies, often speaks of his commitment to limited government. So that’s not what bothers me about this ad.

What bothers me are the lies, falsehoods, and untruths, especially on the subject of climate change. Here the candidates state that “CO2 is Not a Green House Gas (Causing Global Warming),” that “Global Warming is Not Man Made,” and that “Earth and Man benefit from More CO2.”

In fact, the science of the greenhouse effect was established in the mid-1800s, and by the late nineteenth century it was known that increasing atmospheric CO2 would cause global warming. In the 1990s the “signal” of human-caused global warming emerged from the “noise” of natural climate variability, and now, in the twenty-first century, human-caused global warming dominates Earth’s climate. The past seven years are the warmest on record, and today’s CO2 level is higher than it’s been in at least a million years. 

Looking back through geologic time shows a tight correlation between atmospheric CO2, global temperature and sea level. Today there is a near-universal scientific consensus that global warming is happening; that we humans, especially our fossil-fuel consumption, are the cause; that the pace of warming is accelerating; and that we have only a decade or so to bring our CO2 emissions under control if we’re to avoid a climate catastrophe. That’s not political opinion; it’s scientific fact.

It’s disturbing to see one of our two major political parties, even here in Addison County, subscribing to what can only be described as whacky, unscientific nonsense.

Richard Wolfson

Middlebury

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