My letter in Richmond Times Dispatch April 24, 2016

Are these politicians lying or just stupid?

Editor, Times-Dispatch:
Napoleon Bonaparte’s quote, “In politics stupidity is not a handicap,” survives since politicians continue to validate the observation.
On March 29, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Al Gore and other states’ attorneys general announced a legal process claiming to combat climate change.
Schneiderman wrote: “Our offices are seriously examining the potential of working together on high-impact, state-level initiatives . . . whether fossil fuel companies have misled investors about how climate change impacts their investments and business decisions.”
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring stated: “Hampton Roads is the second most vulnerable area in the entire country as climate change drives continued sea-level rise.”
Behind these claims is the unsubstantiated assertion global climate change is driven primarily by manmade CO2, and that there is a magic CO2 knob to set climate to a Utopian level. The fact is atmospheric water vapor drives about 90 percent of the greenhouse gas effect. Scientists cannot differentiate natural from manmade climate change.
Schneiderman insults the intelligence of investors by suggesting they are unaware that climate change is the norm for all of geological time. Climate change reality was the impetus for commodity futures hedging by providing financial cushions for unexpected crop failures.
Herring’s claims disregard sea-level expert Dr. J. Boon of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, who has concluded: “The good news is that absolute sea level in Chesapeake Bay is rising only about half as fast as the global average rise rate. The bad news is that local subsidence more than makes up for it.” Hampton Roads is sinking irrespective of climate change.
While supporting plans to lower CO2 emissions, Herring neglects the CO2 emitted by Virginia’s beer and wine industries.
Recently in the New York Times, a report by Seth Borenstein was titled, “We all lie, scientists say, but politicians even more so.” Whether it’s lying or stupidity, we suffer under the current ruling class.
Charles G. Battig.

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