Climate Science Misrepresented by Virginia Mayor

Silencing Science Tracker

Climate Science Misrepresented by Virginia Mayor

During a televised Town Hall on August 1, 2017, the Mayor of Virginia’s Tangier Island James Eskridge questioned scientific research finding that sea level rise is contributing to the shrinking of the island. The research indicates that, while Tangier island has long experienced erosion, causing it to lose two-thirds of its mass since 1850, the problem has been exacerbated by sea level rise. This has been disputed by Mayor Eskridge, who has questioned whether sea level rise is occurring. During the August Town Hall, the Mayor said:

“I’m not a scientist, but I’m a keen observer. If sea level rise is occurring, why am I not seeing signs of it?”

Prior to the Town Hall, On June 15, Mayor Eskridge discussed the shrinking of Tangier Island with President Trump. The President reportedly reassured Mayor Eskridge that he “shouldn’t worry about rising sea levels” and said:

“[Y]our island has been there for hundreds of hears and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.”

On other occasions, Mayor Eskridge has also questioned whether human activities contribute to climate change. In an interview with Reuters in October 2017, the Mayor said:

“I believe man plays a part in it but not to the extent that others have been talking about.”

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