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Laguna’s Rouda Is Right for the CA-48

By Tom Osborne

Voters in the CA-48 have a major choice to make in the approaching mid-term elections: either we vote for Harley Rouda and a fleeting chance to give our children and grandchildren a future, or we vote for Dana Rohrabacher and the near certainty that an environmental nightmare will continue unfolding.

I realize political consultants and pundits on both the left and right say the environmental issue is only one of many in the upcoming 2018 elections that people care about. Still, to many like me who put science over politics and common sense over dogma, a clear-eyed view of reality says a livable planet on which all life depends is on the line. Without a livable planet, what else truly matters? Discussions about this regularly take place in think tanks and on college campuses, but almost never on the nightly news.

Congressman Rohrabacher’s views on climate change clash with the consensus among scientists whose research on this subject is peer-reviewed. Says Rohrabacher, “I disagree with the theory that CO2, done by mankind, is a major cause for climate change.” His view disregards the fact that 97 percentof scientists agree that human activities are responsible for global warming trends over the past 100 years. Not evenExxon Mobil disagrees with this consensus, and, consequently, that oil giant has recently contributed a million dollars in support of taxing carbon emissions.

Rohrabacher’s views clash also with our experience and common sense. Anyone who has witnessed firsthand, as I have, the warming ocean and its bleached, dying reefs in Australia and other parts of the South Pacific, as well as the receding, calving Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska, and the rising seas threatening to envelop Kiribati and other islands I’ve visited, knows that climate change is real and life-threatening right now. Last June, my wife and I attended the Citizens Climate Lobby’s international conference in Washington, D.C. There I was told by a young journalist from Kirabati that some elders, upon experiencing the destruction of their crops and pollution of their drinking water from sea-level rise-induced salt water intrusion, believe they are doomed and are committing suicide. Nevertheless, Rohrabacher favors more oil drilling off our district’s storied coast that will pump more carbon into the atmosphere and money into the pockets of fossil fuel corporations.

In the wake of Hurricane Michael in North Carolina, some Trump voters have stated on media that they now think climate change is real. How many ever-more destructive hurricanes will it take before Trump’s base—which includes Rohrabacher—will take action to avoid the increasingly catastrophic consequences of planetary warming? The leading scientists say we have about a decade to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases if there is to remain a livable world.

For our young grandchildren, who are dependent on us making the right decisions at this time, my wife and I, both retirees, are canvassing precincts in Laguna and elsewhere in the CA-48 to replace a climate change denier with a candidate who pledges to promote sustainable energy, oppose more offshore oil drilling, and combat climate change.

On Nov. 6, I’m voting for science, the ocean, and most of all, a sustainable future. If we decide wrongly on other issues, we can do a course correction. Not so with climate change. For environmental protection, vote for Laguna businessman Harley Rouda rather than career politician Dana Rohrabacher.

Tom Osborne, author of “Coastal Sage: Peter Douglas and the Fight to Save California’s Shore, 2017,” is an ocean swimmer and former surfer who writes on environmental matters.






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