As a citizen of Santa Barbara, I am embarrassed and ashamed that we have at least one City Council member, Frank Hotchkiss, who is both scientifically illiterate and shortsighted on the subject of global warming.
I know the majority of the council and the mayor have a far more intelligent and rational view of this issue. Simply put, global warming is the most serious long-term danger our region—and the rest of the globe—faces. To stick our heads in the sand and listen to dishonest spokespeople for corporations who deny global warming is to condemn future generations to living on a planet that will not be a pleasant place.
There is nothing “speculative” about anthropogenic global warming, as Councilman Hotchkiss so foolishly stated. Our knowledge of this catastrophe is based on decades of hard scientific research. Denying this research would put Santa Barbara in the company of the Flat Earth Society and deniers of evolution, and condemn us to a grim future.
I hope the rest of the City Council firmly reject this nonsense, and perhaps pass an additional resolution committing Santa Barbara to seriously dealing with the consequences of global warming for our region, including alternating drought and torrential rains, more wildfires, and rising sea levels that will inundate low-lying coastal areas (think of UCSB as an Island). I hope the citizens of this city rise up in the next election up to defeat councilmembers like Hotchkiss who demonstrate their abysmal ignorance of this critical issue.—Larry Saltzman