By Ralph Schwartz
I posted yesterday about how the appearance on Tuesday, March 26, of former Western Washington University prof Don Easterbrook in the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee flies in the face of accepted climate-change science. Easterbrook has made a career out of dubious, non-peer-reviewed reports that refute global warming.
Easterbrook’s appearance was announced and welcomed by one of the Whatcom County state senators, Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale. He’s the chairman of the committee.
The other senator representing part of the county, Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, was chairman of the previous version of the committee. Now he’s ranking minority member.
One of the cornerstones of Ranker’s work in the senate has been on legislation to address the problem of carbon emissions, which cause global warming. He’s prime sponsor of Gov. Jay Inslee’s bill, SB 5802, which would establish a five-member workgroup to find ways to reduce carbon emissions in the state.
A statement from Ericksen yesterday said Easterbrook’s appearance would be to challenge the assumptions that went into the governor’s bill.
In a phone interview today, Ranker made some statements about Easterbrook’s upcoming appearance:
“This isn’t a debate. This is the facts. We have a decreased snowpack. We have the health of our forests deteriorating. We have rising sea levels and we have ocean acidification. … The idea that we are going to have a debate about whether or not this is happening is extremely discouraging to me.”
Ranker said Ericksen should invite a current, “extremely qualified” faculty member from Western or the University of Washington to provide another scientific viewpoint — or as Ranker put it, “to lay out the facts.”
“I was told ‘no,’” Ranker said.