I’m from New Hampshire, and most of the time I’m proud of it.  And then there are the other times, such as when I find out that every Republican candidate for Judd Gregg’s senate seat says that human-induced global warming has not been proven.  Really?

What offends me here is not that some people might want to debate the human component of climate change – there has been quite a bit of that in the comments section of this blog.  I think that intelligent, reasoned debate on this subject that is grounded in evidence is completely fair game for discussion, etc.  Further, this sort of debate serves to push research forward, and refine what we know and do not know about climate change and its human impacts.

What bothers me here is that none of these candidates is grounding this stance in evidence in any way – this is pure politics, pandering to a lowest-common-denominator fear of change crowd.  And New Hampshire has a hell of a lot to lose from this – climate change is increasing climate variability (hence the 100 year floods referenced in the link above) which presents challenges not only to people’s property and safety, but also to the economy of the state.  New Hampshire is heavily driven by tourist dollars, and tourism is heavily driven by skiing.  Skiing relies on sub-freezing weather and adequate precipitation (even I know that snowmakers do not make desirable snow), both of which are becoming less predictable.  By failing to have a reasoned discussion about this issue, based on facts about what we do and do not know – and the likely outcomes for New Hampshire, all of these candidates have staked out an irresponsible position that calls into question their fitness to represent the state at the national level.