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Deniers of sea-level rise don't deserve election

I was upset to read in The Newport Daily News (Oct. 18) that some people running for the Portsmouth Town Council appear willing to ignore scientific facts.

Portsmouth Concerned Citizens president and Republican candidate Larry Fitzmorris said, “I don't know there is any direct evidence the seas are rising at all.” PCC board member and Republican candidate Debra Cardoza said, “I have seen evidence indicating a very slow rise in sea levels, an inch in a thousand years span.” (EDITOR'S NOTE: Cardoza later explained she meant to say “1 inch in 100 years.”) In fact, there is overwhelming scientific evidence - including peer-reviewed data from university research scientists, NOAA, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, etc. - that climate change is humancaused and sea levels are rising at a much faster rate. University of Rhode Island researchers note that studies show: “Since 1930, sea level in Rhode Island has increased by an average of 1 inch per decade. Over the past half century, sea levels in the Northeast have been increasing 3-4 times faster than the global average rate, resulting in a 6-inch rise between 1970 and 2012. Sea level is projected to increase by 3 to 5 feet above 1990 levels in Rhode Island by 2100.”

Although all the candidates agree that we should be prepared for flooding and sea wall problems in Island Park, do we really want the future of our town decided by people who choose to ignore scientific evidence?

Carol Ryan, Portsmouth ELECTION 2016: PORTSMOUTH TOWN COUNCIL

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