I appreciated your article on Dr. Stan Flemming’s bid for the new 10th Congressional District (TNT, 5-29). Flemming has a remarkable résumé and as a Pierce County Council member, he has often sought a middle ground between partisan politics.
Centrist Republicans are a dying breed, and their disappearance from politics has created gridlock and havoc in Congress. So they should be encouraged to run for office. However, even the best of today’s Republicans tend to have one disqualifying tendency for higher office.
A congressional representative needs to be able to determine policy using the best available scientific data. They do this by understanding what the scientific consensus is in any field of interest.
Flemming stated in your article that the jury is still out on whether humans are causing climate change. However, there is complete consensus among climatologists around the world that the Earth is heating up since observable physical and climatological changes are already taking place. Moreover, the physics linking these changes to human activities is irrefutable.
Since Flemming is a medical doctor, he should know that scientific consensus is basic to our understanding of science. Given his background, one can assume that he is taking a wrong viewpoint in order to get his party’s nomination. This is unfortunate, since someone who cannot translate commonly available scientific knowledge into correct policy is not qualified to be elected to Congress.