At a recent candidates’ forum the candidates were asked about climate change and what they would do about it. Barbara Bailey talked positively about legislation dealing with climate change that passed during her tenure in Olympia. Listening to her one would think that she either introduced or sponsored the legislation, or, at a minimum, had voted for it. But, alas, that is not the case. This is classic Barbara Bailey — taking credit as a member of the Legislature for the passage of legislation without disclosing to her constituents how strenuously she opposed its passage. In fact, if pushed and not allowed to give an evasive, nonresponsive answer, Bailey will deny the existence of climate change. Denying the validity of overwhelming scientific evidence does not change reality. Stated differently, deliberate ignorance of the problem does not make it disappear.
Yet, at the candidates’ forum, Bailey asserted that it is important that she “have a seat at the table” to address measures to deal with the issue. That’s just what we need — someone sitting at the table who does not even recognize the existence of the problem. To give Bailey a seat at the table for such imperative discussions, after what we know about her environmental voting record (a lifetime score of only 39 percent by the Washington Conservation Voters), will only add to the harm already caused by her partisan disdain for legitimate science.
We don’t need an obstructionist sitting at “our” seat at the table; we need someone at the table who recognizes and appreciates the validity of the science underlying the reality of global climate change. As a life-long nurse, Patricia Terry is schooled in science and has made innumerable life and death decisions on the basis of scientific principles. We all deserve a representative who will not blindly ignore reality because it may benefit a certain constituency.
Public policy must be based on the true facts, not on distorted or ignored facts skewed to support a particular partisan agenda. We need someone who has the intellect to understand the complexities of the science that impacts every aspect of our lives, and the integrity to act in the public interest. Regrettably, Barbara Bailey fails on both counts. Patricia Terry epitomizes intelligence and integrity.
Mary K. Sandford, Ph.D.