Sanford and Sons

by Steven F. Hayward

The headline here was just too irresistable, even though it doesn’t quite fit the topic.  South Carolina’s reliably conservative Governor Mark Sanford writes today in the Washington Post about the need for conservatives to engage climate change in a manner consistent with limited government principles He makes a number of points I have made at greater length in my thematic speech “Is ‘Conservative Environmentalist’ an Oxymoron?”

So far so good–especially the line in the sand against making climate change an excuse for bigger government.  There is one part of the article that rankles, though.  Early on Sanford laments the effect of steadily rising dea levels on coastal pine trees. It is doubtful the effects he is seeing are because of rising sea levels; it is much more likely to be the result of coastal erosion that has little to do with climate change or sea-level rise, and usually more to do with harbor and coastal engineering (often courtesy of the federal guvmint–this is spectacularly the case in Louisiana).  The good governor should be careful not to validate the wilder and unfounded scenarios of the climate pessimists.

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