Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, was recently quoted in The Hill magazine saying that “climate change (is) a bigger public health problem than AIDS, than malaria, than pandemic flu.”

Wow, that is quite a claim. We’ve all become accustomed to our congresswoman saying some interesting things, such as ObamaCare was a “big gamble,” that the Constitution says “health, liberty and happiness,” and intimating that drilling for our own oil won’t reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but this comment is truly astounding in its disconnect from reality.

Millions of people die from AIDS and malaria every year, and in the United States alone, up to 50,000 people die from the annual seasonal flu. That is a lot of people who die every year from these diseases.

So, this begs the question: How many people have died from climate change?

A Google search yielded precisely zero documented deaths attributed to climate change. There are many dire, yet unsubstantiated, predictions of additional malaria deaths in the future because of climate change, but nothing showing actual real deaths now.

Beyond being ridiculous, her comments are irresponsible. These kind of nonsensical histrionics coming from our elected officials do not advance the debate we need to be having and don’t deal with real and demonstrable problems in the here and now.

Our debt, massive deficits and unfunded entitlement liabilities are guaranteed to destroy our country financially if we don’t get them under control — and soon.

How about spending some time on those known real problems instead of chasing phantoms that maybe, might, someday be a real problem?

Tom Watson
Santa Barbara