James "Ooker" Eskridge is the mayor of a town on an island disappearing in the Chesapeake Bay, but rather than see it as evidence of global warming, he used it to shut down Al Gore's narrative that the seas are rising because of climate change.
Eskridge faced the climate warming alarmist during a CNN town hall on global warming.
"I'm a commercial crabber," Eskridge said, "and I've been working the Chesapeake Bay for 50-plus years. And I have a crab house business out on the water. And water level is the same as it was when the place was built in 1970."
"I'm not a scientist but I'm a keen observer, and if sea level rises are occurring," he asked, "why am I not seeing signs of it?"
"Our island is disappearing," he explained, "but it's because of erosion and not because of sea level rising, unless we get a seawall, we will lose our island."
"But, back to the question," he said, "why am I not seeing signs of the sea level rising?"
"What do you think the erosion is due to, mayor?" Gore asked.
"Wave action, storms," he responded.
"Has that increased, any?" Gore asked.
"Not really," Eskridge said.
"So you're losing the island even though the waves haven't increased," Gore said.
"Yes," Eskridge replied, "his erosion has been going on since Captain John Smith discovered the island."
"Well, arguments about science aren't necessarily going to be any comfort to you and I'm sorry for what you're going through," Gore said.
"It won't necessarily do you any good for me to tell you that the scientists do say that the sea level is rising in the Chesapeake Bay," he continued, "and that you've lost about two-thirds of your island already, over a longer period of time. And the forecast for the future is another two feet of sea — if there was another two feet of sea level rise, what would that mean for Tangier Island?"
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 2, 2017
"Tangier Island, our elevation is only about 4 feet above level," Eskridge said, "and if I see sea level rise occurring, I'll shout it from the housetops, we don't have, you know, the land to give up."
"But I'm just not seeing it," he said.
Eskridge's plight to save his island reached mainstream media attention when President Donald Trump called him after seeing a CNN report about the disappearing island's Trump-supporting mayor. Trump reportedly told him to not worry about his island and that it would be there for many hundreds of years more. It wasn't clear if he addressed the seawall construction to save the island.
Gore is currently making the rounds to publicize the sequel to his global climate documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." Recently, he said that the global warming fight was in the same vein as great "moral causes" of humanity in the past, like the Civil Rights cause of the '60s, and abolition.