An inconvenient question from a small-town mayor

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Chris Woodward (

Al Gore on CNN town hall meetThe mayor of a tiny island who confronted Al Gore over climate change affecting his home says the former vice president failed to answer his questions.

Mayor James Eskridge of Tangier Island, Virginia told Gore in a CNN town hall that erosion is the culprit for his shrinking island, not rising sea levels.

Eskridge and the 700 Tangier citizens became world-famous after the August 1 confrontation, since the commercial crabber and part-time mayor was tangling with the world's most famous prophet of environmental Armageddon.

"I just asked Al Gore how come I'm not seeing signs of sea level rise," Eskridge tells OneNewsNow. "He didn't really answer the question."

A USA Today story reported that Eskridge, a vocal Donald Trump supporter, was introduced as the mayor of a small town being "swallowed" by the sea.

There is no dispute that the island is literally disappearing, the story went on to state, but islanders blame years of soil erosion and are asking for a sea wall to protect Tangier.

Eskridge, in fact, pressed Trump using his own first-hand observations in Chesapeake Bay for more than 50 years.

"I have a crab house business out on the water, and the water level is the same as it was when the place was built in 1970," Eskridge told the environmental guru.

Eskridge remembers the discussion topic moved to what scientists are claiming and then focused on solar panels and wind turbines.

"I guess that's controversial when you disagree with the climate change and sea level rise discussion," Eskridge continues. "I told Al Gore that I'm just not seeing it." 

Pro-Trump mayor who challenged GoreThe small-town mayor says reporters from England, France, Japan, Australia and Canada are among those contacting Eskridge for more information.

Tangier Island has also been contacted by people unhappy with the mayor and his remarks.

"We've had some folks comment that we should be going along with the sea level rise argument," he explains. "It seems like if you support Donald Trump and don't go along with today's discussion on climate change, or don't agree with climate change and sea level rise, folks don't like you a whole lot."

Eskridge says his town hopes Donald Trump will be able to work with Congress to get funding for a sea level wall. But what if that does not happen?

"We still support Donald Trump," says Eskridge, who received a phone call from Trump about the need for a sea wall, "and we remain hopeful that we'll get the protection we need in time."

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