Letter to the editor: Senate ignores dangers of climage change to N.D.Senate Concurrent Resolution 4024, which would direct “the Legislature to study the effects of climate change on this state” received a “do not pass” recommendation from the Senate Natural Resources Committee and defeated on a voice vote.
By: By Sharon Buhr, Valley City, N.D., The Jamestown Sun
Senate Concurrent Resolution 4024, which would direct “the Legislature to study the effects of climate change on this state” received a “do not pass” recommendation from the Senate Natural Resources Committee and defeated on a voice vote.
Did they defeat it because they do not believe in climate change or have they not done enough reading to recognize that climate change is happening? A study by the University of Oregon and Harvard reported that the earth’s temperature is rising fast. It has risen 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 100 years compared to the fact that before it took 5,000 years to go up that amount.
The rates of change show how atypical our warming is now. NASA is quoted as saying “climate changes to come will be larger than anything that human civilization and agriculture has seen in its entire existence.”
New satellite data has confirmed that both poles have melted faster in the last 20 years than in the last 10,000 years. And 192 countries have acknowledged that global warming exists.
So, don’t our legislators believe in climate change?
And if they do, why wouldn’t they want to understand how it will affect North Dakota? Agriculture still remains our top industry, and all farmers know that what crops are raised on their land depends on the climate.
We already know that a mere rise of 1 degree Fahrenheit globally over the past 50 years has caused a 5.5 percent decline in wheat production according to a Stanford University professor.
And the Legislature’s own national advisory organization, the National Conference of State Legislatures, predicts that climate change will affect North Dakota’s economy, with higher temperatures and worsening droughts for the state, and that agriculture, water resources and tourism may be affected and result in significant losses.
Does the Senate Natural Resources Committee not believe its own professional organization?
Or is the Senate Natural Resources Committee afraid to recognize the obvious — that much of the greenhouse gasses that are being emitted in North Dakota could be prevented? How can our state allow one-third of our natural gas to be flared (a precious resource lost forever) and contribute to climate change?
If this resolution would pass, the state may learn that reinstating the incentives to farmers who put up wind towers is a benefit to all of us (the Legislature in this session has denied them that benefit). And that incentives for solar energy should be reinstated for farmers and corporations alike, and that promoting businesses in North Dakota to produce solar equipment helps our entire state.
I hope that the entire Senate will be more enlightened than the Senate Natural Resources Committee and vote to pass SCR 4024.