To the editor:
I’m extremely tired of politicians and pundits making broad sweeping statements about climate change research and policy that have little to do with reality. In Sunday’s Journal-World, Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, is quoted stating the following: “Instead of supporting sound science and common sense, the EPA has chosen to take the radical path of attempting to regulate carbon dioxide and methane.”
The only thing radical about regulating greenhouse gas emissions is standing in the way of its implementation. A 2009 survey of 3,146 earth scientists from around the world, conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, found that 97 percent of the climatologists surveyed agreed that human activity is a significant factor in global warming. Earlier this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a statement calling for swift and deep cuts to GHG emissions that was endorsed by over 2,000 scientists and economists (including eight Nobel Prize winners).
In our own state, some of the consequences of inaction include increased aquifer depletion and flash floods, decreased crop yields and livestock productivity, increased agricultural pests, increased air pollution, along with increased allergies, asthma and other lung conditions, all occurring in our lifetimes. Increased flooding alone could cost Kansas farmers an additional $150 million annually by 2032, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Relying on fossil fuel industry-backed studies and ideologically driven denialist propaganda to guide one’s decisions on climate change is a poor substitute for real leadership that demonstrates independent thought. Kansans deserve better.