As a proud and distinguished institution of journalism, I am shocked at how blatantly and purposefully the Lincoln Journal-Star chose to mischaracterize my position on climate change and the course of events on LB583 and the state's climate change study. Because the Journal-Star chose to judge my position without the benefit of speaking to me, I will attempt to make a few things clear.
Yes, our climate has changed and will continue to do so. God designed it that way. We've seen far more extreme shifts in climate over all of recorded history than anything we have seen in the past three or four decades. Even school children are familiar with the term "dust bowl," to offer just one example of an extreme climate shift.
Yes, understanding climate changes and how to cope with them are valuable areas of knowledge for all Nebraskans and are worthy of research and study. Clearly, the men and women of Nebraska agriculture already are highly educated and experienced in doing just that.
As a conservative member of the Legislature, however, I continue to question how much of the taxpayers' hard-earned money should be spent on such research.
What has been terribly underreported in recent days is the objection from various research groups to the dollar-value of the study authorized by LB583, more than the wording of the state's Request for Information. I dare say, if the taxpayers had been put on the hook for a study valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, the reaction in the scientific community might be very different.
Yes, there was widespread agreement in the Legislature to focus the study on the cyclical nature of climate change versus the politically charged and unsubstantiated claims of "global warming."
I would direct the Journal-Star and others to the official transcript of the floor debate on LB583 from April 23. On page 105 of the transcript, Sen. Ken Haar, the bill's sponsor, is quoted as saying, "I also agree that climate change is cyclical. And so I think that word is just fine in that place, and I would encourage the body to vote for FA62 (the amendment)." The amendment was adopted on a unanimous vote.
Yes, we are and need to continue to be good stewards of the environment. I submit that
Nebraska farmers and ranchers are among the best stewards of the environment the world over. Their livelihoods and way of life depend on it. The future of our state and its foundation in agriculture depend on it.
No, science has not proven, nor is there universal agreement in the scientific community, that manmade climate change exists. The Journal-Star and others rely on propaganda from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to support their positions. The IPCC is a creation of the United Nations, and its methods and practices have been called into question by its own members. Its vice chairman, Francis Zwiers of the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium at the University of Victoria in Canada, co-wrote a paper that said climate models had overestimated global warming over the past 20 years significantly .
Frederick Seitz, the past president of the National Academy of Sciences and the president emeritus of Rockefeller University, has gathered more than 31,000 signatures from scientists on his petition to stop the United States from agreeing to any international global warming agreements that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.
Seitz's petition says, "Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful." These agreements come from the same United Nations that gave us the IPCC.
I could go on and on. But instead I will reiterate that I will never back down from protecting Nebraska agriculture, manufacturing, business and every citizen from the effects of the environmental extremism. The people on the other side of this argument are the same ones who believed the BBC report in 2007 that said by this year, 2013, the Arctic would be "ice free." Oops!