House Science Committee Heads Who are Climate Change Deniers, and Effects of Global Warming on Their States

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is now headed by Representative Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas.  He is a denier of man-made climate change, and has complained that the major networks have not aired views of climate skeptics.  Actually, the major networks only spent about thirty minutes on climate change all year long.  The global warming effects on Texas were covered in a previous article on the Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space, headed by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Representative Cynthia Lummis, Republican of Wyoming, is Chair of the Energy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. She says the jury is out on whether mankind can alter global climate. She has degrees in animal science and biology from the University of Wyoming.

In 2011, Wyoming generated more CO2 per capita than any other state, which was 113 metric tonnes. The US average is 17.3 metric tonnes per capita, and California’s was 9.2 tonnes per capita. This is because Wyoming generates all of its electrical power from coal. However, what is not usually stated, is that Wyoming mines 40% of US coal. Also, 41% of Wyoming generated electricity goes to other states, so those emissions should be charged to the recipient states. Because Wyoming has the smallest population per state, its emissions only amount to 1.2% of US emissions. The environmental restrictions or penalties on coal will continue to cut production and jobs in the state, so being realistic about emission lowering goals of the rest of the nation should be important for their state’s politicians.

By 2100, decreasing precipitation may continue, and temperature increases of 4-6 degrees F are expected for Wyoming. The increased temperature will lead to increased evaporation and soil drying. There could be less water for irrigation (Ms. Lummis is a rancher), mining, recreation, public use, and fish and wildlife. There will be more forest fires and tree deaths from insects.

David Schweikert, Republican of Arizona for Northern Phoenix, is Chair of the Environment subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.  His education at Arizona State University is in finance and real estate, where he also obtained an MBA.  He says “Understanding what part of climate is part of a natural cycle and what part has human components is the first step.”  Then “Our elected officials must be careful to react to facts and not folklore.”  That first step and the facts have already been established by climate scientists.

The Southwest temperature is projected to increase by 2.5 to 8 degree F by 2100. The Southwest will suffer more severe droughts, which it presently is in. The will be less snowpack for summer water. Groundwater pumping is already lowering the water table. Arizona and Phoenix have been the most rapid growing area in the US. Temperatures will be near 100 degrees F during the summer. There will be more wildfires. The pine bark beetle has already been decimating pinion pines.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in Climate Change, Coal, Electric Power, Fire Risks, Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply