July 31, 2014

Coalition calls for changes to halt change in climate (AUDIO)

A coalition of special interest groups has formed to press for change to curb the effects of climate change.

The Nebraska Farmers Union, the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Bold Nebraska, Nebraskans for Peace, and the League of Women Voters held a news conference prior to the upcoming study release by the United States Global Change Research Program this weekend. A study by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln High Plains Climate Center, indicating there has been a two-degree increase in the region’s average temperature over the past 115 years, will be included in the weekend release.

John Hansen of the Nebraska Farmers Union says the problem can no longer be ignored.

“We are, as a civilization, facing one of the most difficult, open-book tests that our society and our civilization has ever faced,” according to Hansen.

The UNL High Plains Climate Center reports that the average temperature rose two-degrees in Nebraska, but five degrees in North Dakota. The highest temperatures have been measured in winter, with less of a change in autumn. The UNL study disclosed a one-and-a-half to two-degree increase in the spring and summer. The high plains region includes South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming and Colorado.

Hansen says it should be clear to everyone that the earth is gradually warming and something must be done.

“The longer we delay, the longer we deny, then it means that necessarily the rate and the severity of the changes necessary in the future become increasingly stringent and difficult,” Hansen says.

Hansen says Congress had its chance to act when it considered and rejected Cap and Trade legislation.

“And, unfortunately, the Senate caved in to special interests and really did nothing,” Hansen asserted. “So, right now, the United States, one of the true leaders in the world in terms of not only opinion, but industry and also carbon emissions is doing nothing.”

 AUDIO: John Hansen with Nebraska Farmers Union discusses climate change during news conference [2 min.]