Rachel Maddow had Nebraska state Sen. Ken Haar on her show on Tuesday, Oct. 29, to talk about how a committee appointed by Republican Gov. Dave Heinemant hijacked his bill in the Nebraska Legislature that tasked the state’s scientists with studying the effects of climate change in Nebraska, by prohibiting any mention of human impact. The study would be limited to “cyclical” changes in climate, eventually defined as “a change in the state of climate due to natural internal processes and only natural external forcings such as volcanic eruptions and solar variations.”
The embarrassing alteration was introduced by Nebraska State Sen. Beau McCoy, who recently entered the race to become the next governor of Nebraska. “I don’t subscribe to global warming. I think there are normal, cyclical changes,” McCoy said during debate on the bill in April 2012.
“‘Let’s just embrace ignorance, and let our children deal with the consequences.’ That’s what that sounds like to me,” was Haar’s response.
Thankfully, Nebraska’s scientists stood their ground and are in unison — from the University of Nebraska, to the National Drought Mitigation Center, to the High Plains Regional Climate Center — in their refusal to participate in such a compromised study.
On Monday, Sen. Haar sent a letter to the 31 state senators who voted for his bill, and asked them to add their names to a request to the Department of Agriculture to eliminate that definition in the request for information related to the $44,000 study. “Unfortunately, it appears that politics may be interfering with the purpose and intent of LB583,” Haar said. “The attempt to create a definition of the word ‘cyclical’ beyond its ordinary meaning, and making it the focus of the entire report, is contrary to the language of LB583.”
Below is Sen. Haar’s letter to fellow state senators who backed his climate study bill, urging them to join him in asking the GOP-led committee to stop censoring the study and take into account human impact on climate change.