Governor Little speaks up about climate change

Staff Writer

IDAHO – Just under a year ago, Idaho removed climate change out of the k-12 curriculum, Idaho's new Governor Brad Little speaks out about climate change, and human impact on the environment. Governor Little stated that, "I mean, I'm old enough that I remember feeding cows all winter long in deep snow…boy, back in the old days when I was a kid, we had winters." Science teachers are allowed to continue to teach climate change in their classrooms, however, the state no longer requires this as part of the curriculum.
With scientific evidence showing that cycles of global climate change, formerly known as global warming, occur with our without humans on earth, the facts ring true that humans are increasing the speed of which it happens exponentially. The constant use of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, partnered with deforestation and raising livestock, a rise in greenhouse gases has created a myriad of problems.

The original documentation had climate change as part of the requirements, but after alterations by the republican party, climate change was nixed from the curriculum. The Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sherri Ybarra, urged the committee to accept the bills, including the amended sections, as plans to redraft those sections would be reevaluated that summer. As this topic becomes more and more of a hot button discussion, the Republicans tend to opt out of discussing it, making Governor Little's speech about climate change unordinary.

“Climate is changing, there’s no question about it,” he said. “Sometimes what you do from a regulatory standpoint might be counter to what the right thing to do is, but you’ve got to recognize it. It’s here. We’ve just got to figure out how we’re going to cope with it. And we’ve got to slow it down. Now, reversing it is going to be a big darn job.”

Thoughts and conversations of how actions today will affect the world for future generations may have hit a tipping point in Idaho's own backyard. Yellowstone National Park, devastated by natural wildfires in the spring and summer of 1988, is still struggling to recuperate the amount of woodland lost during that blaze. Also, as time marches on, wildfires have become more and more common throughout the midwest. Although fires are necessary for the Lodgepole pines to reproduce and spread seeds, the actual reproduction of the area is not keeping up according to a study released by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Yellowstone naturally experiences large fires every 100 to 300 years, and the environment naturally adapts to this; however, with the rate at which the climate is changing, the studies carried out by UW-M predict that Yellowstone may go from being a beautiful forest to a grassland by the middle of the century.“It’s terrifying in some ways,” Turner says. “We are not talking many years away. Today’s college students will be mid-career. It feels like the future is coming at us fast.”

“Fires are being driven by hot, dry conditions and these are trends that are expected to continue,” says Hansen, now an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University. “We need answers now to better anticipate future change.”
Governor Little set the facts straight; There is a problem that needs to be addressed, and that it is time for people to stop ignoring the scientific evidence of global climate change. Little opened the door for discourse to take place with his speech, on a topic that the Republican party has tried to ignore.