From. Rep. Kurtz’s newsletter:

This week in our Ways and Means Committee meeting we debated HF640, a bill that would, among other things, change the name of the Weather Bureau to the Climatology Bureau.

Rep. Chuck Isenhart (D-Dubuque) filed an amendment that had the General Assembly recognizing the impact of climate change on our ecosystem. It would have made it the objective of the state to create a plan that would address the short- and long-term impacts of climate change.

The amendment would have also created an agriculture climate adaptation advisory task force. It then defined how that task force would be made up and some of the duties it would have. This amendment was defeated on a party line vote.

Here are two facts: 1) the Governor declared three more counties disaster areas this week, bringing the total to 56 of Iowa’s 99 counties, and 2) estimates of flood damage in Iowa this spring total over $1.6 billion.

If a board like this could have saved even 10 percent of what was lost in the floods last week in Western Iowa by accepting that anthropogenic climate change is a fact and taking the appropriate steps to mitigate the effects, we could be looking at something saved in excess of $100 million.

Instead, we find some people still denying that climate change exists, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

It is imperative that we start to take this problem seriously and make the needed changes for future generations. A team composed of over 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee puts together the National Climate Assessment. Their predictions for the Midwest Region (https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/highlights/regions/midwest) give an accurate assessment of what has been happening weather-wise in this region.

The effects of climate change will only worsen as time goes on. For this legislature, to continue to ignore this deepening crisis would be the height of irresponsibility.