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Climate rally draws small crowd to Capitol

By Nicole Blanchard

nblanchard@idahostatesman.com

Rally attendees sit on the steps of the Capitol Building prior to the start of a climate change and clean energy gathering on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Rally attendees sit on the steps of the Capitol Building prior to the start of a climate change and clean energy gathering on Saturday, Oct. 1. nblanchard@idahostatesman.com

About 100 people gathered at the Idaho State Capitol Building late Saturday morning to promote clean energy and discuss how climate change is affecting the globe and Idaho in particular.

A series of speakers addressed what Casey Mattoon, conservation coordinator Idaho Sierra Club, the event's organizer, called "a culture of fear in Idaho around climate change."

"The increase in global temperatures and the fact that people are the cause is not debated in the scientific community," said speaker Jen Pierce, an associate professor at Boise State University whose research involves regional wildfire history.

Pierce cited rising temperatures on Idaho's Snake River Plain and the potential for increased snowmelt and warmer, drier summers in the state as results of climate change. The still-burning Pioneer Fire, which began in mid-July, is one example of what global climate change could bring to Idaho more frequently in the future, she said.

Speakers, including Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, and members of groups like the Snake River Alliance and Wild Idaho Rising Tide, called for 100 percent clean energy in Idaho's future through means like solar and wind energy.

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