Letters from the West

On climate change, criticized lawmaker is not out of touch with Idahoans

District 34 Rep. Dell Raybould will chair the Resources & Conservation Committee and serves on the Revenue & Taxation and Environment, Energy & Technology Committees. Raybould who was born and raised in Madison County, still helps out on the family farm.
District 34 Rep. Dell Raybould will chair the Resources & Conservation Committee and serves on the Revenue & Taxation and Environment, Energy & Technology Committees. Raybould who was born and raised in Madison County, still helps out on the family farm.

Only 44 percent of Idahoans believe that climate change is mostly caused by human activity, a new Yale database shows.

The Idaho Legislature is back in town and there are a number of climate change issues on their agenda, even if they are skeptical that humans have caused a rapid rise because of fossil fuel burning.

They are tackling water issues like recharging the Snake River Plain aquifer, which is directly tied to how much snow we have in the mountains and how early the runoff comes. They also will look at Idaho’s response to the EPA’s new greenhouse gas power plan rule.

In our year-end series on climate change, Idaho Falls Post Register reporter Bryan Clark quoted House Resources Committee Chairman Dell Raybould: “Listen to Rush Limbaugh once in a while. See what he thinks about it. He’ll tell you that this is just a bunch of nonsense.”

You may not agree with Raybould’s choice of science news but you can’t say he’s out of touch with the majority of Idahoans. The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication uses its model reflecting national survey results and indicators to show how the nation saw this issue in 2014.

They have a great database you can search that breaks down attitudes on climate change by state, congressional district and county. So 44 percent of 1st Congressional District Idahoans believe climate change is caused by humans while 47 percent of 2nd District residents do.

Latah, Washington, Cassia and Franklin counties are the only ones where a majority of Idahoans believe humans mostly cause climate change. Nationally, only 48 percent believed that. California was the the state with the largest number of believers with 55 percent.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker

  Comments