LaMalfa claims that “we don’t know” whether human activity affects the climate, and votes against studying or planning for human-caused climate change.

While LaMalfa no doubt listens to scientists in running the rice farm given to him by his parents, he turns a deaf ear to the overwhelming majority of climate scientists who conclude that climate change is made worse by human activity.  Why?  Because that is the GOP establishment party line, developed to serve Republicans in the coal mining and oil and gas generating states back East.

At town halls and in public pronouncements, LaMalfa has made it clear that it is more than just a lack of understanding; he does not want to understand it.  If the subject were not so important to the north State, we could dismiss his lack of interest and move on. However, climate change is having and will continue to have a profound effect on what we will pass on to the next generation, and the next.

Effects on CD1: More volatile weather patterns (flooding and drought), more precipitation in the form of rain and less in snow, earlier melting of the snowpack causing extraordinary water management issues, increased frequency and intensity of forest fires, alteration of temperature patterns required by some crop plants, and migration of diseases affecting both agriculture and people.

These first order effects will then have repercussions throughout our economy and society. As farmland losses mount, agriculturally dependent towns will become untenable; money spent on fighting fires will not be available for infrastructure maintenance; loss of some industries – for instance, food packing – will reduce employment opportunities with further ripple effects.

Yes. It is a big deal.

LaMalfa’s dismissive positions:

  • That climate change is not human caused: “Weather is always changing” – Town Hall Grass Valley, 2017 and elsewhere
  • That solutions just cause more regulation: “While I appreciate and understand your concerns regarding greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, I believe the onslaught of regulations proposed in the past five years, such as the cap-and-trade tax, will increase energy costs, resulting in higher prices for goods and services. Furthermore, these regulations limit the exploration and production of domestic energy sources as well as unfairly regulate carbon emissions. These efforts exemplify how government overreach has the potential to permanently cripple our economy.” – from a response to a letter requesting his position on climate change, 2016.

Even if the case that climate change is human caused was not so convincing, it would make sense to take precautions. When we buy auto accident insurance, we do not do so because we are 100% certain we will have an accident. In fact, we hope we do not have an accident, but we get the insurance to lessen the impact in case it occurs. The same logic applies to actions needed to mitigate climate change.

The most probable explanation for LaMalfa’s refusal to take positive steps is his unbending allegiance to whatever position Paul Ryan and Republican leadership dictates – and maybe those of his out-of-state donors who are financially connected to the fossil fuel industry.

LaMalfa’s positions should be developed to benefit and provide for CD1 constituents. Unfortunately, they are not.

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