Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed legislation [PDF] this week that directs him to hire a staff member for his energy office whose job will be to track climate-change issues, help the state brace for global warming’s impacts, and offer advice on lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
As the climate changes, the state faces growing hazards from wildfires, bark beetle infestations, declining snowpacks, and drought.
But not all of the debate over the bill in the legislature focused on such germane issues. From the Associated Press:
In pitching his bill to his colleagues, [Rep. Paul] Rosenthal [D] cited a story from the Bible.
“All of you may recall the biblical story of Joseph. He became an adviser to the pharaoh after he correctly foretold seven good years, followed by seven lean years. So the pharaoh took the advice, he stored the grain, and Egypt survived. Let’s take the story of Joseph and the lesson and prepare Colorado for the future,” he said, then quipped: “Joseph, by the way, is unfortunately not available for this position.”
During debate on the bill, Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Janak Joshi questioned Rosenthal about why the state needed a government employee to study climate changes.
“We already have the Weather Channel,” he said. “Anybody who wants to see the climate change, turn on your TV and watch the Weather Channel. You can see the climate change, you can predict it. You can see how it was (the) day before, you can see what it will be tomorrow … It’s on my iPhone. I check it all the time – what is going to be the climate change?”
Loopiness aside, at least the bill made it into law. We’ll be watching to see what this czar gets up to.