Nebraska
J. Stephen Conn
How might climate change affect farming in Nebraska? Don’t expect a new state study to provide any useful answers.

Nebraska is looking for scientists to conduct a study into how climate change could affect the state, but climate scientists want nothing to do with it.

That’s because the legislation calling for the study limits its scope to “cyclical” climate change, whatever that is. State Sen. Beau McCoy (R), a climate denier and gubernatorial candidate, inserted the word “cyclical” into the bill before it was passed and signed into law this past spring.

From the Omaha World-Herald:

University of Nebraska-Lincoln scientists at [a Wednesday] meeting said they wouldn’t participate in the climate study if it excludes the influence of humans. Some said they wouldn’t be willing to ask others to consider doing the study, either.

Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the university’s acclaimed National Drought Mitigation Center, said he would not be comfortable circulating a study proposal to his peers if it excluded the role of humans. …

Similarly, Martha Shulski, climatologist and director of the High Plains Regional Climate Center, [said] that the study’s scope will determine her staff’s potential involvement.

“If it’s only natural (causes), but not human, we would not be interested,” she said. …

“I don’t want my name on something … and be used as a political pawn,” Al Dutcher, Nebraska state climatologist, [said].

The author of the legislation that called for the study, state Sen. Ken Haar (D), had wanted it to examine all aspects of climate change, including the role of humans. Rejecting science and ignoring human involvement would make the state “look stupid,” he warned. “‛Let’s just embrace ignorance, and let our children deal with the consequences.’ That’s what that sounds like,” he said.