Thanks to legislators for bringing awareness to climate change

Dear Editor: I send my thanks and high praise to Rep. Rebecca Edwards who sponsored House Joint Resolution 7, a non-binding resolution passed at the last minutes of this session to commit the state to consider the environment in future policy decisions, for a future that is “economically and environmentally viable.” This resolution, long in the making, passed a House committee after great effort, pleading, and insistence, brought by 20+ Logan High School students. One of the students called HJR7 “a logical first step toward well-reasoned action,” as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune. My representative, Ray Ward R-19, made a similar valiant effort to pass HJR1. He gave House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee members a presentation on current climate research. He presented graphs showing a 1.5-degree rise in global temperatures over the past 50 years; and, likewise, a 2.5-degree increase Utah temperatures over the same time period. He pointed to the fact that a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide keeps Venus warmer than Mercury, even though Venus is twice as far away from the sun. The House committee ultimately voted 9-3 to skip action on Ward’s HCR1 and it died there; with several committee members expressing continued doubts about the findings of climate scientists. A deserved recognition goes also to Sen. Todd Weiler who was the floor sponsor of Becky Edward’s HCR1 in the Senate. These courageous representatives have made a major contribution in bringing awareness to the impact on the environment of our changing climate and the resolve of our legislature to shape policies to address these impacts. Jim Wightman


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