Cory Gardner is a Climate Change Denier
"During the lightning round, yes-or-no portion of The Denver Post debate between Gardner and Udall, the Republican was asked 'do you believe humans are contributing significantly to climate change?' 'Well, I've said all along climate is changing,' Gardner began, earning reprimands from the moderators to answer in one word. 'This is an important issue and I don't think you can say yes or no,' Gardner fired back, earning boos from the crowd and another reprimand. 'I believe climate is changing, but I disagree to the extent that's been in the news that man is changing—' he started again, earning a third reprimand and a reminder that he would have time later to explain his answer if he wanted."VIEW SOURCE
What climate change means for Colorado
- An outbreak of the mountain pine beetle in 2006 killed 5 million lodgepole pines in one year, a four-fold increase over 2005. The infestation covered nearly half of all Colorado’s forests.
- In Colorado, there were more than 4,300 hospital admissions for asthma in 2011, with an average charge of more than $19,600 for each stay.
- Colorado experienced more than $1 billion in hail damage due to a series of storms in June 2012.
- The Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012 was the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. It consumed more than 346 homes, burned more than 18,200 acres, forced the evacuation of more than 32,000 residents, and cost $8.8 million to contain.
- Temperatures in the Southwest are increasing more quickly than in other regions of the United States as a result of climate change. These increases can have important impacts on human health, particularly in cities, where 90 percent of the region’s population lives. Decreases in air quality during heat waves, for example, can worsen the effects of respiratory illnesses and heart disease; high temperatures also increase the risk of heat stress. Even small increases in temperature can dry soils and vegetation, increasing the risk of wildfires. In 2012, wildfires burned 9.2 million acres across eight states, reducing air quality, damaging property and costing more than $1 billion. Water resources, already over-tapped in many areas, will become even scarcer as a result of increased evaporation and snowmelt caused by higher temperatures, affecting agriculture, hydroelectric power plants, and water availability in growing cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas. This will also reduce groundwater recharge, which, combined with heavy groundwater pumping, will lower water tables and limit water availability and make it harder to support the Southwest region’s cities and agricultural production. Although water scarcity will increase, the Southwest will also see increased frequency and altered timing of flooding because of increased intensity of rainfalls when they do occur, leading to increased risks to people, natural resources, and infrastructure.