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Jason Chaffetz is a Climate Change Denier

Rep. Jason Chaffetz
Utah

Chaffetz "lambasts global warming (calling it 'a farce')."

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What climate change means for Utah

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated six Utah counties as primary natural disaster areas due to the effects on farmers and ranchers from the 2012 drought.
  • In 2009, there were 155 emergency room visits in Utah due to heat stress.
  • In Utah, there were close to 1,700 hospital admissions for asthma in 2011, with an average charge of more than $11,000 for each stay.
  • Over the last 30 years, snowpack in the Rocky Mountains has declined due to unusual spring warming and increased rain. Faster snowpack melt has affected the state’s water availability.
  • 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.

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