Pete Ricketts is a Climate Change Denier
As for global warming, Ricketts said he remains a "skeptic," arguing that he hasn't seen any proof that fossil fuels are heating up the planet. "I believe it is far from clear -- despite what the other side is saying -- it is far from clear what is going on with our climate," he said.VIEW SOURCE
What climate change means for Nebraska
- In Nebraska, there were more than 1,200 hospital admissions for asthma in 2011, with an average charge of more than $17,200 for each stay.
- In 2012, Nebraska had its driest year on record. In 2011 and 2012 alone, the cost of extreme events totaled $720 million, including damage to both crops and properties.
- In April 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 89 Nebraska counties as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought.
- Climate change has increased temperatures across the Great Plains since the 1960s, particularly in the northern states. The hotter, drier conditions are already contributing to water resource stress, particularly in the southern portion of the region. In the coming decades, lack of water will constrain development, stress natural resources, and increase competition for water among communities, agriculture, energy production, and wildlife and natural ecosystems. In 2011, heat and drought contributed to agricultural losses across the Midwest and Great Plains, and the northern Great Plains dealt with significant flooding. Extreme events like floods and droughts are expected to become more common with climate change. Other agricultural impacts of rising temperatures include changes in insect pests and the northward shift of optimal zones for crops. As young adults move out of small, rural communities, the towns are increasingly populated by a vulnerable demographic of very old and very young people, placing them more at risk for health issues than urban communities. Serious health concerns are also associated with severe flooding, projected to increase in the future, including greater incidence of waterborne diseases. Water quantity and quality issues are expected to exacerbate existing economic and social issues for the 65 Native American tribes in the Great Plains, where populations on rural tribal lands have limited capacities to respond to climate change.