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Randy Hultgren is a Climate Change Denier

Rep. Randy Hultgren
Illinois

"The greatest impact on our climate clearly is the sun, and we have very little impact on the sun and how much energy and temperature the sun is sending to the earth. We have seen clearly over thousands of years that at different times more energy has come through and different times less energy has come through, and that variation has impacted climate change. Over the thousands of years that's been recorded we've had both colder times and warmer times. It happens to be that we've recently come out of a warmer time and now actually we're headed in to a little bit of a colder time, the impact of the sun is much different than impact that we could have had."

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What climate change means for Illinois

  • In winter 2011, Chicago suffered more than $1.8 billion in losses and 36 deaths when a blizzard dumped two feet of snow on the city. In 2012, Illinois had the second highest mortality (32 deaths) due to heat nationwide. The 1995 heat wave in Chicago resulted in 629 fatalities.
  • Changing temperature and precipitation patterns can affect the lifecycle and distribution of insects, many of which transmit diseases that already pose problems for public health in Illinois. In 2010, there were 135 cases of Lyme disease in the state.
  • In Illinois, there were more than 19,000 hospital admissions for asthma in 2011, with an average charge of more than $20,100 for each stay.
  • Between 2010 and 2012, Illinois suffered 124 fatalities, 256 injuries, and $1.923 billion in damage, mainly to crops, due to hazardous weather events.
  • Midwesterners will experience increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to climate change, including heat waves, floods, and lake-effect snow. In 2011, 11 of the 14 U.S. weather-related disasters with damages of more than $1 billion occurred in the Midwest. While severe flooding is already an issue in the region—in 2008, floods caused 24 deaths and $8 billion in agricultural losses—likely increases in precipitation in winter and spring and more heavy downpours mean it is expected to become more commonplace. Greater evaporation in the summer is also likely to result in water deficits. Longer and more extreme heat waves will impact human health through reduced air quality and increases in insect and waterborne diseases, and require increased use of electricity for cooling, further increasing carbon pollution. While the longer growing season provides the potential for increased crop yields, increases in heat waves, floods, droughts, insects, and weeds will present growing challenges to managing crops, livestock, and forests.

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