Skip to content Accessibility Mode
Back to Main

Susana Martinez is a Climate Change Denier

Gov. Susana Martinez
New Mexico

"New Mexico GOP nominee Susana Martinez told POLITICO in Albuquerque on Saturday that she had her doubts about the role human activity plays in global warming. 'I'm not sure the science completely supports that,' she said."

VIEW SOURCE

What climate change means for New Mexico

  • In 2009, there were 133 emergency room visits in New Mexico due to heat stress.
  • After a decade of drought, Elephant Butte reservoir in the Lower Rio Grande Valley dropped to five percent of water capacity in September 2012. By November, the water for future irrigation was completely exhausted.
  • The Whitewater-Baldy wildfire in New Mexico in 2012 was the largest on record, just one year after the previously record-setting Las Conchas fire burned more than 156,500 acres. Warm winters have allowed the destructive bark beetle to thrive. Combined, fire and beetles have destroyed trees across 20 percent of forests in Arizona and New Mexico.
  • 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.