To the editor:
The Gospel of the Freedom Caucus is like a new religion. It has clear cut dogma - numerous articles of faith unsupported by evidence, yet demands absolute obedience from its adherents.
One of its core tenets is that humans are incapable of changing the climate, so the Governor’s stated goal of making Wyoming carbon negative within a few years, infuriated them.
Their ‘caterwauling’ leader, Cheri Steinmetz, challenged him to a climate debate, in a letter signed by 30 members of the legislature plus the Secretary of State.
Governor Gordon first accepted, then backed out, citing unwillingness to add to the confusion over climate change. Whatever his reasons, he missed a huge opportunity to educate Wyoming citizens on the dangers of the climate crisis to Wyoming.
Let’s be clear: Among climate scientists there is no debate. The evidence that burning fossil fuels is the cause of climate change is so clear, so overwhelming, that the question is viewed as settled science.
Dissenting voices come only from those in service to the very industries that have landed us in this disaster. The CO2 Coalition, which the Noisy Caucus wants to include in a debate, is one such group.
Financed by fossil fuel magnates, they tout the supposed ‘benefits’ of CO2 by increased plant growth, but they leave out the important fact that the nutrient value of the plant decreases. In other words, more plant life needs to be eaten to get the same nutrition.
So if you’re feeding cattle all that lush hay you harvested, you will need to plan to feed your animals about 1/3 again as much to achieve the same weight gain. That’s just one costly concern for which our ranchers need to prepare.
2023 is already the hottest year in human history, with myriad severe weather events that have cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives worldwide. Heat waves are hotter, and last longer.
Cattle, sheep, domestic birds, and wild animals are dying from the heat. Evermore wildfires burn out of control. Our farmers and ranchers face grave challenges in such an environment.
One obvious help would be solar panels on pastures for shade and to prevent so much evaporation from the ground, yet that idea is also contrary to the Fantasy Caucus Dogma.
The costs Wyoming will face are astronomical. We citizens of Wyoming deserve nothing less than complete honesty from all our elected officials. We deserve scientific facts, not faith-based Dogma.