Skip to main content

GOP leader: Minnesotans won't complain if climate change causes state to get 2 degrees hotter

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka thinks the climate emergency is panicking people.

Sen. Paul Gazelka, the Senate Majority Leader in the Minnesota Legislature, says he doesn't think "anyone will complain" if climate change causes the state to warm by 2 degrees celsius.

The leading Republican in the Minnesota Senate made the statement on Twitter, in response to a tweet by WCCO reporting on Minneapolis' decision to declare a "climate emergency."

"Stop scaring Minnesotans! Clean energy yes, panic no," he wrote. "The sky is not falling. We are taking better care of the environment. We can focus on clean energy that is reliable and affordable. If Minnesota is 2 degrees warmer in 100 years, I don’t think anyone will complain."

The move by Minneapolis comes after a group of 11,000 scientists across the globe put their names to a document warning of a "climate emergency" facing Earth, noting that greenhouse gas emissions "are still rapidly rising, with increasingly damaging effects on the Earth's climate."

"An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis," they said.

The Paris Climate Agreement, which the United States is in the process of removing itself from at the direction of the Trump Administration, had sought to limit the increase in global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees celsius – or 3.6F.

Earlier this year, two scientists from the University of Minnesota said that Minnesota is already one of the fastest-warming states in the nation, and if that temperature increases were to continue, it will eventually lead to more extreme rain events, flooding, and forest fires, an increase in pests and invasive species, the potential loss or reduction in fauna such as the loon, and impact the state's winter economy as ice conditions become more unstable.

NASA meanwhile has said that a 2C increase would result in more severe heatwaves globally, expose hundreds of millions of people to water scarcity, and lead to the extinction of more than 105,000 species of insects, plants and invertebrates.

Bring Me The News asked Sen. Gazelka whether he stood by his comment about whether anyone "will complain" if such a temperature rise were to lead to the changes described above.

We also asked him what he classes as "clean energy," and to provide more context to his comment that "we are taking better care of the environment," considering the U.S. saw a spike in fossil fuel emissions in 2018 after several years of decline.

His response did not address the 2-degree question, instead focusing on the clean energy query posed by BMTN.

"Clean energy that won't bankrupt Minnesotans is the goal," he said.

"Energy can be both affordable and reliable for every home, business, school, and hospital, and also reduce the impact on the environment. Both of these points are priorities for me and Minnesotans."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Last week, the Minnesota Senate Republicans Caucus said it will soon release a revised version of its Clean Energy First proposal.

The plan states preference that green technology be used for new power generation proposals put by utilities before the Public Utilities Commission. It also states that the PUC can approve new fossil fuel power if a utility company is unable to "affordably and reliably" meet its power needs with cleaner energy, per MinnPost.

The proposal has won the backing of some Republicans, Democrats, and clean energy groups, though there is opposition to it within the GOP as well as from officials on the Iron Range. 

Next Up

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_0560

What does the future hold for the Vikings at linebacker?

Anthony Barr is hitting free agency, and Eric Kendricks is approaching age 30

vehicle car

String of vehicle thefts in St. Paul, most left running unattended

The department is urging people not to leave their car running unattended.

kid hospital doctor

Child COVID hospitalizations reach pandemic-high in northern MN

As omicron surges, more kids are ending up in the hospital.

ice fishing close unsplash

'It's disgusting': Anglers dumping sewage on to popular ice fishing lake

A local CO told Bring Me The News it's people in newer, RV-style wheel houses.

Alejandro Rios and Michael Steward

Reward offered for information on 2021 double fatal shooting in St. Paul

It's been a year since Alejandro Rios and Michael Stewart were found dead on the sidewalk.

Peyton Manning John Randle Twitter

What was Peyton Manning doing in Minnesota?

It's apparently for an upcoming episode of his TV show, "Peyton's Place."

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 25

The test positivity rate has dropped for the first time since before Christmas.

liz collin wcco youtube screengrab

Liz Collin reveals she is leaving WCCO

"Thank you for trusting me to tell your stories," she wrote in Tuesday's announcement.

jimmy john's rochester antimask rant guy

Video: Man harasses Jimmy John's workers, wishes death on them over mask mandate

"When are you going to start using that brain inside of your head," the man asks.

Related

MN schools could soon start teaching climate change as human-caused

It's part of the draft science education standards proposed by the state.

gazelka paul

Report: Gazelka refuses to reveal total COVID cases in GOP outbreak

The senate majority leader is under fire for his handling of the situation.

gazelka paul

Unable to limit his COVID-19 powers, Senate GOP ousts Walz appointee

The state's Labor and Industry Commissioner is out of a job.

gazelka paul

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has COVID-19

Gazelka has had symptoms since last Monday.

paul gazelka

Gazelka's 'I've always said COVID-19 is serious' tweet raises eyebrows

The Senate Majority Leader has attracted plenty of attention for a Thursday tweet.

Mississippi River at Point Douglas Park in Hastings

Upper Mississippi deemed most at-risk waterway in the U.S.

Climate change and poor floodplain and watershed development decisions are factors.