PRESS RELEASE: Climate Change and Idaho: A Scientific Assessment

Published September 12, 2019

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (September 12, 2019) – During an Idaho House Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee hearing on March 6, 2019, legislators passed a resolution authorizing an interim legislative committee “to study the effects of climate variability on Idaho’s state agencies that are responsible for resource management.” The committee was also tasked with making appropriate recommendations to address climate issues. After the hearing, Idaho Gov. Brad Little asserted climate change “is real” and “a big deal.”

A new Policy Brief by The Heartland Institute’s Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy and Senior Fellow James Taylor, titled “Climate Change and Idaho: A Scientific Assessment,” provides Idaho-specific climate information to help inform lawmakers so they can craft the best possible climate-related policies on behalf of the people of Idaho.

Download the full PDF here.


The paper provides information on the following topics:

  1. A Summary of Global Climate Change

    Over millions of years, climate has shifted between ice age glacial and warmer interglacial periods. The modest warming of the past century has lifted the world out of the Little Ice Age into higher averages responsible for greater crop yields and reduced cold temperatures, which kills 20 times more people than hot temperatures.

  2. Climate Change in the United States

Warming in the United States has been modest. Older temperature data has been “adjusted” by government officials, making the past appear colder than it actually was. The most recent data, provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), show virtually no warming since 2005. Objective data also show extreme weather events are generally not becoming more severe or frequent.

  1. Climate Change in Idado

    Weather and climate data show climate change has had a minimal impact on Idaho. Temperatures in Idaho have warmed only modestly in recent decades. Complementing this modest warming, Idaho is experiencing a long-term gradual increase in precipitation, alleviating any fears of a sustained drought.

  2. Idaho Energy Use and Impacts

    Even if CO2 was associated with catastrophic global warming, Idaho has already dramatically curtailed its CO2 emissions. Idaho ranks in the top 10 states for lowest total emissions and lowest emissions per person. The majority of Idaho electricity is generated by emissions-free hydroelectric power, meaning if all CO2 emissions were eliminated, it would have virtually no impact on global temperature.

To schedule an interview with author James Taylor, contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at [email protected].

The Heartland Institute is a 35-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.