According to a report from the Nature Conservancy, by 2100 average temperatures in Missouri could be 9.9 degrees higher than they are now. If we do not cut carbon emissions drastically, Missouri will experience greater warming than all but six other states. Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa will bear the brunt of the warming, but it will be just as nasty in a big, big chunk of Western Missouri. If you want to see what climate change in this region will look like over time, check out the Conservancy’s interactive map.
This warmer future won’t be pretty; fertile fields will become hot, dry scrubland. As Ryan Grim at Huffington Post observes, even if we act now and slow the warming, the changes may still be devastating:
A study released Thursday by Columbia University adds further concern about the viability of soybeans, corn and cotton — the expected temperature rise over the next century from even a slow warming scenario could decrease crop yields by 30 to 46 percent.
Given this scenario, which could spell disaster for rural families in Missouri as early as mid-century, can somebody tell me how Claire McCaskill can continue to talk about weakening the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act so as not to “unfairly punish businesses and families in coal dependent states like Missouri”? How much is she willing to hurt the state long-run to avoid short term — and fixable — problems?