Climate change could present opportunities for Nebraska, speakers conclude


Paul Hammel, Nebraska Examiner

via KTIC (NE) - June 17th, 2022


LINCOLN — A wide-ranging “conversation” about climate change Wednesday night might have reached agreement on one thing: Climate change could present some opportunities for Nebraska.


From increased income from leasing land for wind or solar farms, to helping Fortune 500 companies sequester carbon, to utilizing the state’s abundant water resources for new crops, panelists suggested that Nebraska might be in a good position if predictions of hotter summers and wetter winters in the future hold true.


“It’s not about politics, it’s about adaptation,” said Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning, who owns a small renewable-energy business and has worked as a director of the clean energy group New Power Nebraska.


The development of wind farms has generated jobs in northeast Nebraska, Moenning said, and has increased tax revenue and income for farmers leasing land for wind turbines or solar panels.


Mark McHargue, a Central City farmer and the president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, said that the state’s ample water provides a great advantage if climate change forces a change in agricultural crops.


“We can grow whatever the market wants,” McHargue said.


Those two officials, and representatives of the Nature Conservancy and University of Nebraska Medical Center, engaged in a 90-minute discussion entitled “Weathering Uncertainty: Our Connections to Climate.”


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