Grassley: ‘We Iowans prefer to confront problems head on’

Iowa State University witness testifies, Grassley recognizes impacts of yesterday’s tornadoes

Opening Statement by Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa
Ranking Member, Senate Budget Committee
“Droughts, Dollars and Decisions: Water Scarcity in a Changing Climate”
Wednesday, May 22, 2024


Mr. Chairman,Ithank you for recognizing the tragedy that happened in Greenfield, Iowa.

If you werewatching morning television that’s national, you would have seen it on television this very morning.

So before we start, since the Senate is in session and I can’t be in Iowa, I want to share that my thoughts are with the people of Iowa during these troubled times–especially those in Adair County.

My staff is on the ground right now in Greenfield touring unimaginable destruction from storms yesterday.

I want to commend the first responders and emergency managers for their caring and humane work.

I stand ready to help as our communities recover. 

Sadly, several fatalities have been reported. 

Barbara and I are praying for the families who have lost loved ones and for those who have lost their homes and businesses so unexpectedly.

To the subject of today’s hearing, as with the previous 17 hearings, I’ve invited qualified scientists to provide a reasoned view on the very real challengesthat we face as a result of a changing climate.

I welcome back Dr. Pielke to the committee, formerly a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 

He’ll tell us how the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is uncertain as to the impact of climate change on drought.  

In fact, the IPCC has not detected strong trends in any of the three types of drought – meteorological, agricultural or hydrological – in any region of the entire world.  

I also look forward to hearing from Dr. Castellanofrom Iowa State’s Department of Agronomy. 

Dr. Castellano’s extensive work on soil composition shows us that there’s no reason why farmers can’t adapt to climate change, preserve our environmental health and turn a profit at the same time.  

Rather than speculate on climate change doomsday, we Iowans prefer to confront problems head on. 

Drought is a problem that we know better than most Americans. I keep track of rain levels each week when I go home tothe Grassley farm.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I’d like to submit an article titled, “The importance of distinguishing climate science from climate activism” from Dr. Ulf Büntgen of the University of Cambridge into the record.

He’s worried about activists who pretend to be scientists. We should all make sure we’re following sound science.

He hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “Activists often adopt scientific arguments as a source of moral legitimation for their movements, which can be radical and destructive rather than rational and constructive.” 

We’ve seen our fair share of activists testify before the Budget Committee on matters well outside of what this committee was set up to do

I welcome all ofour witnesses today.