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Rep. Jim Hagedorn doesn’t believe in man-made climate change. In his district, the climate’s changing anyway

Zumbro River
MPCA
A Sept. 24, 2010 image of the Zumbro River in southeast Minnesota overflowing its banks during flash flooding.

At a town hall in North Mankato last December, First District Rep. Jim Hagedorn said: “I do not believe in man-made climate change.”

Rep. Jim Hagedorn
MinnPost photo by Walker Orenstein
Rep. Jim Hagedorn
At another town hall in Austin in November, he said, “The climate has been changing since God created the world. We used to be under an ice sheet here.”

Even if he believed climate change is real, he said in Austin, he would deal with it differently. Instead of efforts like the Green New Deal, a proposed non-binding resolution to exit the United States from fossil fuels and increase clean energy jobs, Hagedorn said people should move.

“When you get down to it, I’m not willing to risk the U.S. economy over it,” he said. “A better way to mitigate it would be to deal with the effects and move people around rather than turn the economy upside down.”

But in Hagedorn’s district, whether or not he accepts the reality of climate change, it’s drastically altering the region. Waters are rising along the Zumbro River. Farmers are dealing with increasingly wet weather, making it close to impossible to retrieve crops from muddy fields. And because of increased precipitation that local scientists have traced back to climate change, landslides are becoming more frequent and significantly worse.

Along the Zumbro

Kim Norton, the Mayor of Rochester, understands the danger of flooding. Her office has a view of the Zumbro River, which flooded in 1978, killing five people. After that, the city installed flood walls.

But in 2018, the water just behind walls came close to overflowing. Since she took office last January, Norton has made climate change a priority. She’s spoken with both Republican and DFL state legislators about sustainability and climate change. And she’s met with mayors around the country who are just as concerned.

Mayor Kim Norton
“We would have to question: Is what we’ve done enough? And we certainly thought it would be,” Norton said. “But some of the other communities that haven’t done the flood mitigation that we did, up or downstream, are still having the effects of the flooding in the fields and perhaps communities. And they will most certainly need support, whether it be federal or state.”

Norton said that state legislators she’s talked to have been receptive, including state Sen. David H. Senjem, a Republican from Rochester and state Rep. Tina Liebling, a DFLer also from Rochester.

Earlier this year, Senjem sponsored a bill that would make adding new coal and gas power tougher for utility companies. And Liebling has been clear on her concern about climate change for some time. “Global warming is an urgent problem,” she said in 2006. “Right here in Minnesota, we can’t ice fish or ski like we used to because record warm winters are becoming the rule, not the exception. We should be looking at solutions now, instead of waiting until we see even more drastic changes.”

Norton said that while she appreciates the response from state legislators, what she’s hearing from congress is less comforting. “This idea of moving is a little concerning because we’re working really hard to create a community that we want people to stay in.”

The science

About an hour away at the Minnesota State University, Mankato, Prof. Phil Larson is looking at the frequency of landslides across the state. Larson, who was born in Red Wing and raised along the upper Mississippi and St. Croix, has been interested in rivers since he was young.

As an earth science professor, he’s working on a three year project with other researchers to assess the frequency of landslides across the state. Larson’s focus is on Southern Minnesota and the Minnesota River Valley.

“We know that the rivers are changing. The water quality stinks because of some of this stuff. We know that climate change is a part of this as a culprit, but also the land use activities are as well,” he said. “It’s a big thing to try to tackle and I don’t know that Southern Minnesota, by itself, can handle it.”

Larson said that the consequences of climate change are visible.

State Sen. David H. Senjem
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
State Sen. David H. Senjem
“When we get the big mega-storms come through this area, we have major landslide activity that occurs out here and it blocks highways. It destroys bridges and destroys property. It causes economic loss,” he said. Larson pointed to the St. Paul Lilydale landslide in 2013, when two children were killed, as a breaking point. That’s when he saw the state start to take the changes seriously.

In the district, wet weather last spring caused limestone boulders to collapse onto Judson Bottom Road, which is not far from the Minnesota State. The road was home to at least six rockslides in 2019. Additionally, two grave sites in Blue Earth County cemetery were moved because erosion ate away the land they were originally dug into.

“I know that congressmen and politicians out there don’t want to look at this. They don’t want to accept it. It’s pretty hard to ignore, you know? It just blows my mind that they do.”

Larson said that the impacts of climate change are already obvious in the First District. Another example of climate change that he could point to: agriculture.

“These things have real consequences. And it’s to the farmers to their agriculture fields. For example, this spring was one of the wettest springs we’ve had on record. And many farmers weren’t able to get their crops down in time. They weren’t able to harvest it because everything was freaking soaking wet. And so people lost money.”

Minnesota has warmed between one and three degrees over the last century. And climate scientists at the University of Minnesota have said that the state is one of the fastest warming in the country. 

“I know that when I teach my classes, that maybe a third of them may come in with this preconceived notion that climate change isn’t real or, you know, a Chinese hoax or whatever,” said Larson. “But I can show them that data and have them do some statistics on it and go: it’s hard to argue the real data.”

How obvious the changes are, with just a bit of research, is why Larson is so flabbergasted by the way some politicians are looking at climate change.

“I mean, they got to wake up to this stuff, you know?,” he said. “Cause I think in Southern Minnesota, we need help.”

The same stance

The need to mitigate and understand climate change has even made its way into private businesses in the first district. The Mayo Clinic, one of the largest employers in the region, last year added medical school classes to address how practitioners should deal with climate change.

Prof. Phil Larson
Prof. Phil Larson
But none of this has prompted Hagedorn to change his stance. At a recent town hall in Faribault, a local farmer pressed Hagedorn on climate change, saying she had seen its effects first hand. Hagedorn again said he was skeptical that climate change was caused by humans and argued for an “all of the above” energy strategy.

When asked by MinnPost about his thoughts on climate change, Hagedorn provided a statement.

“I support an energy policy of U.S. energy independence via an all of the above strategy to deliver abundant, reliable and affordable fuel and electricity to power our economy, create high-wage jobs and maintain our standard of living,” he said. “Wind, solar and other renewables are part of the mix, but those who advocate scrapping fossil fuels for renewables are unrealistic and irresponsible. As it applies to the production of electricity alone, no technology exists to use wind and solar in any widespread way to deliver baseload power.”

For Norton, who has a city to run, the federal government doesn’t seem to be offering enough. And she said she’s resolved to push for solutions with or without their help.

“We need to deal with these issues because they affect people in our community. They affect the economy in our community. They affect the future of the kids that are going to live here and you know, when you have to deal with flooding or tornadoes,” she said.

“So the cities are just saying: We’re just doing this on our own. We’re not gonna sit and wait. We’re going to do what we can.”

Walker Orenstein contributed reporting to this story. 

Comments (77)

  1. Submitted by Richard Owens on 03/18/2020 - 10:27 am.

    Rejection of science is willful ignorance.

    • Submitted by Dave Paulson on 03/19/2020 - 11:49 am.

      You are too kind.

      In a position of authority and responsibility like a US Rep, it is dereliction of duty, painted over with the thinnest veneer of “All of the above” energy strategy which sounds good to those inclined not to think too hard, but really says I will do nothing, but I’ve created cover.

  2. Submitted by Jim Jeffries on 03/18/2020 - 11:52 am.

    Representative Hagedorn has offered the Climate Catastrophe solution of simply moving to a more hospitable location. How does he propose to move our farms or our cities?

    • Submitted by Clayton Haapala on 03/18/2020 - 02:29 pm.

      Indeed. Hagedorn:
      “A better way to mitigate it would be to deal with the effects and move people around rather than turn the economy upside down.”

      When have people ever moved but when the economy is upside down already? We have economic refugees *now*.

  3. Submitted by tom kendrick on 03/18/2020 - 11:55 am.

    How are bozos like this elected in this day and age? Who votes for people who talk such idiocy? Is this really what we have come to? How does a person spewing such stupidity get access to a microphone? Is this the best we can do? What happened to critical thought?

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 03/18/2020 - 07:39 pm.

      Just look at who sits in the oval office.

      On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
      – H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)

    • Submitted by Alina Trukhina on 03/18/2020 - 09:24 pm.

      The same way that Trump is president…

  4. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 03/18/2020 - 12:29 pm.

    I am surprised that the editors chose to include a comment like “…Chinese hoax….” This is incredibly irresponsible and leads to naive presumption.

  5. Submitted by Alan Straka on 03/18/2020 - 12:30 pm.

    Bible thumpers like Hagedorn should remember Galatians VI: Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
    Ignoring climate change will have consequences.

  6. Submitted by Douglas Owens-Pike on 03/18/2020 - 12:37 pm.

    Climate change deniers need to wake up to the fact that Covid-19 is a direct consequence of our impact on our environment. People do have an impact. Yes, there were glaciers here 10,000 year ago. There were also a set of mammals that had existed in concert with expanding and retreating ice sheets. All those animals went extinct, not because of a warming climate. The difference about 8,000 years ago was the wave of humans expanding across N America wiping the small populations of mastodons, saber toothed tigers, giant sloths, etc. If people had not arrived they would likely still be here. So, yup, people have the capcity to change our environment. Listen to experts who study epidemics. They say that this is not the last epidemic that will come from wild animal populations and cross over into our human cities. We have pushed out into the limits of wild nature. Little is left not disturbed by direct human impact. What the deniers fail to grasp is that a smaller investment in efficiency and alternative energy now is better than waiting. The costs will be far greater the longer we allow fossil fuels to dominate. As it stands it is now cheaper to install solar capacity than running existing coal plants. Another argument for not waiting. Excel was forced by MN legislation to switch to more renewables. When they did they discovered they saved money. Now they are installing wind and solar across every state they serve. Ever where not required, because they are saving money. It is time to wake up.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 03/18/2020 - 06:29 pm.

      “Covid-19 is a direct consequence of our impact on our environment”

      Cites please. The studies showing this to be fact must be quite interesting.

  7. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/18/2020 - 01:33 pm.

    I’d settle for Hagedorn moving — maybe to Nome Alaska which should be nice and toasty by his analysis.’

  8. Submitted by Judy LaBoda on 03/18/2020 - 01:59 pm.

    Thank you for this article. Maybe it will help people in his district to realize that Hagedorn is not suited to fill the shoes of Tim Walz! I hope that his opposition can replace him and that he can relocate to a more substantial climate that suits him!

    • Submitted by Mark Gruben on 03/26/2020 - 02:35 am.

      For what it’s worth: In 2018, Jim Hagedorn, in his third try for the 1st District US House seat, faced Democratic newcomer Dan Feehan. On Labor Day weekend, the Rochester Post-Bulletin released a poll in which Hagedorn had a 26-point lead over Feehan, who was virtually unknown throughout the district. Trump visited Rochester for a campaign event in mid-October, at which he officially endorsed Hagedorn, 2nd District incumbent Jason Lewis, and 3rd District incumbent Erik Paulson. On November 1, the Mankato Free Press released a poll that gave Dan Feehan a 1-point lead; a statistical dead-heat. Hagedorn won by 0.4%, or 1,315 votes. But both Jason Lewis and Erik Paulson – who was a 5-term incumbent – were soundly beaten, by 11 points each. Last fall, Dan Feehan announced his candidacy in a rematch against Hagedorn, and as the presumptive nominee, he is well-positioned to give Hagedorn a run for his money, despite the fact that analysts are currently rating this race as a probably GOP. On the other hand, the Cook PVI rates the First District at +5 Republican, somewhat low in a generally rural, conservative district, but now dominated by fast-growing Rochester and Mankato, both increasingly diverse, and where much of the Democratic strength is found. Republicans dominate in the more rural counties, particularly in the west; however, these counties, generally older and less diverse, continue to shed population; some have seen decreases of 5% since 2010.

  9. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 03/18/2020 - 02:06 pm.

    If he doesn’t believe in science, why did he seek medical attention for his recent crisis? A guy who wants personal benefits without shared responsibility.

    Climate change and the pandemic are like wars that
    Require shared sacrifice. There were those who didn’t see. Hitler as s menace and avoided national service (every Trump male), but denying the truth is just foolish and selfish.

  10. Submitted by Terry McDanel on 03/18/2020 - 02:13 pm.

    ” Instead of efforts like the Green New Deal .. Hagedorn said people should move.”

    We are left wondering, what planet he might be considering.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/19/2020 - 09:33 am.

      Mars. Seriously, the elite are literally planning to check out and mover to another planet. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.

  11. Submitted by tom kendrick on 03/18/2020 - 02:22 pm.

    “Doesn’t believe in…?” That’s like not believing in the seasons. You can move to the equator where the weather is more or less constant, but the seasons are still continuing.

  12. Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/18/2020 - 02:28 pm.

    You have Hagerdorn in one camp ignoring the science. You have climate ‘crisis’ advocates in the other camp ignoring the science. Nothing new there.

    In the middle you have our society which is doing little if anything about it (Democrats and Republicans). Yet, somehow people are acting all high and mighty about how their group is superior.

    We have gradual global warming that has yielded an overall benefit to our society. We will establish long-term gradual plans to mitigate it. Ridiculing the other side increases partisanship and decreases the chance of widespread support, so if that is what you want, go for it.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/18/2020 - 08:26 pm.

      “You have Hagerdorn in one camp ignoring the science. You have climate ‘crisis’ advocates in the other camp ignoring the science. Nothing new there.”

      Finding equivalence (equally smart people with equally documented contrary positions) between those denying and those accepting climate change is not based in reality…

      • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 08:55 am.

        Edward, you changed my comment. I am not finding equivalence between those who deny and accept climate change. I am finding equivalence between those who deny and those who claim there is a crisis.

        Saying it is a crisis is just words. Has the city of Minneapolis (vast majority Democrats) reduced its emissions by 80%? Democrats in Minneapolis, via their actions, do not believe global warming is a crisis.

        • Submitted by BK Anderson on 03/19/2020 - 09:37 am.

          This is semantics and deflection. The article is contrasting an absurd denalist with those realists who believe that meaningful and significant action needs to be taken NOW.

          Apparently you think that as well, but don’t want to be grouped with those of us who would call the global warming problem an immediate “crisis”. I can’t see the point of such political fussiness among allies.

          • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 10:32 am.

            Really? Where in the article was anything proposed about taking action NOW? It’s all crisis talk. No action. That’s my whole point.

            • Submitted by Dave Paulson on 03/19/2020 - 11:53 am.

              Well what about this question:
              Who is trying to take action (read up some more on proposed legislation that McConnel and others try to keep bottled up) and who is only taking action to keep America ignorant (the trum appointees in agencies.

              This is all out there and has been for years.

              • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 01:43 pm.

                Yes, exactly what I said in my original post. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are doing anything. In other words, they act as if there is no crisis.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/19/2020 - 12:18 pm.

              No one is going to take action until they recognize that there is a crisis. Unfortunately, people like Rep,. Hagedorn and President Trump have the power in our society, and they have too much invested (politically and culturally, if not financially) in denying the problem.

              And it is not denying the science to claim that there is a crisis. There is no middle ground to cling to here.

              • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 01:14 pm.

                So you are saying that states or cities that have Democratic majorities do not take action because they don’t recognize there is a crisis?

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/19/2020 - 02:27 pm.

                  The effectiveness of the action they are able to take is limited.

                  Cities face the additional problem of rural and suburban legislators limiting municipal action on environmental issues. Can’t let those big city environmentalists get away with that, no, sir.

                • Submitted by Joe Musich on 03/19/2020 - 07:47 pm.

                  Ray the horse is dead ….quite beating it. It would be simply enough to say more needs to be done. That is if you are looking for agreement. Let us have the lists of mitigation’s proposed.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/19/2020 - 03:11 pm.

          Changed your comment!!!

          I copied and pasted your comment right down to the misspelling of Hagedorn’s name and added quotes around it.

          • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 06:23 pm.

            Yes, then you changed it to “Finding equivalence … between those denying and those accepting climate change.”

            I never said that.

    • Submitted by Richard Owens on 03/18/2020 - 08:40 pm.

      When you say, “…people are acting all high and mighty about how their group is superior…” you draw yourself out of the venn diagram.

      Trump is not a very good leader when truth and systems of response are the topic.

      You’re in this as much as any you may disparage.

      What “Democrats” are you equating with this response? From where I view, Pelosi again is running the important stuff despite no cooperation from any Rs.

      I’ve heard it called “bothsides-ism” although I think it’s more accurately a declaration of civic alienation. That’s no badge.

      Trump sucks at everything (IMHO)

      • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 08:47 am.

        Richard, Trump was neither mentioned in the article nor my comment. Do you have anything to say about my comment?

        • Submitted by Richard Owens on 03/19/2020 - 11:34 am.

          I think your comment displays your own civic alienation apart from all the rest of us poor slobs who are stuck with the same situation.

          By that, I mean you don’t seem to consider yourself a member of the society we are trapped in. Hagedorn’s attitudes will influence our 1st District response (although not as much as their respective party’s leaders).

          It is sad that you see the problem ours (plural Dems and Rs), but not yours. But the advantage to your position is you don’t have to do anything except criticize everyone else for “doing nothing”

          The reason I mention Trump is because he has used executive orders and appointments to sabotage nearly all the environmental guards we had in place, while only the courts have stopped his attacks on air, water, endangered species, and in MN brought back Twin Metals acid mining in the Rainy River Lake of the Woods watershed.

          He could just as easily used executive orders to IMPROVE our environment and stop promoting coal-burning, ash accumulating pollution and more Superfund sites.

          He could have kept us in the Climate Agreement. Hagedorn needs to reflect his master’s ignorance and disregard for public opinion.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/19/2020 - 01:41 am.

      Completely false. The “crisis” people are the only ones taking the science seriously.

      • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 08:45 am.

        Who are these people? What group of people, through their actions, are treating global warming as a crisis? Name one city that has cut emissions by 80% over the last few years?

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 03/19/2020 - 09:03 am.

      Um, the science does not say that the warming is “gradual”. The glaciers are in precipitous retreat as these time-frames go. Everything frozen on earth is melting before our eyes, over the course of perhaps 25 years.

      As for the idea that the warming has “yielded an overall benefit to our society”, that’s a value judgement and certainly not supported by science. You can only mean the increased growing season (in some higher latitudes), but the idea that this clearly outweighs all the negatives of the warming across the earth (drought, flood, heat) is preposterous.

      Note that your “our society” view is exclusively human-centered, too, since the science predicts that the precipitous warming will result in extinction for millions of (non-human) species. You do know that all the ocean corals (which support 80% of ocean life) are currently dying off and may not be salvageable? Or do you just not care about the earth’s creatures and ecosystems?

      That you think the (do-something) “advocates” are just as big a problem as the denialists is the classic “above it all”, “plague on both houses” pose. A pose that the earth really can’t afford any longer. It’s time you realized that you are in this crisis, too, Ray.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/19/2020 - 09:35 am.

      Ray, the difference is that this IS a crises. It’s not just a matter of someone calling it a crises. This isn’t a rhetorical problem, and it’s not a debate game.

      • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 10:31 am.

        I know it is not a game. Where in the article do they talk about a solution? They don’t. It’s all talk.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/20/2020 - 11:16 am.

          Ray, you might have to read more than this one article to find an answer to your question. You could look up: Green New Deal for one thing… although I’m sure Hagedorn is against it.

          • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/20/2020 - 12:22 pm.

            Agreed, and you too would have to read more than one article. The Green New Deal is a multi-decadal plan, not a response to a crisis.

            • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/20/2020 - 06:12 pm.

              Ray, what timeline do you have in mind?

              • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/20/2020 - 09:12 pm.

                My timeline is about 50-100 years because I don’t believe it is a crisis. I believe we have a gradual warming that will be overcome via new technology. You phrased the problem as a crisis. What is your timeline?

                • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/21/2020 - 10:34 am.

                  My time line is today. We’re already experiencing dangerous and devastating effect from climate change such as a mass extinction that’s under way, coastal erosion etc. It may well be too late already, but without massive intervention warming will cause catastrophic changes.

    • Submitted by Patrick Tice on 03/19/2020 - 01:55 pm.

      “We have gradual global warming that has yielded an overall benefit to our society.”

      What are the benefits of ‘gradual global warming’ and what exactly do you mean by ‘gradual”?

      We hear quite a few of the detrimental effects of warming, including more severe storms with high precipitation rates, sea level rise that causes flooding in our coastal cities, the migration north of insect and other pests, the increase in frequency of deadly heat events around the world, and climate change induced migration. Please enlighten us on the ‘benefits’.

      The top 10 warmest years (globally) on record all occurred since 2005. That suggests that ‘gradual’ might not be the right word. In fact, the melting of permafrost in the northern hemisphere is releasing ever increasing volumes of methane, a strong greenhouse gas, and this is accelerating and will drive the curve up even faster. Gradual? I don’t see it, so explain.

      • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 02:43 pm.

        I’m not sure exactly what you are looking for, Patrick. All the info is out there on the web. And it is fact-based. 200 years ago we lived to about 40, worked in the fields, spent hours just to cook and haul wood for every meal, had no dental or retirement funds, and half of your siblings would have died by the age of 5. Today we live most of our life in 68-72 degree climate controlled rooms, sleep on comfortable mattresses free of bedbugs, we can travel the world in comfort.

        Our world is getting greener by the decade, in the last 100 years, we have cut deaths due to natural disasters by 95-99% (actual deaths).

        Life is beautiful these days in comparison to what people had to live through in the past. I realize nothing is perfect, but never before have we seen something like the advances of the past 100 years. And, yes, temperatures have been gradually rising about a tenth of a degree per decade.

        • Submitted by Patrick Tice on 03/19/2020 - 03:04 pm.

          I can’t disagree with Hans Rosling’s excellent book “Factfulness”, in which he lays out the many ways life is better for us. Steven Pinker makes that case in “Enlightenment Now”, as well. However, though life may be safer, longer, healthier, and more prosperous for more people, none of that addresses the “benefit” of global warming – unless you are trying to claim that global warming has caused all of those things.

          The correct way to look at it is that industrial activity and modern capitalism have made the world generally better in the ways listed above, but at the COST of human-induced climate change, which is most definitely not in any way a “benefit”. Further, the alarming rise in greenhouse gases is driving rapid change that threatens to disrupt the very economic and cultural systems that underpin modern life.

          That is what needs to be addressed.

          • Submitted by Ray J Wallin on 03/19/2020 - 06:29 pm.

            Yes, that is exactly my point. Everyone is talking like there is a crisis and that it is threatening our way of life yet neither party is taking drastic steps to address it.

            • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/24/2020 - 08:55 am.

              Ray is correct, the Parties have both been dedicated to servicing their elite status quo benefactors for decades. However, we are seeing a serious challenge to that elite control at the moment and we’ll likely see that old power structure collapse sooner rather than later.

    • Submitted by Steven Peters on 03/21/2020 - 10:56 am.

      “We have gradual global warming that has yielded an overall benefit to our society.”

      Mighty big statement/conclusion. Would love to see details to support this.

      Maybe include data from area farmers, FEMA, Federal/State dollars spent on nationwide disaster funding (all we pay for by the way in case anyone forgets). NOAA on number and severity of hurricanes, etc.. compared to any previous period where data was collected. National and global drought-water wars between States…maybe it’s all just nature on it’s own and what is being poured into the environment by man is inconsequential.

      I do believe one day we will know absolutely for sure. Of course at that time, if there was (is) something we should have done, it won’t matter anymore…this as I just finished face-timing with my first (10 month old), grandson.

  13. Submitted by Eric Snyder on 03/18/2020 - 03:24 pm.

    Hagedorn’s ignorance of climate change is deplorable, utterly without excuse, and totally unacceptable for any public official.

    According to wikipedia: “Between 2002 and 2012, Hagedorn published a blog titled “Mr. Conservative” where he had a history of controversial articles and statements, including birtherism, sexist insults, derogatory reference to a wheelchair-bound veteran, and joking about the death of a political opponent.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Hagedorn

    When we elect the worst among us to office, can we be surprised at the results?

    • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 03/19/2020 - 10:37 am.

      In the Health section of the Wikipedia article on Mr. Hagedorn, there is an indication that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer.

      Despite what dumb things Mr. Hagedorn has earlier said, and despite my own comment that maybe moving to Nome, Alaska, wouldn’t be such a bad idea for him, I hope we will be sensitive to the possibility and potential reality of the cancer taking Mr. Hagedorn’s life. This is nothing to laugh at and we should be a little more sensitive in our comments about him, perhaps suggesting how he might improve his thinking over reviling him for comments which do not make sense in a world where scientists have the tools and the know-how to forecast our weather and the changes in the sea and glaciers.

      Again, as many of you may know, I have been a Democrat for forty years — voting only for Dave Durenburger in 1984 because he was very interested in healthcare and because his office sent me an absentee ballot when I was away in Europe at school. I’d been interested in his work on the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence in his effort to get to the bottom of the Iran-Contra controversy. At that time, I was a very naive and sensitive twenty-two year old, but continue to have a favorable opinion of Mr. Durenberger as he has been a professor and he remembered my face and name when we ran into one another at a Minneapolis restaurant twenty-years after he left office.

      That said, I hope we will all wish Mr. Hagedorn good health and be sensitive to whatever frailties he may be experiencing right now as he fights his cancer.

      • Submitted by Susan Maricle on 03/20/2020 - 09:02 am.

        People get as much empathy as they give. As a CD1 resident, I can tell you that empathy has never been Mr. Hagedorn’s strong suit.

  14. Submitted by Bob Kraemer on 03/18/2020 - 04:15 pm.

    We have wasted enough precious time trying to educate people that do not believe in Science. Our elected officials should be leading the fight against Climate Change not ignoring it! This November EVERY official MUST be Voted OUT that does not believe in man-made Global Warming and Climate Change!

  15. Submitted by Barry Peterson on 03/18/2020 - 06:59 pm.

    Former state representative Phyllis Kahn (B.A., MPA, PhD) was one of the only scientists in the Minnesota state legislature. I wonder how many scientists in Minnesota would be willing to run for congressional office. We need their objectivity and understanding of sciences to lead our nation during the changes we have been seeing in not only our climate, but also in the great variety of technologies we are being developed to assist us in our daily personal and corporate lives.

    With regard to the oil industry, friends and acquaintances have been in the industry, from retailer to producers in the U.S. and in foreign nations. I read what I can about what is going on in the world regarding this broad area. I am aware that Saudi Arabia has been scaling back on their own use of petro-chemicals in their domestic use and going to solar (which they can, given the amount of daylight they have in that region).

    However, we still do not have strong enough science and production of sustainable resources to back up the use of petroleum products. Claiming that the “right wing” is not listening is not the answer. Bad-mouthing people because they are not doing as we would like is definitely not the answer. Offering solutions to them in a way that they understand and find appealing is quite another solution that many renegades in our community fail to take into consideration. This is often out of youthful ignorance and poor reading habits.

    I hope Mr. Hagedorn finds a place in society for himself where he is not being seen as the problem he has become. Perhaps Nome, Alaska would be a nice change for him and his current constituents.

    • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 03/18/2020 - 07:39 pm.

      The comment about daylight was meant to be a comment about strong sunlight.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/19/2020 - 09:40 am.

      We’re not badmouthing people, we’re simply noting that they’re opposing necessary policies and refusing to accept scientific consensus. That recalcitrance has magnified the crises and stalled our attempts to respond. This is simply a factual observation. Ignorance has consequences.

      • Submitted by Barry Peterson on 03/19/2020 - 10:45 am.

        No, Paul, some of the comments about Mr. Hagedorn and people like him are definitely bad-mouthing. However, I appreciate your perspective and see where your awareness rings true. As I found today, and noted in an earlier comment, Mr. Hagedorn has cancer.. Blunt but supportive comments may be in order.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/20/2020 - 08:31 am.

          Hagedorn’s status as a cancer patient doesn’t license his ignorance and the harm he’s inflicted on his constituents. There are a lot of elected officials who are dealing with health crises and other issues who manage to make informed and intelligent decisions that harm the planet or their constituents.

          This isn’t an academic discussion, the future of the planet and it’s environment and our survival is a real thing, and mistakes we make now will cost lives for generations to come.

          Most of us wish everyone well on a personal level. I hope for the best for Hagedorn and is family and wish him a speedy and complete recovery. But these are conversations about policies and issues that affect us all and reach far far beyond Hagedorn and his family. And in the real world, you don’t treat other folks well being with cavalier disregard and then expect hugs and warm fuzzy’s from those that you harm. Some people earn the harsh responses they receive.

          • Submitted by Susan Maricle on 03/20/2020 - 11:57 am.

            In his debates with Tim Walz, Hagedorn would open his statement about why he should be elected with, “I know where the bodies are buried.” It is really hard to give this guy a pass because he has cancer.

          • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/20/2020 - 09:03 pm.

            I’m certain Mr. Hagedorn has a new found appreciation for the best that science has to offer and those Ivy league egg heads are looking a lot better to him now.

            The very same scientific method that will hopefully offer a cure for Mr. Hagedorn has pointed out the dangers of climate change.

            True Trumpian behavior: when the facts lead to something that helps you or agree with it is a great advance in our journey. If not, issue an alternative fact. Which, of course, is on full display in the COVID19 response.

  16. Submitted by Tom Crain on 03/18/2020 - 07:36 pm.

    “The climate has been changing since God created the world,” Hagedorn said. This was met with applause and a few cries of approval from the Austin town hall audience. “We used to be under an ice sheet here.”

    At least he understands the earth is more than 6000 yrs old! That’s progress- of a sort.

  17. Submitted by tom kendrick on 03/19/2020 - 09:05 am.

    Progress, you ask? Consider this analogy. We are all climbing, reaching for the mountaintop of understanding. We all started on the prairie, say, and we are making progress as we can. We know we have a few thousand feet of elevation to gain, but we’re on our way.
    The Hagedorns of the world go to Death Valley, many feet below sea level. He stands on a rock there and offers a testimonial to all and sundry about what he sees from his perspective. His followers and their ilk, standing around him on the desert floor, ooh and aah at his visionary comments.

    Is this progress? Well, he IS standing on a rock, but he shows no inclination to get out of the desert. And desert, used here, is a great metaphor for him, for his thinking, for his followers, etc.

  18. Submitted by BK Anderson on 03/19/2020 - 09:15 am.

    Hagedorn is a monumental buffoon and ignoramus. As Obama would say, he’s proud of his ignorance. He’s parroting nonsense that was being blathered over 25 years ago and rebuffed by climate scientists a dozen times over.

    That 51% of Hagedorn’s district think this is what they need representing them in Congress tells us much more about them than anything their elected fool may vomit out. The blame does not lie with rightwing populist imbeciles like Hagedorn; he’s simply doing the white male “conservative” infotainment schtick. Instead, the blame lies with all the failed voters across his (flooded out) district.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/19/2020 - 09:42 am.

      Yeah, and his voters will hold their noses and take the “bailouts” while complaining about everyone else’s “values” and priorities. Whatever.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/19/2020 - 04:47 pm.

        Do you think they have the awareness necessary for them to hold their noses? That would imply some capacity for shame. No, they will happily take the money, all the while saying why it isn’t a handout and why they deserve it so much more than anyone else.

        • Submitted by Mark Gruben on 03/26/2020 - 12:24 am.

          Believe me, we here in the First District hold our noses when we talk about Jim Hagedorn. It’s not just that he’s a drab, dull, Republican back-bencher. Nor is it that he’s not-quite city, and not-quite country; neither fish nor fowl. And it’s not even that he carries a slop pail for Trump, ladling it out to skimpy crowds at lackluster town halls. What stinks is how Jim Hagedorn recoils at the idea of multiculturalism, smirks at the notion of diversity, and the concerns of people of color are met with indifference, if not disdain. In places like Rochester and Mankato, while generally unspoken, this aroma is unappealing, and, at times, it’s downright noxious.

  19. Submitted by Pedro San Pablo on 03/19/2020 - 07:43 pm.

    We need a national carbon tax!

  20. Submitted by Kent Fralish on 03/21/2020 - 01:49 pm.

    Please don’t ignore that Milankovitch cycles have nothing to do with climate change.
    We have not lived through one.
    How would we know what the earth’s climate by regions will be.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/24/2020 - 08:57 am.

      People, don’t ignore scientific consensus and pretend that we’re just NOW trying to recognize climate change.

  21. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 03/24/2020 - 02:19 pm.

    Hagedorn, God spoke to you but you misunderstood. He was telling you to move. Since you didn’t pay attention, He is going to speak to voters to free you up from responsibilities.

    Let me two places – either Arizona which resemble hell on earth with no water and high temperatures or Florida with too much water and high temperatures.

    With Florida you could live on an eroding beach and a newly tropical climate with all kinds of critters and evolving viruses.

    Then be strong in your faith. Maybe you will bd lucky and an angry guy with a stand your ground mentality will end your misery so you can move on to the afterlife you deserve.

    This was tongue in cheek. God is giving all of a test to see what we are made of.

  22. Submitted by Mark Gruben on 03/25/2020 - 10:27 pm.

    Hagedorn says we should just “move people around.” Oh. Of course! I’ll move to a place where there is no climate change! I’ll move to….uh. Let’s see, how about I move to…..hmm. Oh, never mind. I’ll figure it out. So, Jim, will you be telling me when I can’t live here anymore, and why? Or will I get “a sign from above” – presumably from, well, you know. As for my house, obviously, there’s no way I can sell it. If I’m being forced out, then my property is worthless. But hey; I paid for it! Am I just supposed to walk away? Or will the government buy me out? Will I get the full market value, or just what some pencil-pushing schlub in a gray suit is willing to give?

    Are my comments ridiculous? Have I made a fool of myself? Are people exchanging puzzled looks, saying “Is this guy for real?” If I were a member of Congress, would your constituents be embarrassed, wondering what good I was doing there? Doesn’t your District deserve better?

    If the answers to all of these questions is YES, then congratulations! You know just how it feels to have Jim Hagedorn as your Congressman. And you wouldn’t be alone. Because it’s a very common feeling throughout the First District. It’s just that we don’t talk about it much, After all, how many people want to talk to their neighbors about what embarrasses them?

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