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On This Earth Day, A Whole Lot Of Education Needed

Category: Environment
Posted: 04/22/15 00:29, Edited: 04/22/15 00:32

by Dave Mindeman

http://www.mnpact.org/sblog/upload/earth%20day.jpg

It is Earth Day. Let's hope we can still be celebrating this well into the future. But if any changes are going to occur, I think this country is going to need a shift in educational perceptions.

A Yale Climate Opinion study in 2014 gave us a little more nuanced look into the way Americans view climate change -- and they broke it down by state.

The interactive map can be viewed here....

A number of things were disappointing in the survey.

While 63% do believe that global warming is happening...only 48% attribute it to human activity. Unless we accept the fact that we have culpability in this problem, there isn't much likelihood that we will make the sacrifices necessary to find a solution.

What is somewhat surprising is that although Texas and Minnesota have an equal belief (63%) that global warming is happening, Texas actually has a slightly higher acceptance that it is man-made (49% TX - 48% MN) The MN number there is quite surprising...and extremely disappointing.

And here is an even more discouraging note - only 41% of Americans believe that most scientists have a consensus on climate change. 34% believe that there is quite a bit of disagreement. I find that astonishing.

The misinformation has been effective.

The urgency of the situation is also questioned by most people. Only 34% believe that climate change can harm "me" personally; yet, 61% will concede that future generations will be affected.

Still, it seems, the lack of personal effects reduces the willingness to confront the problem.

On this Earth Day, I think it is necessary to take stock of the education needed to make this particular generation understand what is at stake. This is not about our own comfort level or effects - it is about what we leave for the future. And frankly, that is the near future as we watch the predictions begin to take hold.
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Speaker Daudt Pulls Ominous Move in Removal Of Rep. Wagenius

Category: Environment
Posted: 12/18/14 19:10

by Dave Mindeman

In an ominous move by soon to be Speaker Daudt, Rep. Jean Wagenius was kept off of the Environmental House Committee - even though she was the recommended Democratic lead by Minority Leader Paul Thissen.

Wagenius has a wealth of experience on the environmental front. First elected in 1986, she was the chair of the Environmental Committee during the previous session, but has now been blocked from even being on the committee.

Her new committee assignments will consist of Ways and Means which she has been on before and Capital Investment, where she has not served before.

I'm not sure I like the message that the new Speaker is sending here. Environmental policy is a complicated animal. Tossing away a legislator with over 2 decades of experience in environmental public policy has the look of a deliberate change in public policy.

Rep. Denny McNamara will chair this committee - not exactly a friend of the environment. Look for some restriction easing in regards to standards for sulfides in the water table and other Polymet favorable changes.

Rep. Wagenius would be a leadership voice and a strong counter argument for environmental changes. Apparently Speaker Daudt has decided that her expertise and experience are no longer required.

The last time the GOP moved as a majority on environment with a bill in 2011, Rep. Wagenius had this to say....

"For Minnesotans who value our clean waters, this is going to leave a very bad aftertaste," said Wagenius. "The Republicans are gutting the funds used to protect drinking water sources and neglecting a core government responsibility to ensure we are keeping our natural resources clean and protected for the next generation."

I guess with thoughts like that, Rep. Wagenius needs to take her opinions elsewhere.

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Climate Change = It's Now Irreversible

Category: Environment
Posted: 11/06/14 15:00

by Dave Mindeman

Climate deniers and Sen. Inhofe can skip all this, because they will refuse to accept it - but this does concern me. A statement from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)....you remember, those pesky scientists.....

The Earth is locked on an "irreversible" course of climatic disruption from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the impacts will only worsen unless nations agree to dramatic cuts in pollution, an international panel of climate scientists warned Sunday.

That's an attention getting word - "irreversible". The crux of the matter is that we cannot reverse the damage anymore. All we can do is slow down the damage to the point that we will have a chance to adapt to the changes.

We have crossed a line....and we cannot fix it anymore.

As I examined election information yesterday, it was worth noting that 12% of the electorate was under 30....just 12%. Climate changes will have some effect on my generation, but we probably won't have to make a lot of significant lifestyle changes.

But young people will. This is their future being affected. And unless they begin to choose to participate in elections, then they will abdicate all the decisions regarding climate to a generation that has damaged it beyond repair.

Please all of you that have a long future ahead of you -- THINK ABOUT IT AND PLEASE ACT.
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