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Editorial: Time to plan for climate change

Published 8:32am Friday, November 30, 2012

Daily Herald editorial

If you need more proof of the importance of environmental policy, look no further than Lake Superior.

An Associated Press story showed how the Great Lakes were shrinking, causing heavy economic decline for towns situated on each body of water. In other words, drought, rising temperatures and a lack of support for dredging nearby lakes are causing towns in nearby states no lack of trouble. Lake Superior’s water shortage is nowhere near as bad as Lake Michigan or Lake Erie, but the lake that touches Minnesota has a lower water level than the historical average, something that occurs with all too much regularity.

From the state of our rivers and lakes to superstorms like Hurricane Sandy, there’s mounting evidence that all is not well with our environment. Global climate change is, unfortunately, backed up by enough studies and evidence that our leaders need to pay attention to the way we consume natural resources.

How would Duluth fare if Lake Superior slowly dripped away? How will our farmers make up for lost crops due to more heat and less rain? What systems, programs and checks are in place to stop natural disasters from causing millions of dollars worth of damage every year?

Austin is no stranger to environmental troubles, with a series of strong 50- and 100-year floods in recent memory spurring a massive set of flood mitigation projects for at least the next decade.

Yet our state and federal lawmakers need to consider conservation and climate change efforts as serious issues, especially in light of recent scientific evidence which suggests global warming is occuring faster than we anticipated. It’s time to take a look at what we can do for Mother Nature, lest she wilt away and leave society up the proverbial creek.


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  • disqus_WgIh0F56ps

    Global warming? Weather goes in cycles, just ask any one over the age of 80. They have seen it all drought, floods, super storms.

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  • Bob

    No global warming for past 16 years according the British government’s meteorology office.

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  • Bob
  • Bob

    The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures
    This means that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released–chart-prove-it.html#ixzz2DjVJq3pB
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  • Bob

    Global warming is as much of a fraud as “peak oil.”

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  • Bob

    Anecdotes are not data…

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  • pashusa

    The cause of climate change may be debated but it is hard to argue that the global temperature is on an upward swing.
    A report released in 2011 by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization shows how National Parks in the Great Lakes region are already suffering from the impacts of climate disruption, and are set to suffer more. The report, ‘Great Lakes National Parks in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption’, focuses on the five largest Parks on the Great Lakes.

    There were five major impacts discussed the study, these were, higher temperatures, less winter ice cover, erosion of shorelines and dunes, loss of wildlife, and loss of birds. Some of these impacts occurred at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior, along with major population declines for the moose (50 percent) and wolves. The tick that causes Lyme disease made its first known appearance in the park, This tick had not spread that far north before because of cool temperatures. Higher temperatures have also contributed to botulism outbreaks and thousands of bird deaths at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Park, and a 15 percent decrease in winter ice cover on the lakes between the 1970′s and 2009. The report predicts a 3.6 to 4.6 degree average temperature increase by 2040 to 2069 at Isle Royale and Apostle Islands if carbon emissions continue at their current rate. you can see the report here: http://www.rockymountainclimate.org/images/GreatLakesParksInPeril.pdf

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    • disqus_WgIh0F56ps

      Yea, don’t worry we will still have the Great Lakes and ice 100 years from now. If you go back to the study’s of the early 80′s we would have no ozone and be burnt to a crisp by now. The funny thing about study’s are you can find whatever you want to believe !!

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