Global Temp ChangeDo you think that climate change is something to be concerned about?

Yes.  Even though scientists may disagree about the causes and extent of global climate change, it is difficult to deny that the planet’s climate is warming.  The trend in temperature rise is causing weather extremes and environmental changes locally, such as four feet of snow in Northern Minnesota in April and flooding beyond any prior recorded levels in Iowa, as well as around the globe, such as the ice mass loss on the Antarctic Peninsula, worldwide glacier retreat, rising ocean levels, and melting Arctic sea ice.

The fact that our global environment is changing should be a cause for concern worldwide for every individual who cares about what kind of world we leave behind for our children.

Are you going to change anything about your lifestyle?

  • I have reduced my use of fossil fuels by
    • Commuting by bicycle when possible
    • Decreasing lawnmower use by 70%
    • Maximizing gas mileage while maintaining safe driving practices
    • Turning the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer
    • Minimizing electricity use in my home
  • I am refusing
    • To purchase environmentally costly plastic containered products, such as bottled water
    • The use of petroleum produced plastic grocery bags – green bags instead
    • The purchase of more “stuff” – time to downsize the toy category
    • Junk mail by using organizations that limit the ridiculous influx of unnecessary propaganda
    • To purchase domestic meat products – wild game instead
    • The use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides
  • I am reducing
    • The amount of paper products I use
    • The amount of unnecessary refuse in my waste water – even though I have a septic system
  • I am reusing
    • Water bottles
    • Paper products
    • Clothing
    • Ammunition
  • I am recycling even more conscientiously than previous to this course
  • I am planning
    • A greener property with native plant restoration
    • Research into renewable personal energy sources
    • To purchase more locally grown and organically grown produce
    • To purchase more environmentally friendly toiletries and cleaning products
    • To purchase more previously owned products – if purchase is necessary
    • Building a greener, more environmentally friendly home

The list can and will be longer, but this is a good start!

Thoughts on “Global Climate Change and its Impacts on Minnesota”

NebraskaOur latest reading for comment in People and the Environment, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website’s analysis and outlook in “Global Climate Change and its Impact on Minnesota”, starts the imagination running.  Our planet is getting warmer.  True.  Climate change has happened before in the Earth’s history, but this is the first time it has been influenced by human society.

The first paragraph beyond the summary of Governor Pawlenty’s 2006 introduction of his Next Generation Energy Initiative sets you up for the facts and hypothesis to come:

While some scientists may disagree about the causes and extent of global climate change, few doubt that the Earth’s climate is warming.  Some University of Minnesota researchers predict that if trends continue, Minnesota could look a lot like Nebraska in the coming years.

Nebraska?  Part of what was once termed the Great American Desert?  This reminds me of a line from the film Unforgiven, in which Gene Hackman’s character Little Bill Daggett says:

Hell, I even thought I was dead ’til I found out it was just that I was in Nebraska.

Now, I don’t mean to be making light of a very serious subject, but there is good reason for my sarcasm.  For the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Land of Sky-Blue Waters, and the North Woods, or as I affectionately call it, God’s Country, to become predominantly grassland and savanna drastic changes would have to occur.

This is mostly speculation of course, no one can say for certain what our future holds, but to imagine that all this change is possible in our children’s lifetime is difficult to fathom.  Yet it is a very real possibility.  We are risking the odds of our future on a cultural game of chance.

Trying to imagine what would become of the infrastructure of our local society, environment, and ecosystem, what we are familiar with, helps bring the broader view into focus.  If I said your children’s environment would resemble very little to nothing of your own, an environment you have chosen, love, and cherish, yet the geographical location remained the same, would you make the personal choices necessary to curb the imminent changes?