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Climate change is real, it’s going to accelerate

By John Weiss

The Post-Bulletin

After telling resource managers that global climate change is real and it’s going to accelerate, J. Drake Hamilton cautioned them about being too pessimistic.

"The situation is not hopeless, it’s not a forgone conclusion," said the science policy director for Fresh Energy, a St. Paul group promoting better ways to fuel our lives. She spoke at the annual meeting of the Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee in Red Wing last month.

If you tell people it’s hopeless, "the obvious human reaction is the shutdown," she told state and federal resource managers. "You have to show people there are solutions."

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A recent FOX News poll showed 77 percent of Americans believe the change is happening and of those, 46 percent think it’s caused by humans and 17 percent think it’s normal. Another 30 percent say it’s a combination. Only 45 percent believe they can do anything to stop the warming, the poll found. But most Americans are already doing something, such as buying energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.

Some solutions people can do in their daily lives include:

  • Use Energy Star-recommended compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Insulate and weatherstrip your home.
  • Buy Energy Star-recommended appliances or home electronics with the "Energy Star" symbol. To learn more, go to www.energystar.gov.
  • Walk, ride a bike, take the bus when you can. Combine errands into one trip.
  • Drive your car efficiently. (Driving the speed limit makes a big difference).
  • Buy the most fuel-efficient car you can. (The fuel economy rating is the most important thing to look for. You don’t need to pay extra for a hybrid.)
  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water.
  • Turn off lights and computers when not in use.
  • Eat local food — Shop at the farmers market. Support a local farm, save on food transportation costs and enjoy better tasting food.
  • Recycle more.
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