J. Drake Hamilton

"Global climate change is real and it's happening now. The good news about climate change is that we know many of the things we can do to slow down the problem. However there are already so many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trapping heat, that we're committed to some change in climate, some of it is inevitable, so we'll have to adjust to some of those changes. However, we can decide what kind of climate we want Minnesota to have in the next 50-100 years by deciding how many greenhouse gases we're putting into the atmosphere. Very fortunately in Minnesota there's a law that says that every electric utility company has to offer every one of its customers the opportunity to buy clean, renewable energy. They often call this 'green power.' Talk to your electric utility company and ask them how you can buy green power and you'll often be investing in windpower that supports Minnesota farmers and does not produce any greenhouse gases that are causing climate change. So that's one really simple very effective way that people can make a difference.

"Also, when it comes time to buy your next car, buy one that gets higher fuel economy. That will result in fewer greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere. But probably most important is asking government and business leaders to take the initiative to stop and roll back the amount of greenhouse gases that we're putting into the atmosphere. This doesn't mean that the economy needs to suffer, quite the opposite. In Minnesota many of the industries that will develop to fight global warming-the windpower industry, using plant materials from farms to provide liquid fuels like gasoline and ethanol, and solid fuels that can produce electricity-will benefit our local economies, make us money, make farmers money and will also help clean up the environment."