Thursday, January 3, 2008

Changing Climate Change

KAXE member, Gordon Prickett, is a member of the Aitkin County Water Planning Task Force. This essay first appeared in a recent edition of the Aitkin Independent Age.

Something happened last year. Even before the "UN Bali Climate Conference" showed up in the December news. The year 2007 featured severe ice storms and floods. Wildfires, drought, and mudslides increased on the North American continent.

We saw strange weather patterns, and migrating birds changed their destinations. Even a federal administration that won't end a war could end a campaign of climate-change denial that Exxon had already stopped funding. Maybe the globe was warming and just maybe human activity was a factor.

With a daughter and a son working at jobs in storm water management and biodiversity conservation, respectively, I paid attention to the news from Indonesia about the two-week conference on global climate change. More than 10,000 participants from 187 nations were meeting to frame the response that much of the world now knows is urgently needed.

Healthy climate, dead planet?
Our son was quoted recently (NY Times, Dec. 23) from Indonesia about biodiversity and species extinction. Just as the world outside of the American White House is realizing the urgency of global climate change, here is something more to think about:The world is rightly focused on climate change. But if we don't have a strategy for reducing global carbon emissions and preserving biodiversity, we could end up in a very bad place, like the crazy rush into corn ethanol and palm oil for biodiesel, without enough regard for their impact on the natural world."If we don't plan well, we could find ourselves with a healthy climate on a dead planet," said Glenn Prickett, senior vice president of Conservation International.We the peopleWe the people can still speak and act and bring change.
On Feb. 5, some of our Minnesota neighbors will travel to the 7 p.m. political party caucuses at locations announced in newspapers and available from county auditors, locally, 218-927-7354.In this grassroots action a few hundred of us in Aitkin County will help choose the delegates who will nominate the next U.S. President. If you are not there Feb. 5th, don't bother to complain about the choice in November.This still is a democratic country with a republican form of government. So ask the candidates who will be your delegates how they will protect our waters, our climate and our life forms.

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