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Global Warming Report Hits Shores in MA

February 5, 2007

A new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirms the possibility of a sea level rise along the Massachusetts coast, the result of more frequent flooding due to global warming. Paul Kirshen, engineering professor and climate change researcher at Tufts University, says expect a one-foot rise.

"The question now is when it's going to occur, whether it will be by the year 2050, or by 2100."

Kirshen says that's the not-so-distant future, and such a rise could cost coastal communities tens of billions of dollars.

As Congress prepares to tackle the global warming issue, experts say there's a lot Massachusetts can do. In fact, Brian Thurber of the group Clean Water Action says Massachusetts shouldn't wait for the federal government to take action, when the state can take the lead.

"In Massachusetts right now, we have a really critical opportunity to reduce our global warming pollution with measures like energy efficiency and renewable energy. It's really up to us as citizens to put public officials' feet to the fire."

One Massachusetts group already has been developing state legislation for cleaner energy. Cape Clean Air founder Chuck Kleekamp says a switch to wind power is one potential option.

"I'm not suggesting that wind power can supply 100 percent of our requirements, but it can certainly supply 20 percent of them, as it does in Denmark and other areas of Europe right now."

Kleecamp adds at this point, a major wind farm in our area could be operational in four years.

Kevin Clay/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - MA