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Minnesotans Encouraged To Address Global Warming Solutions

October 26, 2007

St. Paul, MN – A series of statewide meetings focusing on global warming gets underway this weekend. J. Drake Hamilton with Fresh Energy says while it's a worldwide issue, a lot can be done on the local level.

"We want to get a lot more people engaged in coming up with innovative entrepreneurial solutions to global warming, on a community-wide basis."

She says the goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, the level scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts on climate, wildlife and crops. Even simple energy-saving habits -- such as turning off TVs, cell phone chargers and computers when not in use, turning out lights when leaving a room, and washing clothes in cold water -- can make a difference.

Minnesotan Will Steger, a polar explorer, is participating in the sessions to share his firsthand experience with melting ice caps. He says he's seen the consequences of global warming, but is optimistic we can deal with it.

"Once people catch on to what's happening, they really start interacting on the community level. We need to be leaders and develop technologies based on wind and other forms of energy. The world is looking for the United States to lead, for a change. I have a lot of faith in the human spirit."

Governor Pawlenty appointed Steger and Hamilton to serve on the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group, to develop policies for reducing the state's global warming emissions by a third by 2025.

The first session is Sunday in Duluth, with others to follow in Sauk Rapids, Minneapolis, Albert Lea, Rochester, Moorhead and Mankato.

Details about the individual meetings is online at www.fresh-energy.org. Additional material, from the Will Steger Coalition, can be found at www.globalwarming101.com.

Jim Wishner/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MN