Clean water is at the heart of summertime fun for many Minnesotans. We swim at a favorite creek, fish in a nearby river, sail or kayak on the lake, or simply hike along a beautiful stream. As the summer draws to a close, Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center’s second annual Summer Fun Index provides a numerical snapshot of people engaging in water activities.
Wetlands are more than just scenic parts of America’s natural landscape. They are also home to wildlife and perform many vital functions that protect the health of our waterways and communities. Of crucial importance for our towns and cities, wetlands also offer flood protection by absorbing large amounts of water that may fall during a storm before releasing it slowly into the environment.
As a result of global warming, young Americans today are growing up in a different climate than their parents and grandparents experienced. It is warmer than it used to be. Storms pack more of a punch. Rising seas increasingly flood low-lying land. Large wildfires have grown bigger, more frequent and more expensive to control. People are noticing changes in their own backyards, no matter where they live.
American wind power already produced enough energy in 2013 to power 15 million homes. Continued, rapid development of wind energy would allow the renewable resource to supply 30 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030, providing more than enough carbon reductions to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
As international leaders prepare for the United Nations Climate Summit next week in New York, a new study shows America’s power plants dump as much carbon pollution into the air any other country’s entire economy except China. Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center pointed to the report as evidence for why the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants is a critical step in the international fight against global warming.