New MN climate report a warning

As Minnesotans, our health is in jeopardy, and the threat will only become worse if we continue to live the way we are living, according to a new report from the state health department.

“Serious consequences” have become apparent as measurable changes continue to progress throughout Minnesota, according to the new 2015 Minnesota Climate and Health Profile Report.

The report elaborates on our seemingly unpredictable rainfall trends while also highlighting the shifting “hazard-impact pathways” like air pollution, droughts, heat and diseases stemming from a changing climate.

Essentially, if reports like this are taken seriously by policy makers, harm-reduction can begin as soon as possible. Last year, a similar report studied which segments of the population located in different counties were the most vulnerable to climate change. With two reports outlining specific threats and recommending specific actions, we have been forewarned.

This report comes during a burgeoning political standstill. In 2007, former Gov. Tim Palenty signed the Next Generation Energy Act, which proclaimed that the state would lower its carbon dioxide gas emissions 15 percent by 2015. Minnesota is nowhere near achieving that goal.

With a Republican controlled House and some members still effectively denying that human-caused climate change exists, progress toward enacting policies will be difficult to ensure.

We urge policy makers, public health professionals and University of Minnesota faculty and students to take seriously the facts that are being presented to us. There is only so much time left we can keep on stalling.