Friday, July 18, 2014

I haven't written much...

...about climate change in this blog (I haven't written about it at all) mostly because I really don't know what to make of it. To quote Marco Rubio in a different context, "I'm not a scientist, man." (This guy wants to be president -- really.)

I also don't have a strong opinion on it because, despite what you may think, I'm not a knee-jerk liberal either.

But this morning I noticed an article in the Times, "Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions," that's worth noting (my emphasis):

While other states and critics of the Obama administration have howled about complying with its proposed rule slashing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, Minnesota has been reining in its utilities’ carbon pollution for decades — not painlessly, but without breaking much of a sweat, either.

Today, Minnesota gets more of its power from wind than all but four other states, and the amount of coal burned at power plants has dropped by more than a third from its 2003 peak. And while electricity consumption per person has been slowly falling nationwide for the last five years, Minnesota’s decline is steeper than the average.

"That must be crushing the state's economy!" you might be thinking. Not really. According to Rick Haglund of the nonpartisan think tank Michigan Future, Minnesota not only has the best economy in the Great Lakes:

Minnesota is one of the top-ten best economies in the country.

Unemployment is 4.7% in Minnesota, and it hasn't had a month with double-digit employment rates since 1976. Minnesota has one of the highest percentages of adults in the labor force in the country.

Haglund goes on and on but all I can say is, thank God my 94-year-old mother isn't reading this because her head would be exploding right about now. How could someone who watches Fox "News" all day and is the biggest Minnesota booster I know possibly be expected to process this information. The article continues:

Minnesota is a high-tax and high-spending economy.

“For so long, the accepted formula is that in order to have a healthy state economy, you have to have low taxes, low spending, and right-to-work laws,” Haglund says. “Minnesota actually has turned all of that on its head.”

Ma, turn off Fox for a minute, walk outside and look around you. (And then come back in and give me the complaint du jour about the president. "It's raining outside. Thanks a lot, Obama!")

Oops! There's my phone right now. Gotta go.


Ed Crotty said...

Tuition at the University of Minnesota is also very low. In fact, Non-resident tuition @ Minnesota is almost exactly the same as in-state at the University of Illinois. So Minnesota is not just taking care of their own kids, they are bringing smart kids to Minnesota as well.

Thomas Joseph said...

Good article. Minnesota is a great place if you enjoy 46 weeks of winter. I commend them on their carbon footprint. That is a state not unlike Texas where managing their own government seems to be the correct model. Since you have scratched the surface now (on carbon emissions) I hope we can expect more from you on this subject. Let me give you a couple of topics.
How much effort has China and India given to reigning in their carbon emissions ? We all inhabit the same earth and they are actually using a lot more of it than we are.
How much environmental damage did Sadaam Hussein do when he lit those oil wells on fire in Kuwait as his army fled the country ? I know a lot o people think we shouldn't have invaded Iraq but in truth that madman should have been hanged just for the damage he did to our atmosphere and environment. Some of those oil fields burned for a year.