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Melting the Arctic: Causes and victims

By Don Shelby

Conference on Arctic
There was a conference this past week at the Humphrey Institute, co-sponsored by the Will Steger Foundation, the Canadian government and the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment. I attended with the kind of sadness that one attends the bedside of a dying friend. It never helps when the doctors put their hands on your shoulder and say, with conviction: "You know your friend, here. He's going to be dead soon." Is there nothing you can do? "Not really," says the doctor. "Just get used to it, and prepare."

The Canadian consul general for the Upper Midwest, headquartered in Minnesota, is Martin Loken. He is proud of Canada's efforts to ward off the climate change that comes with global warming.

"We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020," he told me. "Here is a little known fact: 78 percent of Canada's electricity comes from non-emitting power sources." Most of that is hydro-electric, with some nuclear, and he said, "Solar and wind is coming along."

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Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
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