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Among other effects, this leaves the lake more open to evaporation and a drop in average water level, he said.
Global climate change "is not some esoteric problem in a far-off land," Austin said. "Rates of change in Lake Superior are some of the largest seen on Earth."
"Maybe we can lead them"
Steger told conferees that "America is at a tipping point," where it can either act to change current trends or see the underpinnings of its civilization start to crumble. He said ordinary people need to realize the connection between climate change and such things as their retirement savings and way of life.
"What's at stake here is really the economy," Steger said. "Civilization is based on the infrastructure of a stable climate."
Pawlenty, who wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state 80 percent by the year 2050, expressed disappointment that more steps aren't being taken on the national level, and he challenged individuals, communities, and states to show the way.
"Maybe we can lead them [the federal government] or even shame them into action," Pawlenty said. "It'll become de facto national policy."
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AFTER THE FANFARE
Gov. Pawlenty asked the State Department to check whether an Indian company buying a Minnesota steel plant is doing business with Iran. B5
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