Rain now comes down in torrential downpours, ticks survive our milder winters, and Lake Superior is experiencing algae blooms; we see the undeniable effects of climate change all around us. As a native Minnesotan who worries about my children’s future, I was pleased to attend a presentation to Minnetonka’s City Council on climate change. The presenters asked the Council to create a sustainability commission and to commit to 100% clean energy by 2030. The presenters? Minnetonka High School students frustrated by adults’ inaction on the climate crisis.
The mayor expressed concerns about the cost of such a plan, but the cost of inaction — just like home maintenance — will likely be much more costly than any plan to slow climate change. The council approved a small first step by opting into Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy program, but we need more than baby steps like the Xcel plan. Scientists say we have 10 years to prevent catastrophic climate change, and Minnesota has been documented to be among the states heating up the fastest. Now is the time for us to act; we can’t keep kicking the can down the road. The risk of doing more than needed? Cleaner air and water, more trees, to name a few; not so bad.
Since the students gave their detailed, well thought-out presentation, more Minnetonka residents, business owners and churches have joined the call to ask the City Council to create both a Sustainability Commission, consisting of council members, community volunteers and students, and a Climate Action Plan.
A few benefits:
- Efficiency programs will save the city and residents money
- Community collaboration will result in real actions to mitigate climate change
- Youth involvement in city government will help create our next leaders
The time is now, and Minnetonka City Council has that option. Ask your council member to vote this September to establish a Sustainability Commission and enact a Climate Action Plan. Please protect our children’s future: urge your council member to vote yes on this issue today.