The money earned from investing lottery profits has funded, among other things, science projects that will protect Minnesota’s natural resources. The House Republicans cut many of the science projects from the recommendations made by the Minnesota Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources. Eight of the projects that were cut made advances in solar or otherwise acknowledged climate change.
I was part of a press conference today that highlighted the projects that the Republicans cut that would help Minnesota prepare for climate change:
A University of MN proposal to develop less expensive, more efficient solar cells using a new material, and putting it on a medium that can be rolled.
Another U proposal takes satellite data through the U’s super computer to produce high resolution climate model projections for each 3 mile by 3 mile area for the entire state enabling Minnesota to prepare for anticipated local changes in climate.
Another U proposal would develop a technology that will absorb and store thermal energy so it can be used during cloudy days or at night.
The Center For Energy and Environment proposes to analyze how distributed clean energy could replace the need for, or defer, expensive transmission lines.
Two proposals from the University of MN at Morris: one would evaluate solar for the dairy industry; the other would develop robotic weed control systems that can be manufactured by Minnesota companies.
Another U proposal would create an energy storage guide for renewable energy that would be easy for community-scale generators to use.
Finally a proposal by the Will Stegner group would continue their statewide work to educate youth about Minnesota’s climate and its impact on our natural resources.
The message of our press conference was this: don’t leave Minnesota unprepared for the future and falling behind others states because it is easier to ignore climate change than to problem solve.