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Task Force Makes Suggestions about Global Warming

Task Force Makes Suggestions about Global Warming


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John Hollenhorst ReportingGlobal warming is for real, human activity is likely causing most of it, and it could mean serious consequences for Utah. The Governor's office released those scientific conclusions today, along with recommendations for doing something about the problem.

The governor appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Climate Change more than a year ago. They in turn asked climate experts for a scientific report. But whether you believe the conclusions in their final report issued today, the Task Force is asking you to be part of the solution.

Is the earth's climate warming up? The science report for the Governor's Blue Ribbon Task Force says, "There is no longer any scientific doubt... There is very high confidence that human-generated increases in greenhouse gas concentrations are responsible for most of the global warming observed during the past 50 years."

Dianne Nielson, the governor's energy policy adviser, says, "And that if we don't turn that around, there will be serious adverse consequences that we won't be able to easily mitigate in the future."

Trends in Utah include less snow, shorter winters and more heat waves. Utah is expected to warm more than the global average and faces the prospect of severe and prolonged droughts.

The governor's energy policy adviser says not everyone on the panel agrees with the science report they commissioned, but she hopes the focus will be on the panel's recommendations.

"You can implement the recommendations in this report, even if you don't believe in climate change," Nielson said.

At the M.H.T.N. architectural firm, they're already heading in the direction of the task force recommendations. They're designing buildings to be energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly and, often, money-saving.

Bryce Jones, president of M.H.T.N. Architects, says, "Simple things like orientation of building, and wise choices with mechanical and lighting systems pay big returns over a long period of time."

It may be the first architecture firm in Utah to hire a full-time environmental expert to provide input on every building design.

Kyle Taft, with M.H.T.N. Architects, says, "A lot of it is energy efficiency to the degree that we can reduce the amount of energy that we use, we reduce our carbon footprint on the planet."

The Governor's task force has dozens of recommendations. They range across such widely diverse realms as forest management and tax programs, building codes and power plant design.

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