Got ice dams?

We see the impacts of climate change all around us: more extreme droughts, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and rainfall. These events not only impact people’s lives directly, but also cost us more for disaster assistance and insurance rates. It’s time for Minnesota to lead our country on climate policy by passing the 100 Percent Clean Energy Bill (HF-7 and SF-4).

This bill will lead to a more sustainable energy future, but what about the present? As I travel around the Twin Cities, I see many houses and buildings with ice dams. Ice dams typically result from problems inside the house. Insufficient insulation and air leaks from interior heated spaces are usually the cause. These problems can be prevented and climate impacts reduced.

Ice dams have threatened roofs throughout the Twin Cities area this winter. Photo by Brad Stauffer

A home energy audit is the first step to diagnose the problem and define ways to save energy and money. There are do-it-yourself guides from the U.S. Department of Energy, and the nonprofit Center for Energy and the Environment provides residential and commercial energy audits in the Twin Cities.

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are necessary, but let’s not forget about energy conservation. It’s not sexy, but proper building practices will reduce energy use and eliminate ice dam problems. Conservation is the most readily available and cheapest form of energy savings, carbon-emission reduction and climate change mitigation.

Terry Brueck
Merriam Park

Editor’s note: The 100 Percent Clean Energy by 2040 bill was passed by the Minnesota Legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz earlier this month.

A recipe for world peace

There was an ongoing, nudge-to-the-ribs sparring between my dad, who was raised by an Irish mother, and my mom, a first-generation Italian, about the appropriate granule to sprinkle on tomatoes. We had Italian spaghetti sauce made with salt. We had “American” spaghetti made with canned tomatoes, butter and sugar.

Oh, if all of the disagreements in life were so simple!

War is death. So come to the table. Refrain from evil. Live in peace. The prosperity of our children and the future welfare of the earth depend on it.

Mary Therese Nelson
Highland Park

Keep guns out of the wrong hands

According to recent research by Everytown for Gun Safety, 52 percent of stolen guns are taken from cars. Leaving an unsecured firearm under the seat of a car or in the glove box or console creates an opportunity for it to fall into the hands of a thief or even a child.

Along with the right to gun ownership comes the responsibility to keep guns out of the wrong hands. One important way to do that is to make sure that guns in all vehicles and homes are securely stored–locked, unloaded and with ammunition securely stored separately.

Minnesotans may obtain up to three free gun locks from the state’s Department of Public Safety. Visit

Let’s all help make our communities and kids safer by securely storing all guns in our homes and vehicles. To learn more, visit

Dr. Emily Benzie
Merriam Park

Do write, won’t you?

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