Scientists urge states and Congress to ratify Great Lakes Compact
By Mike Simonson and Danielle Kaeding
KUWS Radio (WI)
Posted November 28, 2007
A new report released Tuesday on climate change says global warming will also heat up the Great Lakes. Danielle Kaeding has the story.
Scientists and state representatives agree that global warming is a real threat it poses to the Great Lakes. Michigan environmental law professor Noah Hall says the laws designed to protect the lakes is inadequate. He says more must be done. “Climate change is going to bring warmer temperatures to the Great Lakes region, as much as an average of nine degrees Fahrenheit. It’s going to reduce lake levels. For example, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron’s lake levels may drop as much as four and a half feet.” National Wildlife Federation Water Manager Molly Flanagan says the best way to deal with global warming is by passing the Great Lakes Compact. “The compact attempts to address all of these concerns by prohibiting water diversion, putting into place a water management system for use of the water within the Great Lakes Basin, and allow for adaptive management in the face of changing science and circumstance anticipated by global warming.” NWF Regional senior manager Zoe Lipman says the compact is a good start, but environmental policies also need to address the source of climate change. “Federal legislation is being debated now in Congress, which would cap global warming pollution and reduce it gradually but steadily. These bills will cut greenhouse gas pollution by about 2% a year. Those small feasible steps add up to an 80% cut by 2050—the level scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.” Congress will take up the Great Lakes Compact once all seven Great Lakes states adopt the measure. Wisconsin and Ohio are the only states that haven’t introduced legislation on the compact this year.