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These comments are responses to the statements listed below,
which were generated in regard to the 
Kate Gordon  Interview of

Act Now to Manage the Economic Risks of Climate Change


Kate Gordon, vice president and director of the Energy and Climate Program of Next Generation, discusses the nonprofit organization's efforts to promote solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans: the risk of dangerous climate change and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. She addresses the nature of the political fight over climate change; the different levels of climate change risk in different regions of the country; the specific nature of climate change risks inherent to agriculture, energy and sea-level rise; and the possible effects of climate change on living conditions, work and productivity.

For the complete interview summary see: Gordon interview

Response Summary: Average response ratings shown below are simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a scientifically structured poll.

To assist the Civic Caucus in planning upcoming interviews, readers rated these statements about the topic on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

1. Topic is of value. (6.9 average response) The interview summarized today provides valuable information or insight.

2. Further study warranted. (7.3 average response) It would be helpful to schedule additional interviews on this topic.

Readers rated the following points discussed during the meeting on a scale of 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (neutral) to 10 (strongly agree): 

3. Act on risks rather than debate facts. (7.0 average response) It's much better to identify and respond to potential risks in climate change than to engage in endless partisan fights over whether climate change is real.

4. Heat, humidity a health, economic risk. (5.9 average response) Possible high levels of heat, combined with humidity, could present a major health and economic risk for Minnesotans.

5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk. (6.3 average response) Not having enough power plants to meet demand for air conditioning presents a major risk for the nation.

6. Agricultural yields will vary by region. (6.7 average response) A potential drop in agricultural yields is a major risk for much of the Midwest, although yields could increase in northern-most states, including northern Minnesota.

7. Capital planning must address climate risk. (7.3 average response) one making long-term capital investments today should be incorporating climate risks in decision-making.

Response Distribution:

Strongly disagree

Moderately disagree


Moderately agree

Strongly agree

Total Responses

1. Topic is of value.







2. Further study warranted.







3. Act on risks rather than debate facts.







4. Heat, humidity a health, economic risk.







5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk.







6. Agricultural yields will vary by region.







7. Capital planning must address climate risk.







Individual Responses:

Dave Broden (10) (10) (10) (10) (7.5) (10) (10)

1. Topic is of value. A very complete and in-depth approach to climate control that applies solid analytical and logical processes to the causes and impact. Methodology and conclusions apply to other areas as well. More studies should use this technique.

2. Further study warranted. Recommend follow up with future calls to same person and also to communicate the methodology and related info to other groups and relevant topic investigation.

3. Act on risks rather than debate facts. Risk management is always an objective and well-defined discipline if basic principles are used. The challenge is to get people without risk methods backgrounds to seek to use this type of quantitative assessment when doing subjective work.

4. Heat, humidity a health, economic risk. This points out the need for awareness and the ability to adapt and adjust.

5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk. Statement is incorrect in that the power for A/C is not the issue; the issue is power for all needed purposes and the impact on A/C.

6. Agricultural yields will vary by region. Agriculture is unique in its ability to adapt, to change with new techniques and new crop varieties, etc.

7. Capital planning must address climate risk. This is simply good business sense.

Robert Jacobs (0) (0) (0) (0) (10) (0) (0)

1. Topic is of value. Climate change is the progressive buzzword for exaggerating the obvious as though something is wrong with our environment. John Adams had a saying, "One useless person is a shame, two is a law firm and three is a congress. If he were alive today he would change the latter to the Center for American Progress.

2. Further study warranted. It would be more helpful to "End the Fed" and schedule a constitutional convention to repeal all progressive amendments to our constitution, those being the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th amendments so we can regain our Republic back and become once again a nation of laws and not of progressive men "rent seeking." Rent seeking is the economic model for progressivism. It is to increase one's wealth without earning it through the normal and honorable goods and services needed for domestic tranquility.

3. Act on risks rather than debate facts. The Center for American Progress is exceedingly partisan. Progressivism is a political doctrine to which party politics is a diversion from the underlying doctrine of big government knows best.

4. Heat, humidity a health, economic risk. Welcome to Minnesota. This state is a natural watershed, so high humidity is natural and in the summer there are days were the heat and humidity combine to be unbearable. It is only natural to this state. No issue here.

5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk. Don't tax and shut the coal plants down. Inexpensive coal makes for cheaper electric bills; thus less labor is needed from the people of this state to pay expensive electric bills from green energy sources. Less labor is less energy spent making and looking for more work. Thus one trip per day to work is less gas burned than two trips to make to pay higher utility bills. Couple this with the redundancy of progressive government making for two carbon footprints [where] one will do. Has the Center for American Progress sought the statistics as to what the federal governments carbon footprint is coupled with the individuals increased efforts to pay excessive tax burdens?

6. Agricultural yields will vary by region. There is an old saying... If it ain't broke then don't fix it. Potential does not mean it is broke. Risky business is when you get into guessing instead of knowing. Viewing the world from a desk is not the correct model to reality.

7. Capital planning must address climate risk. Obviously the verdict is in. The progressive will go ahead with viewing the world from a model conceived from a desk. Our nation is bankrupt, over taxed, over regulated and industry is leaving this country like rats from a sinking ship and the progressive is clueless to the fact that he shot himself in the foot. John Adams was right.

Anonymous 1 (0) (10) (0) (0) (0) (5) (0)

1. Topic is of value. Pretty heavy on propaganda, questionable assumptions and predetermined conclusions.

2. Further study warranted. Contrary viewpoints are required

3. Act on risks rather than debate facts. It is insane to discuss risks and responses in the absence of actual understanding of climate physics.

7. Capital planning must address climate risk. Catastrophic AGW likely will be one of the greatest scientific frauds in world history.

Lyall Schwarzkopf (7.5) (7.5) (10) (5) (7.5) (7.5) (7.5)

Don Anderson (5) (5) (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5) (5)

John Rollwagen (10) (10) (10) (10) (5) (7.5) (10)

1. Topic is of value. I agree that climate change is taking place, but more importantly, that the best way to deal with it at all levels is with exactly the kind of risk analysis Gordon is talking about. It is fact based and should lead to pragmatic solutions.

2. Further study warranted. Who is doing climate risk analysis here in Minnesota? Obviously, Cargill is.

3. Act on risks rather than debate facts. How can anyone debate true facts anyway?

5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk. Seems like there are more significant risks to deal with.

Dennis L. Johnson (5) (10) (0) (0) (2.5) (2.5) (7.5)

1. Topic is of value. I would like to know who is funding her organization. This climate change issue is more a political question than a climate question and her position needs to be judged in that context.

2. Further study warranted. The issue of climate change presumes global warming, which has thus far not been proven, at least to my satisfaction. After almost two decades of no warming, the overwhelming propaganda for warming remains pervasive, yet rebuttals are limited to less prominent media. Our ice caps are increasing, polar bears are thriving, and arguments against warming are persuasive.

3. Act on risks rather than debate facts. Risks are not nearly as certain as proponents would have us believe. The risks of global terrorism, administrative incompetence, and misapplication of government controls are far greater.

4. Heat, humidity a health, economic risk. If anything, warming benefits would outweigh any harmful effects on Minnesota. Americans now survive in many warmer and more humid states without serious ill effects.

5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk. Power plants can be built quickly and successfully, when and if warming occurs, much more cheaply than trying to prevent warming in a world that will not or cannot deal with warming regardless.

6. Agricultural yields will vary by region. Farmers are amazingly resourceful and it will be much more cost-effective to adapt to climate change, if it occurs, than to prevent the change. Crops can be changed, methods can be changed, and crops can be altered to adapt if warming does occur.

7. Capital planning must address climate risk. Anything can happen, and considering risks is always prudent, but I think this is a lesser risk than many other future probabilities.

Any further discussion on climate change should not proceed until the caucus has heard from a well-credentialed skeptic of global warming.

Pat Barnum (2.5) (0) (2.5) (0) (2.5) (5) (0)

Phil Kinnunen (10) (10) (5) (5) (10) (10) (10)

3. Act on risks rather than debate facts. At this time the "facts" are still not qualified. The real questions remain: If climate change is real, is man really contributing to it? If so, what can we do to minimize that effect? That leaves the question, if climate change is real and man is not contributing to it, what can be done? In my mind the latter is the more important and practical approach. Being good stewards of the environment should always be the rule and partisanship has no place, but we must still have the discussion about "how are we going to pay for this".

4. Heat, humidity a health, economic risk. "Possible high levels", come on, that's not a way to win converts. The fear and vagueness factor has to be removed and replaced with the practical "it's a good idea to be prepared for this" approach.

5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk. This comes back to the above approach, "is your family/business prepared for power interruptions?" A very good incentive for solar collector and better storage battery technology, as well as geothermal, which would be automatically built into new home/business construction. This along with new power plants that are located closer to urban areas to decrease transmission distances.

6. Agricultural yields will vary by region. If this in fact happens, it will be on a global scale and will lead to violent, state based conflict. Here in the US, people and regions will have to be prepared for large shifts in population relocation. Canada will be a destination of choice for many.

7. Capital planning must address climate risk. The bottom line should include climate risk. It really is no different than a new father spending a few more dollars on better tires and the best child seats. You don't buy these things because [you know you] are going to have and accident.

Jan Hively (10) (7.5) (10) (5) (5) (5) (10)

1. Topic is of value. Valuable information that I will share with others.

David Dillon (10) (5) (10) (5) (5) (5) (10)

Vici Oshiro (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)

5. Insufficient power for A/C a major risk. Strong argument for more solar and wind power generated locally.

7. Capital planning must address climate risk. This is just a part of the issue, one appropriate for Civic Caucus. We need widespread discussion of other issues including changes in our economy, housing patterns, and more. Thank you for planning this conversation on these issues.

Paul Hauge (10) (10) (8) (8) (7) (8) (8)

A critical area for discussion and action at both the government and private areas. There will always be naysayers so we should simply move on with constructive debate and action.

Tom Spitznagle (4) (8) (5) (6) (5) (5) (5)

The climate changes; that's what the climate does.  The science of why and how it changes is highly complex and still under development per my environmentalist friends.  It is astonishing how some folks can predict with precision what the climate will be and the associated impacts in one or even two hundred years from now.

Wayne Jennings (10) (9) (10) (9) (10) (9) (10)

Gordon identified critical issues for business and the public to debate. Her approach shortcuts tiresome discussions about [whether] there is climate change. Short and long-range planning and actions are necessary. We need to talk about this more in order to engage a broader audience.

Chuck Lutz (8) (10) (8) (9) (8) (8) (9)

David Detert (6) (2) (10) (9) (9) (10) (10)

Roger A Wacek (na) (na) (10) (5) (0) (5) (10)


The Civic Caucus   is a non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics and business. Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay, Pat Davies, Bill Frenzel, Paul Gilje (coordinator), Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie, Dan Loritz (chair),
Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, John Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow, Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman

The Civic Caucus, 01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.
Dan Loritz, chair, 612-791-1919   ~   Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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