Homeowner insurance rates have seen double-digit annual increases for the past decade, according to the Minnesota Insurance Federation. Blame it on intense storms like the one that hit Duluth two years ago this month, causing massive flooding and damage. It was a once-a-century event. At least three such events have hit southern Minnesota this decade alone.

“We’re already incurring costs from climate change so it’s not a question of whether we’re going to start spending money because of carbon pollution. We’re already spending money by not cutting carbon pollution. Certainly Duluth has seen that in spades. … The risk with global warming is you’re putting more carbon in the air, which traps more heat, so you’re kind of super-charging the atmosphere, so the storms are (more intense and happen more often). The amount of precipitation across the state hasn’t changed much, but more of it is coming in heavy downpours.”

J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director for Fresh Energy, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that advocates for clean and efficient energy alternatives, in an interview this month with the News Tribune Opinion page