The weather has taken a turn for the better; I think we can all agree on that.

It was one tough summer, what with the smoke and the heat and the drought. For a while there, northern Minnesota, our refuge, was less than hospitable. Merciless, maybe. Or angry. Some of us wondered, can I live here? Something had changed.

But now, amidst the greening lawns and rebirth of flowers, we find new life. Parts of the country, of course, aren’t there yet: hurricanes tear through the South; wildfires torch the West and floods ravage the East. It’s the new normal, we’re told. Climate change is here. Learn to live with it.

In the midst of all this the Republicans in the Minnesota Senate maneuver to stymie the Walz administration’s “Clean Car” initiative, arguing that the rules come from bureaucrats in California and that we are the only state in the Midwest looking to adopt them.

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Well, my friends, leaders get out front in times of crisis -- and combating climate change is the challenge of our lifetime. It’ll make this COVID thing look like small potatoes, and there won’t be a vaccine.

California’s burning and the people that live there -- most of them, anyway -- support the measures enacted by their governor and legislature. They understand that their vehicles -- like ours -- account for nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions.

But Minnesota can burn, too. And we aren’t that far from North Dakota. There’s no guarantee our forests will be here in 30 years. Why are we arguing about “bureaucrats”?

Want to help? Contact your state legislators and encourage them to support the “Clean Car” rules. It looks like Line 3 is going to be replaced, but we don’t have to use the oil.

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