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An Unfamiliar State: How Global Warming Could Change Natural Wisconsin

Wisconsin residents have a strong connection with the outdoors. Global warming, however, threatens many of the natural landscapes and outdoor activities that Wisconsin residents hold dear, including the composition and health of the state’s forests, pastimes such as ice fishing and cross-country skiing, and the future of the state’s dairy industry. An Unfamiliar State summarizes the latest scientific findings about the likely impacts of global warming on “Natural Wisconsin” and suggests ways the state can reduce the threat.

(May 2007)
Looking for Funds in All the Wrong Places: How Out-of-District Fundraising Weakens Democracy in North Carolina

Out-of-district financial contributions from special interests and wealthy individuals undermine democracy in North Carolina by reducing the influence of citizens who live in a candidate’s district. Looking for Funds in All the Wrong Places analyzes contributions to 10 powerful members of North Carolina’s Legislature during their 2006 campaigns to determine how much funding came from outside the candidates’ districts. On average, 74 percent of funding came from outside the district, including 14 percent from outside the state. North Carolina should adopt a public financing system for legislative campaigns to address this problem.

(April 2007)
Solar Water Heating: How California Can Reduce Its Dependence on Natural Gas

Solar hot water systems capture energy from the sun to heat water for homes and businesses, thereby displacing the use of natural gas, or in some cases electricity, with free and limitless solar energy. Solar Water Heating finds that increasing the use of solar hot water heaters could save California 1.2 billion therms of natural gas a year, the equivalent of 24 percent of all gas use in homes. To prevent global warming pollution, reduce dependence on imported fuel, and ease the price of natural gas, California should act now by jumpstarting a mainstream market for solar hot water.

(April 2007)
The High Cost of Nuclear Power: Why Maryland Can't Afford a Nuclear Reactor

Constellation Energy has proposed building a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Maryland. The High Cost of Nuclear Power shows that building a new reactor would be expensive, threaten public health and safety, and damage the environment. Maryland should refuse to subsidize construction of a new reactor and instead invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

(March 2007)
Energizing Michigan’s Economy: Creating Jobs and Reducing Pollution with Energy Efficiency and Renewable Electric Power

Michigan is facing serious choices about the future of its electricity system. With a growing demand for electricity, the state is considering building new coal-fired or nuclear power plants to meet its electricity needs. However, Energizing Michigan’s Economy shows that a serious program to improve the efficiency of electricity use and tap into the state’s home-grown renewable energy resources would have stronger benefits for the state economy. Such a New Energy Future would create jobs, save consumers money, stabilize energy prices, make Michigan more energy independent, reduce long-term economic and environmental risk from global warming pollution and ensure that more of Michigan’s energy dollars stay in the local economy, as opposed to paying for coal, gas and uranium from out of state.

(February 2007)