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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Poll on climate change shows some in ND yet to be convinced

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Friday, February 23, 2024   

North Dakota voters are divided on climate change matters, according to new polling data. To get more community buy-in for climate solutions, a University of North Dakota professor says, local leaders can fine-tune their messaging.

In the North Dakota News Cooperative survey, 43% of eligible voters in the state believe climate change "threatens their future way of life." And there are wide gaps along political lines, with 87% of Democrats and only 26% of Republicans expressing concern.

As local governments work on those issues, said Rebecca Romsdahl, a professor of earth system science and policy at UND who has studied climate-change impacts, some find it's an uphill battle in connecting with residents.

"A lot of people still see these issues as something that affects other people in other places," she said, "and that maybe it's a future problem, but maybe it doesn't affect my life today."

She said elected officials can convey the importance of updating infrastructure to avoid long-term damage costs from climate disasters. Using government incentives for adopting clean-energy technology is another suggestion.

Only 26% of poll respondents said they believe climate change is "mainly caused by human activity."

Despite increasing signs of climate change affecting North Dakota, such as periods of drought, Romsdahl said it'll likely take a little longer for people to be fully convinced the threats have reached their doorstep.

"It is challenging because we live in the center of the continent here," she said, "so we are used to having kind of extreme weather - whether it's hot summers and cold winters."

However, she said, having more unusually warm winters such as the one hitting the region right now might turn more heads. Romsdahl said establishing renewable-energy cooperatives could be another effective approach. Residents can have an ownership stake in these efforts, while also creating new revenue streams for the community and not an outside utility.


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