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Letter to Editor: Science-based symposium on Nov. 10

World Science Day for Peace and Development is Nov. 10. A program at the Northwoods Bank community room on that day from 1 to 5 p.m. will present science-based topics that look at new ways of helping our economy and environment, ranging from renewable energy to commercial hemp to sustainable agriculture and robotics.

We need to take advantage of new jobs and technology in the renewable energy arena. A representative from the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance will discuss this.

Petroleum-based plastics are starting to be replaced by plant-based plastics. LEGO, for instance, plans to eliminate petroleum-based plastics by 2030.

Our agricultural base may benefit from commercial hemp production where hemp, once it becomes legal to grow, can be made into plastics, clothing and even a type of concrete. (Hemp, by the way, is not marijuana.) Paul Frank of Hemp Solutions of Minnesota will be presenting on this topic.

Sustainable agriculture is becoming more important both in reducing costs to farmers from pesticide and fertilizer use besides keeping our waters clean. There will be presentations on this topic from Central Lakes College Ag Department as well as from Toxic Taters.

We all need to stay as healthy as possible and an NDSU researcher will present information as to immunization research.

The Nevis School Robotics team will show what they can do with robots and how robots will be changing how we live and work.

Why is this important? A recent commentary advocated how important jobs from installing a new Line 3 oil pipeline would be for Hubbard County. However, petroleum demand is declining in Minnesota and the U.S. as a whole. Electric cars are the way of the future. Independent studies have shown that we will have enough petroleum without needing a new Line 3 and that the existing Line 3 can be shut down. Our local economy, based on tourism and agriculture, can ill afford damage to these industries from a tar sands oil spill. A different approach to jobs is needed.

There are ways to help our economy without endangering our waters from oil spills. Please come to the World Science Day program on Nov. 10 to learn more about new and exciting solutions.