Des Moines Register “Iowa View: Climate change is not something to be ignored”

By Fred Abels Published 11:15 p.m. CDT April 26, 2014. Link to article here

des.o0427.fred1Rural and small town Iowans are not ignoring the challenges posed by climate change. Recently, 75 Iowans from the agriculture and faith communities gathered for a discussion in Ames.

They weren’t there to just talk about the problem; they were focused on finding solutions — on-farm conservation for soil improvement and carbon sequestration, increasing biodiversity to bolster food security, and pairing a thriving clean-energy economy with limiting harmful pollution from old power plants.
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For climate change, ‘see something, say something’ — Op-ed in the Press-Citizen

Jenna Hammerich
Published in the Iowa City Press Citizen, April 24, 2014
Climate change isn’t an environmental issue. It’s an economic issue, a social issue, a public health issue and an environmental issue.

“Save the planet” is not just a call to save the rivers, the trees, and the whales. It’s an appeal to save ourselves.

Extreme weather caused by runaway carbon pollution won’t spare the cities we’ve built any more than it will the natural world. It’s already disrupting our way of life, destroying infrastructure, advancing disease, and escalating food prices. Think how many homes, museums, churches, factories and schools sit along U.S. coasts, where sea levels are rising, or in desert ecosystems where water is becoming scarcer and wildfires are becoming a year-round occurrence. We’re no safer inland, with droughts, floods and tornadoes happening more frequently.

We’re dealing with a crisis that requires large-scale political action, legislation that heavily subsidizes renewable energy, repeals subsidies for fossil fuels, and taxes the biggest CO2 polluters — and yet our political representatives continue to ignore the problem. Why? We can speculate that it’s because they’re paid off or lazy, but the most likely answer is that they’re not hearing from constituents about it. Eighty-three percent of Americans want Congress to take action on climate change, but the only time most of us voice our opinions on the issue is when a pollster asks for them. We aren’t in the habit of communicating with the people we’ve elected.

We need to get into the habit, all of us. Our representatives will take action only if they hear us telling them to, whether it’s by phone, on Twitter or Facebook, at a meeting or in an email.
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Johnson County, Iowa, Spring 2014

AprilSoilI am not a soil expert by any means, but I am relatively certain that my garden soil should not look like this in April. So, I decided to check the United States Drought Monitor site: According to this site, Johnson County Iowa ranges from medium to severe drought conditions right now.
As I look over my trays of vegetable seedlings (my babies) waiting for transplant, I hope they have the strength to endure this.

The Nature Conservancy “Climate Wizard” Website

The Nature Conservancy put together this interactive map that visualizes the climate projections from the U.N’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report. Looks like even in the middlin’ range of climate modeling things are gonna get pretty warm around here. I note with a certain amount of despair that the IPCC has pretty consistently erred on the conservative side in their climate modeling. Observed climate change usually exceeds their projections.Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 6.59.37 PM

It’s Cold But We Need The Citizens Climate Lobby

JohnDAtlasBy John D. Atlas in New Jersey Voices
January 27, 2014

Doesn’t the cold weather prove that climate change deniers are right? NO. Short-term weather that includes blizzards and freezing temperatures —has nothing to do with long-term climate change or dangers of global warming. In fact nearly every month seems to bring another major report with dire warnings about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit if we don’t act forcefully and soon to stem climate change. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that—so far, at least—the experts are still saying that we have time to act.

But how to act?

One group with an answer to that question is Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), which has been building chapters in New Jersey for the last two years. Now it’s launching a drive to organize across the state in an effort to get our entire Congressional delegation behind a plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
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Creating a more resilient home, school and planet

mourningwarming[This op-ed originally appeared in the Iowa City Press Citizen]
by Barbara Eckstein

University of Iowa art student Sarita Zaleha has created a project called “Mourning Warming” that (again) impresses me with the creativity and resilience of young people.

Sarita locates the beginnnings of her project in the fact “that global temperatures have been steadily rising for at least the last one hundred years. The concept of the anthropocene — a particular geologic epoch defined by human presence — relates climate change specifically to humans and their impact on the environment.” She goes on to identify a part of this human problem that, as an artist, she can address: “Even confronted with the data, many feel disconnected from climate change. While one can detect temperature change of single degrees over the course of seconds or minutes, it is difficult to feel this kind of temperature change over the course of decades.”
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Awakening the Dreamer Symposium January 11

A new dream for humanity

The “Awakening the Dreamer Symposium” asks us to look squarely at the state of the world — where we are, how we got here, and where we want to go. The purpose is to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on Earth.

These are extraordinary times, full of amazing opportunities to solve our toughest challenges

ATD3We have the opportunity to bring forth a new future

When: Saturday, January 11, 1:30 to 5PM

Where: The Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City, 10 South Gilbert St, Iowa City

RSVP and Register: click here. There is no cost to attend.

Co-sponsored By: UUSIC Green Sanctuary and Social Justice Coordinating Committees, One Hundred Grannies for a Livable Future, Iowa City Climate Advocates, ECO Iowa City

For more information: email or visit the Awakening the Dreamer Website