Follow BFIA on Twitter
Blog for Iowa Archives
Blog for Iowa Categories
Search BFIA by Date
March 2015
M T W T F S S
« Feb    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Fight Media Bias

Iowa

Iowa Rapid Response Action

First responders to biased, imbalanced or factually inaccurate media coverage

Iowans for Better Local TV


National

FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

*FAIR is a national media watch group that offers well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship


Free Press

News Corpse

Prometheus Radio Project

Radio for People

Save the Internet

Save the News

Climate Change

This Week On The Fallon Forum: New Questions About Proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline Through Iowa

fallon forumPlease follow Ed Fallon’s walk across Iowa along the route of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline.  Go to http://fallonforum.com/pipeline-walk/   

For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail click here.  Help this information reach more Iowans. Please like and share.  You can also follow on Facebook or get e-mail updates.

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day Thirteen

by Ed Fallon

Saturday, March 14, 2015 – Mahaska/Jasper County line

Toady marks 150 miles of walking as I step into the seventh county along the pipeline route. A heartfelt “Thank you!” to State Rep. Dan Kelley and Kathy Holdefer (a landowner near Mingo), who each organized a meeting today with landowners and other concerned Jasper County residents.

At a 7:00 a.m. meeting at Uncle Nancy’s on the Newton town square, Dan spoke about his strong opposition to the pipeline. He has introduced legislation and also signed a letter from 15 lawmakers to the Iowa Utilities Board calling for an environmental impact assessment.

Today, Dan surprised me with a new angle that throws a whole new wrinkle into the pipeline conversation.

Apparently, no one had ever asked the Iowa Utilities Board’s staff if there already existed in Iowa another oil pipeline. Dan asked, and was told that there was, indeed, one other crude oil pipeline running through Iowa.

This pipeline travels north-south, roughly following I-35. It was built in the 1950s and is now owned by the infamous Koch Brothers. It was mothballed in 2013.

“I don’t want an oil pipeline running through Iowa,” said Dan. “But if Dakota Access wants to build one, why tear-up farmland diagonally across Iowa when there’s already an established right of way?”

This begs so many additional questions. Where did the oil transported through this pipeline come from? What was its final destination? Who were the original owners? How long have the Koch Brothers owned it? Were there ever any leaks or accidents? How many gallons a day did it move? Why was it abandoned in 2013? Why hasn’t Dakota Access considered using this route?

Dan and I will talk about this on today’s Fallon Forum at 11:00. Also, State Rep. John Forbes joins Dan with talk about industrial hemp. What would it do for Iowa’s economy? And find out why John feels industrial hemp is also good for the environment.

Catch the Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines)   Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

EVENTS CALENDAR

March 2 – April 22 (Earth Day) – Iowa Pipeline Walk
Ed Fallon will walk over 400 miles following the proposed path of the Bakken Oil Pipeline to help landowners opposed to having their land taken by eminent domain – an area of law Ed worked on extensively while a state lawmaker. Ed will also discuss the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to protect our water. For information on the route, click here. Contact fallonforum@gmail.com.

March 16 – Meeting to discuss the Bakken Oil Pipeline (Farrar)
A public meeting for residents of Polk County at the United Methodist Church at 7:00 p.m. to meet with Ed Fallon to discuss concerns about eminent domain, climate change, water quality and related issues during Ed’s 400-mile walk along the proposed route of the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Contact Peter Clay at peterclay1@me.com.

March 18 – Meeting to discuss the Bakken Oil Pipeline (Ames)
A public meeting for residents of Story County at the Ames Public Library from 7:00-8:30 p.m. to meet with Ed Fallon to discuss concerns about eminent domain, climate change, water quality and related issues during Ed’s 400-mile walk along the proposed route of the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Contact Susan Franzen at susan.franzen66@gmail.com.

March 27 – April 12 – Climate Action Across America
Congress will be on Easter recess, or home for district work periods, for these 17 days this spring. Please call your Congressional representatives and Senators to arrange a time to meet with them about the need for climate action.

 

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day 11

Ed Fallon talking with a farmer along the  pipeline route   photo: fallonforum.com

Ed Fallon talking with a farmer along the pipeline route photo: fallonforum.com

[Dave Bradley’s Sunday Funday civics quiz will be back next week.]

Please follow Ed Fallon’s walk across Iowa along the route of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline.  Go to http://fallonforum.com/pipeline-walk/  You can also follow on Facebook or get e-mail updates.

Iowa Pipeline Walk: Day Eleven

by Ed Fallon

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – North of Oskaloosa, Iowa

Since last summer, it has been clear that Kelcy Warren’s company would push hard and fast to get the pipeline built as quickly as possible.

But walking across Mahaska County this week, I am learning just how aggressive they have been in making their sales pitch.

Today, I spoke with 12 landowners. About half were against the pipeline. Yet most feel there is nothing they can do to stop it.

One 60-year-old farmer who is dead set against the pipeline nonetheless signed a contract. The company paid him $60,000 for an easement to two acres, access to his property from the nearest road, and for the removal of nine mature cottonwood trees. (He was upset about the cottonwood trees because they provide shade for his cattle.)

But the money wasn’t the main reason he signed. The company official told him they would eventually get his land through eminent domain and he would get less money. The farmer described this sales rep as very slick, very aggressive. The rep would even call as many as six times a day, pressuring the farmer to sell.

The farmer also told me that the pipeline would run across the very highest part of his property. If it broke on his land, it would absolutely ruin the rest of his farm.

I wish I’d had a chance to talk with him before he signed the contract. I told him the company does not yet have the authority to condemn farmland. And I told him there is bipartisan legislation moving in the Iowa House and Senate that would make it impossible for a private business to condemn land for a pipeline.

While most pipeline opponents have yet to sign a deal with the company, some have. We need to keep in touch with them as well, and encourage them to keep us posted on things they are hearing from the company and from their neighbors.

For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail click here

Help this information reach more Iowans. Please like and share.

This Week On The Fallon Forum: Iowa Pipeline Walk, Wage Theft, Minimum Wage

fallon forumfallonforum.com

Saturday, March 7, 2015 – Bladensburg, Iowa
For the latest Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.

“Are you out for exercise or are ya broke down?” asked the bearded man driving a white pick-up truck sporting a thick coat of mud. I laughed and said, “Neither,” as I explained that I was walking the path of the proposed pipeline. “I don’t much like what this Texas billionaire has in store for Iowa,” I probed.

The driver said, “There’s only about six people who are going to get rich on this thing, and none of them live in Iowa.” He owned land just up the road, not quite on the pipeline route. He was noncommittal on what he would have done had the pipeline company wanted to come through his land. But he agreed emphatically with me when I said the pipeline wasn’t going to improve anyone’s property values.

As I walked 14.3 miles to Hedrick today, I passed about two dozen rural homes. Most of them had probably received a letter from the pipeline company. Perhaps some of them had already settled, maybe even received a check. There was little activity on the road, and I only passed one farmstead with anyone outside – two men removing boards from an old barn. One of them told me he was for the pipeline. I wanted to ask him why, wanted to talk further.

But I felt rushed to get to Hedrick in time for an appointment, and realized that even at three miles an hour, I was moving too fast. I needed to slow down. Tackling 15-16 miles per day left me little time to stop and talk with people along the route. I decided then and there that, even if it meant extending the walk another two weeks, I would cut back the distance to around 10 miles a day. That would give me an additional 2-3 hours of potentially quality conversation time.

It also made sense, I concluded, to carry with me a letter laying out my concerns, and the concerns of others I had met along the way. I wanted something I could give to people I met, or leave at their doors if they weren’t home. If you’d like to see what I’m sharing with landowners, click here. Your feedback is most welcome.

Ed Fallon, "People need to be thinking of what changes they can make in their own life."

Ed Fallon, “People need to be thinking of what changes they can make in their own life.”

This week’s Fallon Forum again features State Rep. Dan Kelley as host. I’ll call-in and talk about the walk for the first half of the program. Then State Rep. Bruce Hunter joins Dan to talk about minimum wage and wage theft.

The Fallon Forum airs Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) or online. Join the conversation by calling (515) 528-8122. You also can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Thanks!

PSR Iowa And UNA Iowa Co-Sponsor Fundraiser For Climate Action

psr-logo-officialIowa Chapter
Physicians for Social Responsibility
20 East Market ● Room 200 ● Iowa City, IA 52245www.psriowa.org

Dear Friend,

  • 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history.
  • 2014 was the year of the Great Climate March for Climate action from Los Angeles to Washington DC over 8 months and 3,000 miles.

Now it’s 2015…

PSR/Iowa and UNA Iowa are co-sponsoring a dinner and fundraiser featuring a presentation by Ed Fallon on the Great Climate March and the Bakken Pipeline

Thursday March 11, 2015, 5 PM to 8 PM
at the University Club at 1360 Melrose Ave, Iowa City
Free Parking

Admission is $40 per plate for this sit-down dinner and presentation

Ed Fallon, former Iowa legislator and the leader of the 2014 Great March for Climate Action, will be speaking about his experiences walking across the country, and his encounters with the President’s special advisers on Energy and Environment.

Of the Great Climate March Ed tells us “We experienced things most people can’t even imagine. Throughout our journey, we encountered first-hand some of the unprecedented weather climate scientists have predicted. And we met face-to-face people impacted by climate change and people grappling with an expanding fossil fuel infrastructure that is damaging or destroying their land, water and very way of life.”

Ed will be joining us from a new March. Starting March 1, Ed will walk across Iowa engaging the land owners along the route of the proposed Bakken Pipeline. The plan is for the pipeline to begin hauling crude oil from North Dakota across Iowa to Illinois for eventual refining in the gulf beginning some time in 2016.

Please join is for what will prove to be a stimulating and educational evening:

5-6 PM: Arrive & gather with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.
5:45 PM: Sit-down dinner served
6:00 PM: Opening remarks from PSR/Iowa and UNA Iowa.
6:15 PM: Ed Fallon’s presentation and discussion

For questions or more information contact us at info@psriowa.org or phone 319-530-3608

Hughie Tweedy To Pipeline: “My Land Is Not For Sale – Not For A Million Bucks”

fallon forumfallonforum.com/

Beginning on March 2, 2015, Ed Fallon began a walk of 400 miles following the path of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. He will walk from the southeast corner of Iowa to the northwest corner of the state, meeting with landowners and others to talk about the importance of respecting farmland and the imperative to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Follow his walk on the Fallon Forum website. You can also keep track of Ed’s walk on Facebook and through regular email updates.   For Iowa Pipeline Walk route and schedule detail, click here.

Here is Ed’s post written yesterday, prior to embarking on the first step of his journey.

###

Hughie Tweedy fallonforum

Hughie Tweedy/photo credit fallonforum.com

I’ve not even taken the first step of my walk and I’m already meeting landowners opposed to the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Last night I had dinner with Hughie Tweedy at a Lee County farmhouse. Hughie is a colorful, fiercely independent farmer whose homestead is just a few farms west of the Mississippi River – and directly in the path of the pipeline. A forest that Hughie and his Dad before him planted and cared for would be torn to pieces if the pipeline were built. Hughie considers his land sacred, and cannot understand how anyone would condemn it for an oil pipeline.

Hughie informed the pipeline company that, in no uncertain terms, his land was not for sale, not for a million bucks. His neighbors don’t want a pipeline coming through their land either, but many feel helpless, resigned to the notion that “you can’t beat City Hall.”

Last night, I told Hughie about some of the nearly two dozen eminent domain battles I was involved with back in the 1990s and 2000s. I told him how farmers and landowners banded together to stop developers who wanted to take their land. Often it was for a lake or an airport, sometimes for a mall or a four-lane highway. When people in the path of these projects stood firm – and got others to stand with them – more often than not, they won.

Hughie is one of several Iowans featured in a documentary focused on Iowans fighting against the misuse of eminent domain. Last night, our evening went late as the documentary crew filled the living room with cameras and equipment and captured much of our conversation.

Today, I head down to the Mississippi River for the first leg of my journey. I’ll take with me cedar, sage and sweet grass given to me by my Native American friend from Earlham, Robert Knuth. Following Robert’s instructions, I’ll offer a prayer of protection for the land threatened by this pipeline, and a prayer that Hughie Tweedy and all caretakers of the land will continue to stand strong.

On today’s Fallon Forum, [see re-broadcast times below] I’ll call in with an update from the Iowa Pipeline Walk as State Representative Dan Kelley hosts the program in the KDLF studio. Also, Dan interviews the new director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, Jeremy Rosen, about the surprising lack of pardons issued to federal prisoners by President Obama. Also, State Representative Ruth Ann Gaines joins Dan to talk about the achievement gap in education.

Ed Fallon, "People need to be thinking of what changes they can make in their own life."

Ed Fallon, “People need to be thinking of what changes they can make in their own life.”

The Fallon Forum airs live on Monday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) or online. Join the conversation by calling (515) 528-8122. You also can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Thanks!

Ed Fallon

Finding A New World? Harder Than Some Think!

treating your home like we treat the earth
Tip of the hat to www.dailykos/comics

As some of you may have read here Thursday Iowa is in the process of “studying” allowing the Bakken Oil to build a pipeline across Iowa. Minnesota is also looking at a pipeline from North Dakota crossing their land.

Rivers in West Virginia have had all sorts of chemicals and sludge dumped into them as though they were corporate toilets. Yet even with all that the West Virginia legislature is discussing rolling back environmental provisions even further.

Republicans have been targeting the Environmental Protection Agency from the day it was conceived by, oddly enough, Richard Nixon’s Administration. While crying about environmental laws in this country, corporations take their processes to countries with few laws so they can pollute freely over there.

One of the world’s largest cities is running out of water due to climate change, a condition many on the right refuse to acknowledge.

Oklahoma now has daily tremors, a condition that did not exist before fracking. Across the country we see many youtube videos of folks lighting their tap water on fire thanks to fracking.

In Iowa the water works in Des Moines is resorting to the courts to try to force the sate or county governments to enforce some standards on nitrates.

After many years companies are finally slowly taking micro beads out of cleansing products after these products had done much damage to fish and other aquatic wildlife.

And of course we are approaching the 5 year anniversary of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (here is a story on the anniversary last year). Over the years the effects of the spill have slowly faded from the collective memory. The perpetrators have slowly been released from paying for the damages they caused. And projects with huge potential damage are in the works or being planned with little thought toward recovery in the case of problems. Call me old and cranky, but like many I don’t think that a company or a person should leave an area in worse shape than it was before they came. At the very least it should look like no one was there.

The earth is closing in on some tipping points. We may already be too late to reverse climate change with all the feared effects of wild weather and drought. Overpopulation has put a huge stress on earth’s resources. But some of the greatest stresses that the earth must endure are those put on it by industrial polluters. Using the skies, the rivers and the oceans as their toilets they have endangered much of the life on earth and their own species.

It is like they believe there is some kind of an escape hatch, some type of a new America that they can run from the mess they have made. News flash folks: they can’t and neither can we. The earth is full. There are no undiscovered lands on the earth. There are no “nearby” planets that can sustain life. There are no remote and undiscovered planets that could sustain our type of life. Even if there were planets we knew of, how would we get there?

Some subscribe to a theory that a supreme being will swoop down and make it all good. Aside from some mythological books written in the iron age there is no proof nor any real expectation that such will happen.

What we are left with then is humanity’s collective desire to survive on the one world we have and the only world we will have into the foreseeable future. Few want to see their children or grandchildren suffer. People will sacrifice today for their posterity. Our forefathers and mothers did so. Before we have pipelines we need real plans for clean up and restoration. Resources (money) for such restoration must come from those who stand to gain from such projects and not from the taxes of the citizens.

But our political systems worldwide are geared to serve those who have money and power. This has always been true to some degree, but the Supreme Court took the lid off a few years back wight the Citizens United v. FEC decision. Now we find power pretty much fully controlled by those with money.

One thing for sure. No one dies from a spill of sunlight.

Climate Marchers Heading To The White House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAExciting news for climate change marchers from Ed Fallon:

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, January 28th at 10:00 a.m., twelve participants of the Great March for Climate Action will arrive at the White House for a meeting with Dan Utech, Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change and Rohan Patel, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Marchers traveling to Washington, DC for the meeting come from ten states. They will share with Mr. Utech and Mr. Patel their experiences throughout the eight-month, 3,000-mile journey from Los Angeles to Washington, DC last year. Marchers want to thank President Obama and his administration for their leadership on climate change, including the President’s promised veto of legislation authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. At the same time, marchers will urge the President’s staff in the strongest possible way to take bolder action, and to take it sooner rather than later.

“We experienced things most people can’t even imagine,” said Ed Fallon, the March’s founder. “Throughout our journey, we encountered first-hand some of the unprecedented weather climate scientists have predicted. And we met face-to-face people impacted by climate change and people grappling with an expanding fossil fuel infrastructure that is damaging or destroying their land, water and very way of life.”

The participants traveling to the White House are Fallon and Miriam Kashia (Iowa), Steve Martin (Kentucky), Marie Davis (Vermont), Kathe Thompson (Florida), Paul Sherlock (Ohio), Doug Grandt (Nebraska), John Jorgenson (Arizona), Benjamin Bushwick (Maryland), Kat Haber (Alaska), and Kelsey Erickson and Bruce Nayowith (Massachusetts).

Podcasts from this week’s Fallon Forum are available here, and include these conversations:

– Lessons for America on Paris terror attack
– Nebraska Supreme Court thwarts justice on Keystone pipeline, with Channing Dutton
– Wanted: Leadership on bio-diesel, with David May
– Change needed in Iowa’s primary election process, with State Senator Brad Zaun
– Bad news for bees, with State Apiarist Andy Joseph

Catch the Fallon Forum live on Monday from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM “La Reina.” Join the conversation by calling in at (515) 528-8122. And you can hear the Fallon Forum on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 5:00 pm on Wednesday and on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 pm on Wednesday.

Ed Fallon | fallonforum@gmail.com | The Fallon Forum | 735 19th St. #1 | Des Moines, IA 50314

Schedule Of Public Meetings On Proposed Oil Pipeline In Iowa

Bakken Pipeline Proposed Route

Iowa Sierra Club

Proposed Pipeline through Iowa Carries Risks   [Bolds and italics BFIA’s]

Energy Transfer Partners (ETF), also doing business as Dakota Access, announced plans for a proposed oil pipeline that will run diagonally across Iowa, through 17 or 18 counties. It will carry light sweet crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois where it will link with another pipeline that will transport the oil to terminals along the Gulf of Mexico. The company also announced that some of the crude oil will be loaded onto rail cars for shipment to the east coast.

The company has scheduled public informational meetings in December 2014 in each of the counties that the pipeline will cross, a requirement before asking the Iowa Utilities Board for permits. Members of the public will be able to attend and can speak during the meeting. ETF is expected to seek permits in 2015 through 2016. The company plans to have the pipeline operational in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Counties in Iowa comprising the proposed route include Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Webster, Boone, Story, Polk, Jasper, Mahaska, Keokuk, Wapello, Jefferson, Van Buren and Lee. The northeast tip of Sac County is also in the study area.

Get Involved:

The Sierra Club Iowa Chapter urges you to join in opposition to the pipeline proposed by Energy Transfer Partners by attending and speaking out at one of the public meetings. The meetings will be held as follows:

December 1, 1:00, Inwood Community Center, Inwood

December 1, 1:00, Comfort Inn & Suites, Fort Madison

December 1, 6:00, River Valley Lodge, Farmington

December 1, 6:00, Terrace View Event Center, Sioux Center

December 2, 9:00am, Sheldon Community Services, Sheldon

December 2, 9:00am, Jefferson County Fairgrounds Activity Building, Fairfield

December 2, 3:00, Cherokee Community Center, Cherokee

December 2, 3:00, Bridgeview Center, Ottumwa

December 3, 9:00am, Buena Vista University Anderson Auditorium, Storm Lake

December 3, 9:00am, Memorial Hall, Sigourney

December 3, 3:00, Gateway Church of the Nazarene, Oskaloosa

December 4, 9:00am, DMACC Newton Conference Center, Newton

December 4, 3:00, Ankeny Parks and Recreation Lakeside Center, Ankeny

December 15, 1:00, Sac Community Center, Sac City

December 15, 1:00, Gates Memorial Auditorium, Nevada

December 15, 6:00, Boone County Fairgrounds Community Building, Boone

December 15, 6:00, Calhoun County Expo center, Rockwell City

December 16, 9:00am, Triton Room, Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge

Consider additional ways you can oppose the pipeline proposed by Energy Transfer Partners. The Chapter encourages you to:

  • Write letters to the editor in opposition to the pipeline
  • Once the public meetings have ended, submit written objections to the Iowa Utilities Board. For more information about how to submit your comments,  contact the Iowa Sierra Club.

Concerns:

The Iowa Sierra Club is concerned about the impacts a tragic accident or a leaky pipeline involving the highly flammable oil will have on Iowa’s communities, farms and environment, including

  • Polluting Iowa’s streams, rivers, lakes and aquifers
  • Tragic accidents affecting lives and personal property in the communities along the pipeline
  • Destroying Iowa’s farmland
  • Harming wildlife and sensitive natural areas in its path

Although the company plans to seek voluntary easements, it may ask the Iowa Utilities Board for permission to acquire the easement through eminent domain. The pipeline will require a permanent easement 50 feet wide, with no structures allowed on the easement. An even wider, temporary easement of 100 feet to 150 feet will be taken during construction.

Once the oil in this pipeline finally reaches the oil terminals in Nederland, Texas, there is absolutely no guarantee that the oil and refined products from the oil will remain in the United States for use in this country.

Pipelines leak.

In March 2013, homeowners in Mayflower, Arkansas, were overwhelmed when oil from a leaky pipeline flowed into their basements, over their lawns and onto their streets.

The Bakken oil is the same oil that was involved in train wrecks in North Dakota in December 2013 and in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, in July 2013.

A new pipeline will delay the U.S. transition to clean and renewable energy and more fuel-efficient vehicles. The United States needs to move away from fossil fuel extractions and to energy sources that have less impact on climate change.

sierra club iowa chapter

Confirm Where To Vote Early For Climate Change Action

nextgen

Leading Iowa Scientists Say Climate Change Is Hurting Iowans’ Health

Cedar Rapids Flood

Cedar Rapids Flood

Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research

owans are experiencing real impacts from climate change, including heavier rains and increased flooding. Human health effects from climate change are just as real and are already being felt in Iowa, according to a statement released today by statewide group of 180 Iowa scientists.

“Climate change is negatively impacting our water quality, increasing exposures to allergens and air pollutants, introducing new infectious diseases, and imposing increased stress on Iowa families,” said Peter Thorne, Professor and Head of the Department of Occupational & Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa

The scientists say the health related effects of extreme weather events are the most obvious, immediate, and direct. These events are increasing in frequency and severity as our atmosphere warms and holds more moisture.

“Repeated heavy rains increase human exposure to toxic chemicals and raw sewage that are spread by flood waters,” said David Osterberg, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Iowa.

Degraded water quality is also directly associated with climate change. “In farm states like Iowa, higher water temperatures combine with high nutrient levels to create large harmful algal blooms which make water unsuitable for human and animal consumption and for recreation,” stated Osterberg.

“The Iowa Climate Statement 2014: Impacts on the Health of Iowans,” which was released last week, was signed by 180 science faculty and research staff from 38 Iowa colleges and universities. The statement is the 4th Annual Iowa Climate Statement issued by Iowa scientists and researchers.

“The strong support for the statement reflects the consensus among Iowa science faculty and research staff that action is needed now to lower emissions and find new ways to adapt to climate changes in order to reduce the risks of new health problems,” stated Dave Courard-Hauri, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Policy Program, Drake University.

Climate change is also making it more difficult for many Iowans to breathe. Plants produce more pollen, pollen that is increasingly potent in response to warmer temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels in the air.

“The number of Iowans with respiratory problems such as childhood asthma has increased dramatically since the 1980s. In many cases, this is linked to increased exposures to flood molds and to higher indoor moisture, as well as to lung-damaging ozone and fine particulate matter from burning fossil fuels,” said Thorne.

“New infectious diseases are becoming more common in the Midwest as the organisms that carry them move north due to rising temperatures. Disease carrying mosquitos and ticks are living longer and expanding their range due to increasing temperatures, more rainfall, and longer summers,” said Yogesh Shah, Associate Dean, Department of Global Health, Des Moines University.

“Our changing climate’s influence on mental health is less obvious, but it is well established that thousands of Iowans have been impacted by stress from the loss of homes and income due to climate-related flooding and drought,” Mary Mincer Hansen, Adjunct Professor, College of Health Sciences MPH Program, Des Moines University.

“As long as greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, climate related health problems will continue to grow,” said Neil Bernstein, Chair, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, Mount Mercy University. The scientists agree that adopting strong climate change policies will play a vital role in diminishing human suffering and illness now and for generations to come.

“It is clear that expanding energy efficiency and clean renewable energy efforts will have the co-benefits of reducing air pollution and the creation of additional jobs and economic opportunities for Iowans,” stated Bernstein.

The lead authors of the “Iowa Climate Statement 2014: Impacts on the Health of Iowans” include:

  • Peter S. Thorne, Professor and Head Department of Occupational & Environmental Health, Director, Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, College of Public Health, University of Iowa
  • Yogesh Shah, Associate Dean , Department of Global Health, Des Moines University
  • David Osterberg, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa
  • Mary Mincer Hansen, Adjunct Professor, College of Health Sciences MPH Program, Des Moines University
  • David Courard-Hauri, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Policy Program, Drake University
  • Neil Bernstein, Chair, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, Mount Mercy University
  • Editing assistance by Connie Mutel, Senior Science Writer, IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, University of Iowa.

The 38 Colleges and Universities of statement endorsers:

Buena Vista University
Central College
Clarke University
Coe College
Cornell College
Des Moines Area Community College
Des Moines University
Dordt College
Drake University
Eastern Iowa Community College
Ellsworth Community College
Grinnell College
Indian Hills Community College
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Community College
Iowa State University
Iowa Western Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Loras College
Luther College
Maharishi University of Management
Morningside College
Mount Mercy University
Northeast Iowa Community College
Northwestern College
Scott Community College
Simpson College
Southeastern Community College
Southwestern Community College
Saint Ambrose University
University of Dubuque
University of Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Upper Iowa University
Waldorf College
Wartburg College
Western Iowa Tech Community College
William Penn University

Endorser affiliations are for identification purposes only and do not reflect views of their academic institutions.

The statement can be found at www.cgrer.uiowa.edu