Physicians for Social Responsibility
20 East Market ● Room 200 ● Iowa City, IA 52245 ● www.psriowa.org
- 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
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 email@example.com or phone 319-530-3608
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 | firstname.lastname@example.org | The Fallon Forum | 735 19th St. #1 | Des Moines, IA 50314
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Des Moines Area Community College
Des Moines University
Eastern Iowa Community College
Ellsworth Community College
Indian Hills Community College
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Community College
Iowa State University
Iowa Western Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Maharishi University of Management
Mount Mercy University
Northeast Iowa Community College
Scott Community College
Southeastern Community College
Southwestern Community College
Saint Ambrose University
University of Dubuque
University of Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Upper Iowa University
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
The other day I was reading Dailykos when my eyes caught what looked to be an interesting story on the side list. So I clicked on it and found a very interesting rant by Charles Pierce on reasons why the Democrats need to come out loud and strong for what voting for Republicans actually leads to. The poster also faults Democrats for not attacking Republicans for their policies. Rather Democrats seem to take a “don’t rock the boat” stance.
We are old enough that we remember the proud liberals of old – Hubert Humphrey, Birch Bayh, Lyndon Johnson to name just a few, who campaigned, fought for and secured legislation for Medicare, legislation that ended Jim Crow laws and opened up voting for all Americans among other accomplishments. At the state levels we had liberals like Harold Hughes who fought for community colleges and loosening liquor laws.
At the very end of this article, the poster gives concrete examples of how Americans vote against themselves when they vote Republican:
Why Democrats don’t make these points is crazy. There is no good reason to vote for a Republican these days. If you live under a Republican government…
1) You’re more likely to have a shorter and unhealthier life. It’s not just about fighting Obamacare – it’s about having dirtier air, dirtier water as polluters run wild because of deregulation. It’s about going to work and risking your life because nobody is making sure your employer is running a safe operation.
2) Your employment chances are worse – because odds are those ‘job-creating’ tax breaks mean your state has lousy schools, crumbling roads, failing infrastructure, and employers who pay as little as possible while shipping money out of the local economy back to corporate HQ. Who wants to locate a business in a third-world style economy – aside from looters that is?
3) Tax breaks aimed at the rich and corporations mean everyone else has to pick up their share of the tab; higher license and permit fees, higher sales taxes – and everything takes longer if it involves government agencies with the workforce cut to the bone.
4) You get government of, by, and for the dollar: legislators and judges who put private gain over public interest, who measure virtue by how much money you have. When trouble strikes, you’re on your own.
I could go on and on – so why don’t Democrats campaign on the plain truth? If you live in a Red State, you’re in a race to the bottom.
Iowa has candidates who want to deliver the state into corporate hands, including our current governor.
Americans need to be re-educated that the Reagan line that “Government is the problem” is, like so much Republican rhetoric, a lie. For many problems that affect the population as a whole Government is the solution. Government is the way we, as a country, come together to solve our common problems whether they be at a local, state or national level. There is a great example going on right now with Ebola making its appearance in America.
Without true universal health care America is definitely at major risk for an epidemic. Those without access to medical care will not go immediately to a medical facility when sick. They can’t pay the bill. Government is the mechanism which can solve such a problem. Those who vote for Republicans leave this country at risk.
Vote Republican and you vote against yourself, your family including your parents (who may lose social security and medicare), your children (school, opportunity going out of the country), your grandchildren and their progeny. Voting Republican today has long range consequences.
Think about this before you vote.
Thanks CCI (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement) for sounding the alarm on toxic algae!
First it was Ohio, then Lake Red Rock in Iowa, and now it’s Big Creek Lake – toxic blue-green algae has struck again.
A reader sent us this photo that he took at Big Creek Lake last week with this comment: “Can see from the photo that water quality is one of Branstad and the DNRs’ top priorities…”
The toxic algae’s unpleasant odors and potentially dangerous health effects cannot be ignored.
When we look at the number of manure spills, just in the past year, the growth of this harmful algae is not surprising.
55 manure spills since Sept. 2013 when the DNR signed the Clean Water Act Work Plan – that’s over 1 manure spill per week.
The DNR must issue permits to these manure polluters – here is one action you take right now:
Share this photo on FB to keep the #cleanwaterfight in the public eye!
October is going to be a busy month for the #cleanwaterfight – stay tuned!
They DUMP it, you DRINK it, we won’t stop ’til they clean it up,
The Iowa CCI Crew
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
2001 Forest Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311-3229
515-282-0484 . www.iowacci.org
From 9:30 until 12:30 today Free Speech TV (Dish channel 9415, Direct TV channel 348 or online at https://www.freespeech.org/) will be carrying live coverage of the People’s March For Climate Change. This will be a Democracy Now presentation. The major part of the march will be in New York City ahead of the UN Summit on Climate Tuesday.
2500 marches are taking part in the event across the world. Already today 30,000 people showed up in Melbourne Australia – a country where Prime Minister Tony Abbot has rolled back much of his predecessor’s climate actions.
As far as we know, no corporate broadcasting entity in the US will have any coverage.