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.
This is the only climate advocacy update I plan to prepare for the month of September because of other commitments I have. Here are some key action items for the month:
August Recess for Congress Through September 7 – It is not too late to call our Congressional representatives and Senators to urge their support for climate action during the August recess. Here are local in-state phone numbers where you can leave a comment or arrange a meeting:
Rep. Bruce Braley, Cedar Rapids Office, 319-364-2288
Rep. Dave Loebsack, Iowa City Office, 319-351-0789
Rep. Tom Latham, Des Moines Office, 515-282-1909
Rep. Steve King, Sioux City Office, 712-224-4692
Senator Chuck Grassley, Des Moines Office, 515-288-1145
Senator Tom Harkin, Des Moines Office, 515-284-4574
Please report your calls and meetings back to me so I can track them.
Citizens Climate Lobby Monthly Meetings – Citizens Climate Lobby chapters will be having monthly meetings around the state, including Des Moines on Saturday, September 6, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the North Side Library, 3516 Fifth Avenue, in Des Moines. CCL in Cedar Rapids will be meeting Tuesday, September 16, at 7:00 p.m. in the second floor un-conference room of the downtown library. Check www.citizensclimatelobby.org to join an introductory call or for details about meetings in other communities in Iowa.
“Future of Energy” Film Showing Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 – On Saturday, September 13, this movie will be shown in Sussman Theater in the Olmsted Center at Drake University at 7:00 p.m. It will be shown again at First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Avenue, in Des Moines on Sunday, September 14, at 6:00 p.m.
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light Conference Featuring Sally Bingham, Sept. 18 – Iowa IPL is holding its annual conference on Thursday, September 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Tiferath Israel Synagogue, 924 Polk Blvd, in Des Moines. Registration is $40. The conference will feature the Rev. Sally Bingham, the founder and president of the Regeneration Project, which founded the Interfaith Power & Light movement. Isaac Luria of Auburn Seminary in New York City will also be speaking. To register, or for more information, visit www.iowaipl.org.
Iowa IPL is also sponsoring workshops on Food, Faith, and Climate in Waterloo on Saturday, September 20, and in Decorah on Saturday, September 27. Cost is $35 each. Check the website for more details or to register in advance.
Train to People’s Climate March, Sept. 20-21 – Multiple organizations have come together to organize the People’s Climate March in New York City, September 20-21. Trains to New York City are available from Iowa. Contact Jennifer K. at 415-766-7728 or by email at Jennifer@endangeredearth.org, or visit:
#B4UMarch Campaign – Call Congress Sept. 15-19 – Regardless of whether you are able to attend the People’s Climate March, it is critical that Congress hear from Americans that we support climate action. Using the hash tag, #B4UMarch, I am encouraging people to take a few minutes and call their state’s Congressional representatives and Senators at their Washington, DC offices the week before the People’s Climate March. In Iowa, we can reach them at the following numbers:
Congressman Tom Latham, 202-225-5476
Congressman Bruce Braley, 202-225-2911
Congressman Dave Loebsack, 202-225-6576
Congressman Steve King, 202-225-4426
Senator Chuck Grassley, 202-224-3744
Senator Tom Harkin, 202-224-3254
Please encourage your friends, family, and colleagues across Iowa and around the country to call their Congressional representatives and Senators, too.
Again, please report your calls back to me so I can track them – there is nothing wrong with calling twice a month to urge action.
EPA Carbon Pollution Rules – Comments Due October 16 – On Twitter, I am using the hash tag, #StopCarbonPollution, to support the carbon pollution rules. Comments are due October 16. You can share comments through Iowa IPL or the League of Conservation Voters, or you can send comments directly to the EPA at this web address:
The bottom line: Let the EPA know you support the rules as an important next step, and share your comments with our Congressional delegation, too.
Organize A Remembrance of Hurricane Sandy October 29 – October 29 marks the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that brought an unprecedented storm surge to New York City, New Jersey, and much of the East Coast, killed 118 Americans, and caused over $70 billion in damage – more than $200 per American. Iowa, like other states, has suffered from climate-related disasters, especially floods, drought, and ecological disruptions. Several national groups are planning to remember the victims of these climate-related disasters on October 29. Let me know if you would like to help coordinate efforts around the state to remember Hurricane Sandy or just start making your plans for a local remembrance today.
Be A Climate Voter November 4 – You can sign up to be a “climate voter” through NextGen Climate at the following web address: https://nextgenclimate.org/register/
Citizens Climate Lobby Regional Conference, Des Moines, November 7 to 9 – Mark your calendars now for the CCL regional conference in Des Moines Nov. 7 to 9.
I hope this information is helpful. Thank you for your advocacy in support of the climate action we so urgently need.
Senator Rob Hogg
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
If one didn’t think the U.S. discussion of climate change was political, think again. U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-West Virginia), added an amendment to a House appropriations bill to fund the Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would prohibit the two agencies from using funds that would “design, implement, administer or carry out specified assessments regarding climate change.”
Another way to put it, from McKinley’s perspective, is if you don’t like science, ban it.
House Republicans took exception to the Department of Defense addressing the recommendations of the National Climate Assessment, and have added two agencies whose work is directly related to mitigating the effects of extreme weather to their list.
The floor debate captured the essence of the politics of climate change:
“Spending precious resources to pursue a dubious climate change agenda compromises our clean-energy research and America’s infrastructure,” McKinley said on the House floor. “Congress should not be spending money pursuing ideologically driven experiments.”
Speaking against the amendment, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) said it disregards the research of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists.
“The Republicans, in general, don’t seem to trust the scientists,” Kaptur said. “This amendment requires the Department of Energy to assume that carbon pollution isn’t harmful and that climate change won’t cost a thing. That’s nothing but a fantasy.”
What next? Click here to read the rest of David Gutman’s coverage of this story in the Charleston, West Virginia Gazette.
And consider that June 2014 was the hottest month on record since records have been collected. Politicians like McKinley would deny the reality of human contributions toward global warming at the same time climate data released from the National Climatic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that the worldwide average temperature over land and sea in June 2014 was 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the 20th century average of 59.9 degrees. That is reality.
People seeking scientific proof of anthropogenic global climate change are barking up the wrong tree. The goal of science, if unlike McKinley, we accept science, is not to prove, but to explain aspects of the natural world.
Around 1850, physicist John Tyndall discovered that carbon dioxide traps heat in our atmosphere, producing the greenhouse effect, which enables all of creation as we know it to live on Earth.
Carbon dioxide increased as a percentage of our atmosphere since Tyndall’s time at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. As a result, Earth’s average temperature increased by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
The disturbance of the global carbon cycle and related increase in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere is identifiably anthropogenic because of the isotope signature of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
We can also observe the effects of global warming in worldwide glacier retreat, declining Arctic ice sheets, sea level rise, warming oceans, ocean acidification, and increased intensity of weather events.
It is no wonder almost all of climate scientists and all of the national academies of science in the world agree climate change is real, it is happening now, it’s caused by humans, and is cause for immediate action before it is too late.
Politicians like McKinley don’t get it, and advocate against reality. That’s nothing new for some members of the Republican Party.
Based on some research I have been conducting in my basement over the years, most recently Monday. That was the worst storm I ever saw ……
We have lived in the same house for a long time. When we moved in we were told that the basement “would get a little water in it on occasion.” I was young and quite naive. There was a sump pump and I didn’t worry too much. We lived here for 6 years before we got nailed with a downpour on an Independence day weekend. We got water in the basement. We had some stuff down there that we lost. Nothing big. Lesson learned. Be careful what you put in the basement.
We never had dreams of the basement becoming a finished basement. It’s purpose was to hold a household utilities (up at least 3 feet off the ground), and as a shelter from storms. I had used it as a place to lift weights and had a small workshop over the years.
Before the next water incident We had a basement wall cave in due to the extreme dry weather. The ground was so dry the earth shrank from the wall and the wall could not handle the full weight only on the wall. We were far from the only ones who had that problem.
Our next encounter with water was almost ten years or so after the first in ’93. Who didn’t have problems that year? Then it was a little shorter time, with some problems in the late ’90s. The next came after a shorter time span. Now we seem to get significant water every year. We have nothing down there anymore except fans to dry it up after the storms. Our utilities are still down there but should be up high enough that they are not bothered.
This is not an exercise in “woe is me.” This is just to illustrate that by simple observation that things are changing and they are changing quickly. Whether you believe it is caused by man or not it is hard to deny that the climate is changing. Scientists the world over have come to independent conclusions that the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is directly related to the changing climate.
Even if you do not believe the changing climate is caused by man, if it is caused by greenhouse gasses then man can do something to hopefully turn it around by contributing less such gasses to the atmosphere. When we move to less pollution we will also create jobs and make the nation healthier through better air to breathe. Working to turn our climate back around will be a major WIN, WIN, WIN for us all.
The Keystone Pipeline is a powerful symbol of the urgent necessity for climate action. On July 19, the Great March for Climate Action crosses the proposed path of the pipeline outside Bradshaw, Nebraska. We are working with Bold Nebraska on a major public event, and I hope you’ll consider attending to send the message that the pipeline must be stopped.
With a deep sense of urgency I need to ask you step forward and donate to our “Erase the Pipeline” fundraising drive. We have raised $14,363 of the $50,000 necessary to get us through Nebraska. Every time you help us reach a benchmark en route to our goal, we’ll erase a piece of the pipeline. Otherwise, other marchers and I will have to resort to pulling up the pipeline with our bare hands . . . like this:
I made an $18,000 personal commitment to helping the March by declining to accept a salary. I am challenging other marchers to deepen their commitment and make additional sacrifices to assure our success. I challenge you, our supporters, to do so as well. To donate now, click here.
In one-on-one conversations, in small groups, and through social and traditional media– the March is having a far-reaching impact. Thanks to all who have stepped forward to make this epic journey possible.
(Editor’s Note: Al Gore’s article in the June 18 issue of Rolling Stone is hopeful about the climate crisis in a way we have not heard lately. As members of Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps, we see the former vice president receives his share of criticism. He is also on the leading edge of advocacy to mitigate the causes of global warming and related climate change. That makes this article a must read).
The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate
It’s time to accelerate the shift toward a low-carbon future
By Al Gore
In the struggle to solve the climate crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place. The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail. The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization. There will be many times in the decades ahead when we will have to take care to guard against despair, lest it become another form of denial, paralyzing action. It is true that we have waited too long to avoid some serious damage to the planetary ecosystem– some of it, unfortunately, irreversible. Yet the truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still– almost certainly– be avoided. Moreover, the pace of the changes already set in motion can still be moderated significantly.
To read the rest of the article, click here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-turning-point-new-hope-for-the-climate-20140618#ixzz354z36Izt