The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 7, 2014

It could be worse than our never-ending winter

No matter how long and cold our winter was here in the Midwest, it doesn’t mean global warming isn’t happening. If anything, it indicates a renewed call to action on climate change.

Worldwide only a few places were cooler than normal. In the U.S., record high temperatures now occur twice as often as record colds.

Climate change has already affected agriculture, human health, ecosystems, water supplies and some people’s livelihoods. Extreme weather such as hurricanes will become more intense and frequent in a warming world and that is costing taxpayers money. Superstorm Sandy, wildfires on the West Coast and a drought in the Midwest cost US taxpayers over 100 billion dollars last year.

People of faith everywhere agree that we need to be much better stewards of creation, and also that we have a moral imperative to leave a safe climate for the generations to come.

There is now more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than ever before humans existed due to pollution from dirty energy like coal, oil and gas. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, we must transition as quickly as possible from fossil fuels to clean energy. We need new carbon pollution standards for future power plants.

We must also use energy more efficiently and build cleaner cars. While we work to conserve natural resources, we also need to counter the commercialization of our culture and to promote positive changes in the way goods are produced and consumed. Perhaps most importantly, we need to nurture an American dream that upholds a new emphasis on community, ecological sustainability and a celebration of non-material values.

When Colin Beavan and his family decided to try living for a year in New York City without doing any harm to the environment (the “No Impact Experiment”), they swore off plastic and toxins, turned off his electricity, went organic, became bicycle nuts, and tried to save the planet from environmental catastrophe. In doing so they realized that it actually made their lives happier, healthier and more abundant.

The Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking will be screening of “No Impact Man” on Thursday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. at The Canticle, the home of the Sisters of St. Francis, 841 13th Ave. North in Clinton.

The screening is free and all are welcome.

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Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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