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Senator Joni Ernst recently came to town as part of her 99-county tour of Iowa. I was one of the 60 or so folks who came to Clinton Middle School to listen, ask questions and listen again.

I was the one who asked the question about climate change. I did so in order to give her a chance to reformulate her position on this critical issue. As I explained in my question to the senator, the science on climate change is virtually universal. What’s also virtually universal is the dire predictions of the consequences we face if we don’t take action immediately.

Mother Nature is gagging on the carbon dioxide that we are feeding her, and she is regurgitating it all over the world. I am not going to do an enumeration of the catastrophes that face us because anyone with internet access can find more than they want to read.

Back to my question to Senator Ernst. I asked her if she was confident that her “measured” approach to climate change was enough to made the kind of difference we need in order to turn things around. She firmly replied – “yes.” (Actually, she said “yes, Tom”, which was nice. She is a nice person and is shorter than I thought she was.)

Her reply began with the obvious statement – “the climate is always changing.” Really? Once she said that I knew what was coming. When she ran for office, she had to memorize the “climate mantra” given her by the Koch brothers who heavily funded her campaign. I would love to know what she really thinks. She is a smart, thoughtful person, and she must have some thoughts of her own.

She did add one more feature to her solution to universal climate change, which is to encourage financial incentives for solar and wind energy. With this, the world’s energy needs will be taken care of, and the crisis will be easily avoided. Relax. There is no need to put any controls on reducing the use of fossil fuels because that would be very inconvenient.

Also, the “Green New Deal” is just too radical. No need for it. A crisis only needs a measured response, nothing dramatic. Remember if you don’t talk about it, it won’t happen.

Her answer was frightening because it means that as long as she thinks the way she does, very little will happen. Reelect her if you want, but please help her change her mind. Buckle up folks, we are in for some difficult times ahead. Mother Earth does what she needs to do, and will do it, and she really doesn’t care what we think. We don’t get to have an opinion about a fact of nature.

Thomas Streveler, Ed.D.