The World Is Ablaze With Climate Warnings

Worldwide climate reporting is literally heating up with frightening news. Global temperatures continue to spike as July was the hottest month ever recorded since records began in 1880. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the sizzling July record follows the hottest June ever recorded in the last 140 years. Anchorage, Alaska hit 90 degrees on July 4th, beating the previous high temperature of 85 degrees. A spot north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden topped an unheard of temperature of 94 degrees in July. Warming ocean temperatures have resulted in an acceleration of the loss of sea ice […]

Trauma Surgeons Among Those Calling For Assault Weapons Ban

Any discussion about restricting the sale or possession of assault rifles must include input from trauma surgeons working to repair the monstrous wounds these military weapons create. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump have promised a discussion on gun safety when Congress returns to Washington, D.C., next month after its August recess. In an effort to push discussion into action, the Western Trauma Association in 2018 passed a resolution in favor of banning assault rifles. “These weapons are designed for the purposes of killing or severely injuring large numbers of people in combat … The presence of […]

Iowa Water Crisis Worsening, Major Beach Closed Due To Blue-Green Algae

The beach and new outdoor waterpark at the $60 million Honey Creek Resort are closed this week, as well as two other beaches on Rathbun Lake. The closures came after dangerous blue-green algae blooms were detected at several spots around the lake. Swimming warnings are in place at all three beaches and the public was warned to keep pets out of the water. The waterpark is off limits to humans and pets until the dangerous bacteria levels are reduced. The indoor hotel waterpark remains safe to use.  The Environmental Protection Agency warns that microcystin cyanobacteria generated by blue-green algae can be toxic. […]

Iowa Farmers Play Crucial Role In Combating Climate Change

The issue of climate change temporarily has fallen off the news radar as the public responds to the horrific shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. As a result, much of the public likely missed last week’s latest warning from the United Nations about threats to worldwide food supplies due to climate change.   The special report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned of the risk to worldwide food supplies from an overheated planet. The report, “Climate Change and Land,” describes the essential role soil health plays in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.    “Limiting global warming […]

Will Iowans Answer Register’s Call For Help?

An editorial opinion piece written July 15 by Carol Hunter in the Des Moines Register is the latest warning about the Iowa newspaper’s declining subscription base. Hunter, the Register’s executive editor explains “Why we’re asking you to buy a subscription.”   It’s a signal that the Register needs the public’s help and financial support if Iowans expect the newspaper to continue to deliver the quality and quantity of local news reporting it currently offers. Hunter builds a powerful case for supporting the Register as a local news source.  “Strong local journalism is a building block of a strong community. Our journalism […]

DNC: Debate The Debate On Climate

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is engaged in a peculiar debate. Since April, there has been a growing grassroots crusade by such groups as the Sunrise Movement, 350.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Credo Action demanding the DNC sponsor a presidential debate focused exclusively on climate change. The DNC leadership has pushed back, pointing to the number of critical single issues that could be individually debated. In June, DNC Chair Tom Perez argued that devoting debates to single issues, especially those issues pushed by single candidates, was unfair. “We don’t have enough debates to do that,” Perez said. The […]

A Look Inside The Fight To Save Iowa Voting Rights

The battle to overturn portions of the Republicans’ 2017 voter ID law raged on in a Polk County District Court trial several weeks ago. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Iowa State University student Taylor Blair are challenging several key portions of the law. If LULAC and Blair are successful, the worst aspects of the law may be overturned. The voter ID law restricted Iowa voting by requiring very specific, government-issued voter identification at the polls, changes in early voting and absentee voting requirements. The June 2019 trial is a continuation of the suit filed in May […]

Reynolds’ DNR Concealing Real Extent Of Iowa Water Contamination At Lakes

Each week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) takes water samples from Iowa public park beaches. They test for dangerous bacterial contaminants and post those beaches that are unsafe for recreational swimming. However, there are serious concerns that the standard the IDNR is using to test the water fails to adequately alert the public to the dangerous bacterial contamination. Governor Reynolds and her IDNR are putting Iowa family’s health at risk by refusing to follow the EPA health standards for Iowa recreational waters. E. Coli and Microcystins This is the third week we […]

Whose Climate Change Plan Will Stand Out In The Debates?

Iowa Democrats evaluating presidential candidates in this week’s debate will weigh a number of issues and factors in making their choice. How big a role will climate change play in the debate, and who will be the best climate candidate? Addressing climate change has become one of the major policy issues that has leap-frogged ahead of nearly every other topic for Iowa caucus attendees. The June CNN/Des Moines Register poll has climate change as the number two priority for likely Iowa caucus-goers. The poll asked caucus participants what issues their candidate must have to gain their support. “Recognition of climate […]

Where Was Joni Ernst’s Squealing Over Tariffs?

Making Washington squeal was a major theme used by Joni Ernst in campaigning for the Senate in 2014. She has continued to claim that she is holding Washington accountable by declaring a monthly, “Joni’s Squeal Award.” She has used that squeal award to highlight numerous trivial spending issues and attack various Democratic proposals. Where is her squealing fury over Trump’s destructive tariffs? If Ernst is serious about bringing to light Washington policies that damage Iowans, why is she failing to call out the unbearable tariff pain inflicted on Iowa farmers, businesses, consumers and communities?  The massive costs imposed on Iowans […]