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Citizens Climate Lobby local chapter hosts conference

Local chapter holds event at Lakeside Laboratory

October 17, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer (apeterson@esthervillenews.net) , Estherville News

\This weekend, the North Wind Regional Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby met at Lakeside Laboratory in Okoboji. It was the second conference held in the area; the first was last March, also at Lakeside Laboratory.

Jane Shuttleworth is leader of the Iowa Great Lakes chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby, which includes Emmet County as well as Dickinson and Clay counties. Citizens' Climate Lobby is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization empowering people to experience breakthroughs exercising their personal and political power.

Shuttleworth said, "Our chapter is just one of hundreds of chapters across the world working to create the political will for a livable world."

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The local chapter is laser-focused on passage of the Carbon Fee and Dividend bill, the climate change solution economists and scientists both say is the best first step to preventing the worst impacts of climate change.

Shuttleworth said, "Our market-based Carbon Fee and Dividend policy will drastically reduce emissions, create jobs, and support small businesses and families - all without growing government."

The weekend culminated in a fireside chat moderated by Estherville native David Thoreson. State Senator and Democratic leader Rob Hogg, and State Senator David Johnson of Spirit Lake.

Hogg said he is an advocate for 100 percent renewable energy.

Hogg said, "We need to phase fossil fuels out by 2025 or 2030. And if people say, 'well that's unrealistic,' okay, so maybe it will take us a few more years, but that's okay. We're going to get there."

Hogg also pointed out that the state of Iowa did not have a solar energy industry five years ago. In 2012, in a divided government, the Iowa legislature passed a solar energy tax credit.

Since the tax credit became available, Iowa has had 2,500 solar energy projects, $123 million invested, with a leverage of $16 million from the tax credits, and 700 people employed in the industry.

"There are solutions that work," Hogg said. "They work for businesses, they work for farmers, they work for consumers, they work for our health, and they meet our obligations to the environment for future generations."

"What's not working is our political system, "Hogg said.

That's where Citizens Climate Lobby comes in; to engage citizens in speaking to their representatives about climate change and working with their members of congress and legislature to move toward better environmental policy, Hogg said.

Sen. Johnson held up a map, which showed the concentration of hog confinements in Iowa. CCL members from out of state expressed shock at the sheer number. Johnson said regulations on setbacks were crucial to protecting the way of life of neighbors to hog confinements.

Saturday night ended with singing. Song sheets with environment themed lyrics came out and voices raised to the tune of, among others, Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Made for You and Me."

People interested in connecting with the local chapter can email: iowagreatlakes@citizensclimatelobby.org.

 
 
 

 

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