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A livable world

Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s local chapter creates bipartisan climate solutions, conversations

March 13, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The crew behind bringing the documentary "Saving Snow" to Iowa Lakes Community College and other area venues late last month continues its work on climate change.

The group posted an op-ed, which was chosen by the national organization as op-ed of the week. You can read it as the guest editorial in the Estherville News on page 4.

Co-facilitator Jane Shuttleworth said, "Citizens' Climate Lobby is about getting out of your comfort zone."

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With the snow on the ground and frosty temperatures, it seems like spring is still a long way off. According to the USA National Phenology Network, however, spring has sprung very early in some parts of the nation.

According to the network, spring continues to arrive early in the West, Southwest, and mid-Atlantic, compared to a long-term average (1981-2010). Spring arrived late in the Southeast. St. Louis, Mo., is nine days early and Wichita, Kan., is six days early.

The timing of leaf-out, migration, flowering and other seasonal phenomena in many species is closely tied to local weather conditions and broad climatic patterns. The Spring Index maps offered by USA-NPN shed light on plant and animal phenology, based on local weather and climate conditions.

How do you know when spring has begun? Is it the appearance of the first tiny leaves on the trees, or the first crocus plants peeping through the snow? The Spring Leaf Index is a synthetic measure of these early season events in plants, based on recent temperature conditions. This model allows us to track the progression of spring onset across the country.

The maps are located at

Climate change is affecting farming each day. One workshop detailing the ways to deal with this is in LeCenter, Minn. on Thursday with Gabe Brown, cover crop innovator. Brown has a TED talk about the regeneration of land from his perspective as a producer.

"Agriculture has been challenged. How do we feed 9 billion people by the year 2050?" Brown asks in his talk.

Other members of the larger CCL network are working on an op-ed about preventing farmer and rancher suicides.

The final part of the meeting ends with a national video conference call. This month, the speaker was Joan Blades, co-founder of Long thought of as a strictly liberal political action group, MoveOn began in 1997 with a concept many Americans agreed upon: it was time to Move On from personal legal action against President Clinton and get on with the business of the nation.

In 2006, Blades co-founded, dedicated to "bringing millions of people, who all share a common concern about the need to build a more family-friendly America, together as a non-partisan force."

The latest project is Living Room Conversations, which seeks to bridge the political divide in the United States by encouraging people with differing views to come together for respectful discussions. There is even a "dating service" by which an individual can be matched to one with opposing viewpoints, with both parties interested in a conversation of finding common ground and perhaps even a solution.

CCL was founded as a non-partisan effort to bring people from all political views together to find solutions to climate change. The Iowa Great Lakes Chapter has monthly meetings and several avenues to get involved.



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