Climate action at the Latino Heritage Festival: How you can help

Tyler Granger works for the Iowa Wildlife Federation. -promoted by Laura Belin

2019 has been a disappointing year for environmental protections, from the Trump administration allowing drilling in the Arctic Circle to Congress failing to renew the Endangered Species Act.

This year’s Iowa Climate Strike was a march of hope, and we hope a majority of Iowans can unite in support of environmental protection. In climate strikes across Iowa and all over the world, people marched in solitary with scientists who have gone from sounding alarm bells to screaming from the roof tops that our climate cannot sustain the amount of pollution we are putting into the atmosphere.

I participated in last week’s Climate Strike, hoping to expand my own group’s mission, because wildlife protection and conservation can both help alleviate the consequences of the climate crisis.

The millions who marched for climate justice and a Green New Deal know that we need to evolve from a fossil fuel economy to a renewable energy economy. To reach 100 percent clean energy production, we need to have the political will to stand up to special interest politicians.

Iowa has seen the impact of global warming several times this year, most notably in our flooding. Having the Missouri and Mississippi River flood at the same time indicates a much larger problem: glacier melt is coinciding with record-breaking cyclone bombs of rain. Our rivers, levees, and infrastructure cannot handle this volume of water with this much intensity. As more and more people are displaced by flooding, the inaction by Iowa’s Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst on this issue looks increasingly callous.

The Iowa Climate Strike provided a path way for disparate groups to work together, building pressure on politicians to act on climate change. This weekend at the Latino Heritage Festival, the Iowa WildLife Federation will be joining EcoMadres and Mom’s Clean Air Force to host a booth to sign up Iowans to talk to their senators about climate change.

Writing letters, attending town halls, and making phone calls are necessary tools to grab the attention of Grassley and Ernst (who is up for re-election next year). There is no excuse to deny or dismiss this problem. So please come join EcoMadres and Mom’s Clean Air Force this weekend and help write postcards urging our senators to act.

Editor’s note: The Latino Heritage Festival is happening at the Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines on Saturday, September 28 from 10 am to 11 pm and on Sunday, September 29 from 10 am to 6 pm.

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