Demand clean water now

Chris Jones is a research engineer (IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering) at the University of Iowa. The Cedar Rapids Gazette published a version of this essay on August 28. -promoted by Laura Belin

August 26, 2019

Prologue: Some time ago, I wrote an essay for the Iowa Ideas Magazine , which was published recently by the Cedar Rapids Gazette. That piece forms the bulk of this essay. I received no compensation from the Gazette, and the title here is mine and not the Gazette’s.

I am 58 years old, grew up in Iowa, and have lived here most of my adult life. Although some things have improved and exceptions can be found, for the most part the state’s water quality has never been good or even adequate during the span of my life.

Some of this connects to decisions made 100+ years ago by our great-great-grandparents, including my own. But some or most of it is because of recalcitrance and the insistence that we tolerate the status quo. I reject that. Hence the title.

I’ve slightly edited the essay I sent to the Gazette. The new version follows.

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Trump's trade war: Be careful what you wish for

Jon Muller: The Trump administration’s two stated goals “are incompatible to the point of being mutually exclusive in a peaceful world.” -promoted by Laura Belin

There is a consensus in the U.S. that China is a bad actor. It is not so much my goal to destroy that consensus, though most of its underpinnings are based in fantasy, nationalism, and the convenient politics of fear.

Rather, this essay is a critique of current U.S. policy, and the absurdity of the disconnect between what we say we want versus what we’re asking for.

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Iowa Senate district 36 preview: Jeff Edler vs. Dave Degner

Some sobering facts about the bloodbath that was the 2016 election in Iowa:

Donald Trump carried eighteen state Senate districts that had voted for President Barack Obama in 2012.*

Eleven of those eighteen were even-numbered districts, which are on the Iowa ballot in presidential election years.

The four Republicans who already represented Obama/Trump districts all easily won another term in the Iowa Senate.**

But six of the seven Democratic senators up for re-election in Obama/Trump districts lost: Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (Senate district 8), Mary Jo Wilhelm (Senate district 26), Brian Schoenjahn (Senate district 32), Steve Sodders (Senate district 36), Tom Courtney (Senate district 44), and Chris Brase (Senate district 46).

With Republicans now enjoying a 32-18 majority in the upper chamber, Democrats need to win back at least a few Obama/Trump seats next year to have a realistic chance of regaining Iowa Senate control after the next round of redistricting.

Democrats have been actively campaigning in Senate districts 8 and 44 for some time. Now GOP State Senator Jeff Edler has a strong challenger in Senate district 36.

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Iowa's senators must act on climate change

Action alert from Tyler Granger of the National Wildlife Federation. -promoted by Laura Belin

Despite flooding that devastated the state of Iowa this Spring, our junior U.S. Senator Joni Ernst continues to ignore the climate crisis and to support President Donald Trump’s toxic agenda, which is harming Iowa’s health and economy.

At a recent town hall in Denison, Ernst heard from a Manning constituent, Peter Leo, about the need to act on the climate crisis. Instead of finding common ground, Ernst made the concern a laughing matter and suggested that combating climate change would “crater our economy.”

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A look at Elizabeth Warren's brain trust in action

Charlie Mitchell is a food systems writer and researcher in Des Moines. -promoted by Laura Belin

Where does Elizabeth Warren come up with all of these plans? I’ll tell you where she got her new one, aimed at rural communities and agriculture: rural Iowans from every corner of the state.

I know because I observed a member of the brain trust in action. John Russell is an ex-farmer employed by the Warren campaign to drive his black Chevy Colorado all over Iowa. His team calls him “Roaddog.” Though based in Mason City, he crashes on couches with generous supporters most every day of the week.

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