Stop saying we all want clean water

Chris Jones is a research engineer (IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering) at the University of Iowa. An earlier version of this piece was first published on the author’s blog. -promoted by Laura Belin

If you have followed water quality issues in Iowa, you’ve probably heard or read the phrase, “We all want clean water.” If so, in all likelihood it came from someone of stature or someone knowledgeable about water quality issues.

A while back I had the idea to shake the Google tree and see what fruit fell to the ground when I entered the phrase “we all want clean water.” It turns out one of our politicians has been quoted saying this so many times that I had a hard time figuring out who else had said it, so I started plucking names out of my head and attaching them to the phrase.

What resulted was an impressive list, a veritable who’s who of Iowa politics and agriculture.

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Dakota Access announces pipeline expansion

Ed Fallon: We must not let this latest attempt to threaten our water, land, property rights and planet go unchallenged. -promoted by Laura Belin

As predicted, Dakota Access announced on June 12 that it wants to increase the amount of oil flowing through its pipeline across Iowa. The company claims it needs no additional authorization from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to proceed.

Bold Iowa disagrees. Today, we filed the following request with the IUB. We need YOU to take action, too. Here’s our five-step action request, which should take you about half an hour. It’s important, and your voice is needed NOW!

1. Read Dakota Access’s filing.

2. Read Bold Iowa’s response, below.

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Tell me to shut up

Ed Fallon: “As the climate crisis accelerates, I’m truly dumbfounded that it’s not the lead story in the news every single day.” -promoted by Laura Belin

If you’re among the handful of people who tell me I’m spending too much time talking about climate, let me respond bluntly: You’re wrong. If anything, I’m not spending enough time talking about it. At this pivotal moment in human and planetary history, if the current trajectory of increased fossil fuel consumption continues, Earth will be unfit for human habitation.

If your home was on fire, that’d be the only thing on your mind, right? Well, our world is on fire.

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Hello Darling

Chris Jones is a research engineer (IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering) at the University of Iowa. An earlier version of this post was first published at the author’s blog. -promoted by Laura Belin

You might recall a recent post assessed the amount of public land Iowa has relative to other states. Iowa is 8th-lowest of the states in the total amount of public land and 3rd-lowest in the percentage of our land area that is in public hands. This made me wonder about water, specifically, how much water we have relative to other states.

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It's good to be orange

Chris Jones is a research engineer (IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering) at the University of Iowa. This post first appeared at the author’s blog. -promoted by Laura Belin

Many have written how earth’s species are undergoing a mass extinction right now, the sixth such event in the planet’s history. These writers include Elizabeth Kolbert and the famous biologist Edward O. Wilson. Extinctions are occurring now at a faster pace than any time since 65 million years ago, when earth’s collision with a 7-mile wide asteroid caused the 5th great extinction, wiping out 70 percent of all species.

One species that did survive the fifth extinction was the Pallid Sturgeon. This fish entered earth’s evolutionary record about 70 million years ago. “Pallid” means absence of color, and true enough, the pallid sturgeon is nearly white. It is one of the largest (up to 85 pounds), longest-lived (as long as 100 years) and ugliest (like a bizarre cross between a shark and an armadillo) fish species in North America. The fish is endangered because we wrecked the Missouri River.

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Twelve takeaways: How to talk to Trump voters about the environment

Midwesterners who supported Donald Trump for president may be open to policies that would “improve environmental conditions while also addressing jobs and the economy, clean water and air, and renewable energy,” even if they are not highly engaged in those issues or convinced that climate change is a global emergency.

Extreme local weather events or threats to area drinking water are good conversation starters, with potential to tap into “pent-up goodwill” rather than reinforcing the “resistance” such voters may feel when confronted by alarming rhetoric.

Those were among the notable findings from twelve focus groups Selzer & Company conducted recently in Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa.

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