# Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council

Governor Culver, please take your Democratic critics seriously (updated)

In her book Living History, Hillary Clinton wrote,

“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.”

This advice came to mind as I read the harsh exchange of words between Ed Fallon and Governor Chet Culver’s office on Thursday.

I’ll explain what I mean after the jump.

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Why don't Iowa leaders do more to protect the environment? (updated)

David Yepsen published his final column in the Des Moines Register before starting his new job as director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. It reprises some themes from many previous columns, such as the need to create a world-class education system and thriving economy in Iowa, with fewer layers of government.

As often happens when I read one of Yepsen’s columns, I wonder why he ignores some obvious paths to achieving his admirable goals. For instance, he wants Iowa to “set the goal of having one of the highest per-capita incomes in the country within 10 years.” Is this the same columnist who never met a labor union he liked? It reminded me of how Yepsen periodically slams the excessive influence of big money in politics, but won’t get behind a voluntary public financing system for clean elections.

In Yepsen’s final column, one passage in particular caught my eye:

Let’s set a goal to have the cleanest environment in the country within 10 years. The cleanest air. The cleanest water. The best soil- and energy-conservation practices.

We’ve had education governors. We’ve had sporadic focus on growing the economy. For some reason, we’ve lacked a similar focus on the environment. Creating a clean environment will create green jobs, but it will also make Iowa more attractive as a place to live and do business.

“For some reason”? I think most of us have a pretty good idea why improving air and water quality has never been a high priority for Iowa leaders. Follow me after the jump for more on this problem.

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Events coming up this weekend and next week

As always, post a comment or send me an e-mail (desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com) if you know of an event I should add to this post.

Friday, February 13:

As part of the “POWERLINES to the Future” conference of the Midwest Regional Physicians for Social Responsibility, there will be a free film and discussion of “Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives” at 7:30 pm in the International Center, Old Capitol Town Center Mall, downtown Iowa City.

Get full information at:


One Iowa urges supporters to “write a note on Facebook or Myspace with the 25 Reasons you support marriage equality. Then tag 25 of your closest friends on the note and add your 25 reasons as a comment to the One Iowa Facebook or Myspace page.” Also, One Iowa is hosting a Happy Hour from 5-7 PM at Azalea Restaurant, 400 Walnut St., Des Moines.

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having a “Red Envelope Party” (where people can write letters to policy-makers advocating for expanding birth options in Iowa) in Davenport from 3 pm to 5 pm at the Harrison Hilltop Theatre. Click here for more information:


Saturday, February 14:

Physicians for Social Responsibility is holding a “POWERLINES to the Future” conference at the International Center, Old Capitol Town Center Mall, Iowa City. PSR hopes to encourage Iowans, especially those involved in the health professions, to become more informed and actively engaged in confronting the gravest health challenges of our time:

Conference 9:00 AM — 4:00 PM

Check-in and breakfast at 8:00 AM

The Saturday program addresses health, environmental, and economic consequences of:

Nuclear weapons

Nuclear power

Coal fired power generation

View full program at:  www.iowa-psr.org/pl/pl_home.html/#program

Intended audience: physicians, allied health professionals, public health officials, general public, and students.

Registration includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday.

Pre-registration by Wednesday February 11, 2009 is required to be ensured food!

Sliding-scale conference registration fee.

Register online or download a printable registration form at:


Friends of Iowa Midwives is having a “Red Envelope Party” at the Urbandale Public Library from 10 am to 12 pm, and at the Iowa City Public Library from 1 pm to 3 pm. For more information:


Monday, February 16:

Big event on climate change co-sponsored by lots of good organizations:

The University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and a variety of co-sponsoring organizations invite you to a climate change briefing and discussion to highlight the recent report of the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council.

The briefing and discussion will take place on Monday, February 16, 6:00-7:30 pm at the Iowa State Historical Building Auditorium, 600 East Locust in Des Moines.

The meeting will be an opportunity to learn more about climate change science its potential impacts on Iowa, as well as learn about the recent options detailed in the work of the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council report and participate in an informal discussion about climate change and next steps.

Iowa Climate Change Briefing and Discussion

Monday, February 16, 6:00-7:30 pm

Iowa State Historical Building, Auditorium


Welcome – Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie

Richard Leopold, Director, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Climate Science and Assessment of Climate Change for Iowa- Eugene S. Takle, Director, Climate Change Initiative, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Professor of Agricultural Meteorology, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University

Brief overview of the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council’s Report –  Jerry Schnoor – Co-director, University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research and Chairman, Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council

What are our next steps? Interactive discussion with key legislators, ICCAC members and the audience

Adjourn for light refreshments

Climate Change Briefing and Discussion Co-Sponsors

Iowa State University Climate Science Initiative

UNI Center for Energy and Environmental Education

Iowa State University Extension

Iowa Department of Economic Development

Iowa Office of Energy Independence

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate

Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities

Iowa State Association of Counties

Iowa League of Cities

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Iowa Environmental Council

Iowa Interfaith Power & Light

Iowa Policy Project

Trees Forever

For more information or questions contact Joe Bolkcom, Outreach and Community Education Director, UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at joe-bolkcom@uiowa.edu or 319-353-2681.

One Iowa is organizing this event:

February 16, 5:30 PM

“Transgender Medicine 101”

featuring Dr. Christine McGinn

FREE and open to the public

Dinner at 5:30, lecture at 6:00

Des Moines University Student Education Center Auditorium

3200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines

Go to www.oneiow.org for more information

Tuesday, February 17:

It’s the registration deadline for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s Crossroads lunch on February 20 (see below for more information). Call 515-279-8715 to make a reservation.

The Women Food and Agriculture Network is holding “Women Caring for the Land” meetings on February 17, 18 and 19, for women landowners in Johnson, Jones and Linn Counties. These are free educational programs on conservation programming for women who are farm partners, owner-operators, or inheritors who own farmland. Laura Krouse will hold meetings in each county, followed by spring field days and a follow-up meeting. Please call her at 319-895-6924 to find out where and when the meeting will be held in each county.

Wednesday, February 18:

One Iowa and Lambda Legal are holding a “Let My Parents Marry” forum at 6:30 pm in the Coralville Public Library, Meeting Room A, 1401 5th St., Coralville.

Friends of Iowa Midwives is holding its third Annual Conscious Birth Summit from 3 pm to 8 pm in the Iowa City Public Library, Meeting Room A, Featuring screenings of The Business of Being Born and Orgasmic Birth.

Thursday, February 19:

From the Iowa Environmental Council newsletter:

Growing Sustainable Communities Conference

Join us Thursday, February 19, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the Grand River Center, 500 Bell Street in Dubuque. Cost is $20 per person, which includes a lunch. Limited number of student scholarships available. Our conference theme is “Promoting Historic Preservation as Part of the Climate Solution.” Insights will be offered on creating local and regional policies to promote sustainability through historic preservation. Keynote speakers for the event are Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Roya Stanley, director of the Iowa Office for Energy Independence. Deadline for registration is Feb 11 [from desmoinesdem: I know it’s late, but if you’re interested try calling anyway]. A limited number of student scholarships are available. Online registration and payment, as well as additional information, are available at www.sustainabledubuque.org or by calling 563.589.4110 during business hours. The mission of the conference is to educate the public on the issues that impact the long-term health and sustainability of our region and to create an opportunity for policy decision-makers from the tri-state area to come together to discuss ways in which they can enact the most effective change at the local level.

Also from the IEC bulletin:

Iowa Whitewater Coalition Annual Dinner Meeting

February 19, Des Moines

The IWC ‘Reconnecting the Rivers’ Annual Dinner Meeting will take place on Thursday, February 19th, with a social hour beginning at 6 pm and dinner at 7 pm. Following the meal special guest Adam Brooks, who has paddled the entire Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, will be sharing stories from his adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail and his plans for paddling 2300 miles of the Yukon River in Alaska starting in June. The meeting will be held at the House of Thai, located at 3017 100th Street in Des Moines. There will be a wonderful selection of dishes served banquet style, beverages and a cash bar for those interested. Tickets may be purchased for $25 per individual or $45 per couple. Proceeds from the event directly benefit the non-profit activities of the IWC and its Reconnecting the Rivers Campaign. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.iowawhitewater.org/…

One Iowa and Lambda Legal are holding a “Let My Parents Marry” forum at 6:30 pm in the Des Moines Public Library, Meeting Room 1, 1000 Grand Ave. in Des Moines.

Friday, February 20:

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is holding a Crossroads luncheon:

Guest Speaker:    Nate Monson

Project Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools

Subject:                Safe Schools for All

Sexual orientation and gender identity are two controversial topics in our communities and in our schools. Are our schools safe for LGBT youth? Learn about, discuss, and experience the effects of bias and harassment on students who identify and students who are perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender and learn about laws dealing with the GLBT community.

Date:                    Friday, February 20

o       Time:        11:45 – 1 p.m.

o       Location: Plymouth Congregational Church, Des Moines (42nd Street & Ingersoll Avenue )

o       Cost:         $9.00

Reservations are required for Crossroads.  Please call or email TIA Iowa by Tuesday, February 17.

Office: 515-279-8715

Friends of Iowa Midwives is having a Red Envelope Party from noon to 1 pm at the Marion Public Library.

Saturday, February 21:

From the IEC bulletin:

Hunter Angler Summit

Please join other outdoor enthusiasts on Feb 21, at Johnson County Conservation Education Center at F.W. Kent Park, just west of Tiffin, for a one-day summit to learn about threats to Iowa wetlands, rivers and streams, and help the National and Iowa Wildlife Federation to launch a state campaign to fight back after the rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and administrative fiats that have left over half of Iowa streams and over 70 percent of Iowa’s prairie pothole wetlands vulnerable to losing Clean Water Act protections. Whether you are an angler who enjoys casting in your favorite stream or a hunter who counts on mallards and northern pintails, these decisions threaten the places you love. Policy experts and scientists will share the current efforts to eliminate protections in Iowa and the serious impacts they have for Iowa fish and wildlife. We will work together to design a statewide plan for hunters and anglers to stop the rollback of clean water protections for Iowa waters.  Hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts who care about clean water and wildlife should attend. Please RSVP: Email Pam Goddard, goddardp@nwf.org or call at 301-741-6606.

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Events coming up this week

As always, put up a comment if I’ve left anything out. Send me tips about upcoming events at desmoinesdem AT yahoo.com.

Blog for Iowa has this post from One Iowa with details about a bunch of Pride events scheduled for this month. I’ve included the ones set for this week below.

Tuesday, June 10:

A History of Pride Forum on the LGBT community in Des Moines will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at East Village Books in Des Moines. Click here for more information:


Wednesday, June 11:

The Iowa Initiative to Prevent Unintended Pregnancies invites you to attend “Unintended Pregnancy and Contraceptive Use: The Numbers and the People,” with Dr. Lawrence Finer of the Guttmacher Institute. The event will take place from 10 am to noon at the State Historical Society of Iowa, 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines. Dr. Lawrence Finer, Director of Domestic Research with the Guttmacher Institute, will be discussing definitions and trends in unintended pregnancies and contraceptive use in the United States generally and Iowa specifically. An open house at the Iowa Initiative offices will follow.

enrgPATH.com and New-Iowa.biz are hosting a forum on “Sky Factory Culture, Compensation and Ownership: Is this Capitalism or What?” at 6 pm at the Pappajohn Center, 1200 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. Mr. Witherspoon will talk about transparent modes of business that can help turn around a failing business and solidify growth. These include “Open Book Management,” in which financial information is regularly shared and reviews with all employees, as well as transparent, performance-based bonus and ownership programs. For more information, call Angela at 515-205-5494.

One Iowa and Capital City Pride are hosting a Happy Hour from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Suites on Locust, 800 Locust, Des Moines. Come to celebrate Pride Week (and Kamehameha Day)! Don’t know what Kamehameha Day is? Come find out with Free Food and Cheap Drinks – and other LGBT and progressive professionals. Light appetizers, cash bar, and a chance to mingle with other LGBTA Professionals.

Click here to RSVP for the Happy Hour:


Thursday, June 12:

Iowa Climate Change Council to Hear Recommendations on Cap & Trade, Carbon Tax, and Wind Power, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Ameristar, 2202 River Road in Council Bluffs.


Call in #: 800.704.9804

Public conference code: 484 447#

Cap and trade, carbon tax, and wind power are among the issues to be considered by the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council (ICCAC), at the June 12 meeting in Council Bluffs. Time will be allotted for public comments.

The Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council (ICCAC) must submit a proposal to the Governor and Iowa General Assembly, by December, that provides policy recommendations, cost-effective strategies, and multiple scenarios designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Iowa. The group is made up of Governor-appointed stakeholders.

In connection with Pride Week, there will be a free screening of the documentary film “For the Bible Tells Me So” on June 12 at 7:30 PM, State Historical Building, Des Moines. Click here for more information:


Friday, June 13:

Trivia: In Russia it’s Monday the 13th that is considered unlucky.

The Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus – June 13 – 7:30 PM – Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University, Des Moines. Click here for more information:


Join the Iowa Democratic Party for our Victory 2008 Kick-off Event: “United for a Stronger Iowa” With Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, Senator Tom Harkin and Ruth Harkin, Governor Chet Culver and First Lady Mari Culver, Lt. Governor Patty Judge and former Iowa State Senator John Judge, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Scott Brennan and Liz Brennan. Hall of Fame inductees and honorees include: Holmes Foster, Willie Glanton, Marilyn Monroe, Don Ruby, Jim Davis, Harold Swanson, Lora Swanson, Jill June, and Jordan Oster.

Please join us to recognize their outstanding achievements and contributions to the Iowa Democratic Party.  With your help, we will turn Iowa blue this November. The Hall of Fame Dinner will be held in the Polk County Convention Complex, 501 Grand Avenue in Des Moines.

Reception 5:30pm-6:30pm

Dinner begins at 7:00pm

Click here to purchase tickets or call (515) 974-1691. You can also email tickets@iowademocrats.org with any questions related to the 2008 Hall of Fame Dinner.

Saturday, June 14:

The One Iowa/Capital City Pride Lecture on Mental Health will be at 1:00 PM in the Central Library, Des Moines. Speaker: Myke Selha, LISW with LGBT Community Center. RSVP here:


The Des Moines Pride Street Party is happening from 6:00 PM – 12:00 AM in the East Village (around East 5th Street).

Sunday, June 15:

Capital City Pride starts at 1:00 PM – Simon Estes Amphitheatre, Des Moines.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa invites you to march with PPGI in the Pride Parade!

The Pride Parade begins at 1 p.m. and all participants are asked to meet at the State Capitol by noon. If you would like to walk in the parade, please contact PPGI Outreach Coordinator Jenn Morton at 515.280.7001, ext. 3 or jmorton@ppgi.org.

After the parade, visit the Planned Parenthood and Family Practice Center booths during PrideFest at the Simon Estes Amphitheater.

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