planet over profit

Letter writer Kara Grady urges citizens to take their own initiative to endorse climate-friendly policies since state senators and representatives won't. 

When the sixth IPCC report came out, I knew it was time to take my level of climate action up a notch. I’ve been involved in the Fridays for Future strikes, in-person and online, since late 2019. Earlier this year, I began a podcast on the intersections between my religion and climate change, which had reached almost 150 views, and I’d done several rounds of actions with the Sunrise Rays.

But I had never contacted my representatives directly about my fears of the future and how climate change has personally affected my life. So I wrote to all four about living under a sky shrouded in smoke, how my dad’s asthma and my sister's allergies were all inflamed, how my outdoor work was leaving me light-headed and faint due to the record-breaking temperatures and how my friends who run a small farm were having depression because there was no rain for weeks and weeks. I sent it off, wondering what kind of reply I would get if any.

To my surprise, I did get one. About a month later, a reply popped into my inbox from Sen. Jodi Ernst. Yet it was anything but a reply. In fact, reading through it, it sounded as if she and her team had never read my original message. There was no reference to my dad’s asthma, to my friends’ farm, to my own fears of the irreversible damage being done to our planet. Instead, it was a childish ramble of saving taxpayer’s money and complaints of how her COST Act did not receive a vote. Not a single word addressed my concerns as her constituent, even though she claimed at the beginning, “It is important for me to hear from folks in Iowa on policy matters such as these.”

Let me be clear. Our current Iowa senators and representatives do not care about our future. They do not care about the fires in the west, the drought gripping our state or how our children are expected to grow and thrive on an increasingly uninhabitable planet, and I guarantee that not a single one will be voting in favor of passing the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill with its extensive climate package.

So, what can we as Iowans do if our representatives won’t listen or act for us?

First, consider writing to Democrats of a neighboring state to thank them for supporting the reconciliation bill or urging them to do so. Centrists such as Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema need to know how important it is for us in red states that they vote in favor of the reconciliation bill.

Support upcoming democratic candidates who plan to make historic investments in clean energy.

Consider donating to organizations working to battle misinformation in our state as well as laws infringing on our voting rights.

If you’re a young person like me, join a Sunrise hub and take action for local and nationwide climate initiatives. 

We still have time and each other. As many older friends have told me, “Your generation are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” If our representatives will not listen to us, it's time to take matters into our own hands.

Kara Grady is an Iowa State alumni.

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(3) comments

Seymour Trout

Thank goodness that there are sane people in government who do not cave in to lunatic demands by man-made climate change kooks. Man-made climate change is a popular delusion with no basis in science. Educated people should reject it.

J. T.

The climate change agenda is anti-human. "have less children to lower your carbon footprint," they say, "lockdowns could actually improve the climate, do less traveling, live with more restrictions." In some cases for 'too-big-to-fail' corporations, they should have climate restrictions, but there should be nothing for individuals or small businesses, especially when the politicians sounding the alarm on climate never abide by their own recommendations. Be 'climate friendly' if you'd like, but you're no better or more virtuous for it. Its a personal choice.

Seymour Trout

Nothing that corporations do affects the climate. Nothing that humans do affects the climate.

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