With the caucuses just a few weeks away, climate change is undeniably one of the top issues for students.
We are concerned about the future of our state, our country and our world as unprecedented floods and fires and extreme weather happen around us. Yet there has been minimal discussion of climate change and ways to combat the undeniable problem in any of the past eight debates.
We want our potential leaders to roll out and discuss detailed plans to address the threat of climate change, reduce hazardous carbon emission levels and commit to renewable energy development.
We want to see the candidates give thoughtful and detailed answers to the biggest questions of our lifetime, including fighting climate change by expanding our renewable energy sector.
We hope that they can recount the stories of Iowans they have met along the campaign trail to highlight the issues and concerns faced by folks all across the country. We encourage them to take Iowa’s success story of wind energy and share it with the nation.
Iowa has broken records in shifting to renewables and reducing carbon emissions by building up our wind energy sector.
As the number one source of renewable energy in Iowa, wind power plays a valuable, integral role — not only for our environment — but also for our economy. Wind in Iowa generates enough electricity to power two million homes and supports 10,000 jobs across the state.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that solar and wind technicians are the two fastest growing jobs in the country, and in Iowa, wind tech program grads can expect to make upward of $60,000 a year.
Addressing the threat of climate change is of the utmost importance for our generation, and Iowa’s success offers a clear blueprint for how to do that in a way that is also good for the local economy and makes sense in the heartland.
The time to act on climate change is now. Shifting to greater reliance on wind energy will be crucial in our efforts to mitigate the climate crisis.
To the field of presidential hopefuls: we want to hear your plans for our future.