SL event speaks to candidates
Storm Lake has been chosen as one of two sites statewide for United Nations-related forums on global warming and climate change issues.
"This is an important issue for our country, and the thought is that if we can begin to have open public discussion on the scientific facts, maybe something positive can be done," said Danuta Hutchins, a Storm Lake educator who has been helping to organize the effort with the Iowa United Nations Association.
"Iowans Talk Back on Climate Change" will be held Wednesday, October 3, 7-9 p.m. in Dows Conference Center, Buena Vista University.
* David Osterberg, scientist, activist and former state legislator, now with the University of Iowa. He has made headlines crossing various parts of the world with a solar-powered bicycle to bring attention to climate change and renewable energy issues.
* Carrie La Seur, president of Plains Justice.
The environmental law firm pursues ecology-related justice in the Northern Plains region of the U.S. In addition to her work as an environmental lawyer, she teaches at the University of Iowa and is a member of the Iowa Power Fund Board, which is charged with investing $100 million in public funds in clean energy over the next four years.
* Nicole Sawran, nationally-known legislative coordinator for Better World Campaign, which works to build a stronger relationship between the United States and the United Nation. At just 26, she is a former National Geographic staff member.
The Storm Lake event will be designed to cover the threats of climate change to human health and hunger conditions, as well as sharing information on the most promising efforts to offset the changes.
Input from the public is welcome.
Iowa is being targeted for the events because of the political attention here this season. The views of the various presidential candidates will be explored, and public sentiments will be recorded and made available to all of the candidates.
Osterberg said that the effort involves more than science.
"It's hard to do it - fighting for the environment. You have to figure out a way to do it that's pleasant and fun," he said.
According to Hutchins, climate change was selected as the issue to explore in Storm Lake for practical reasons.
"There are many important social issues today. Global warming may be as controversial - if you consider the number of people who are not willing to listen to science - but it is also an area in which we could go about making some change."