For months, Eastern Iowa conversations have centered on the seemingly endless winter. Now, thawing snow and ice reveal pothole-ridden roadways across the area.
All of us have been affected by this extreme weather. We might have had budget-busting heating bills, frozen pipes, child care issues when school was closed, a car that wouldn’t start, back strain from shoveling, or a flat tire because of an immense pothole.
Why was this winter so severe? The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently reported findings that 90 percent of climate change can be attributed to human activity. And, residents of the United States are less aware of this than other nations, even though the United States is the largest producer of greenhouse gases.
In Eastern Iowa, we all have personal experience with the effects of climate change. It’s up to us to make changes. We can use less electricity, walk short distances instead of driving, reduce our water consumption and recycle more items.
We can help push for bigger changes too, by urging our representatives to support legislation requiring reductions in emissions. The Clean Air Act has not been revised since 1990.
Legislators are not likely to focus on these issues unless they hear from us how crucial
We might not be able to reverse past environmental damage, but
we can prevent it from getting worse. And maybe that means fewer potholes.
Amy Thompson Thye